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Articles on Water conservation

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An orchard near Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Water wells are at risk of going dry in the US and worldwide

The US has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. When wells run dry, households may opt to conserve water, find new sources or sell and move.
Aerial view of Lake Powell on the Colorado River along the Arizona-Utah border. AP Photo/John Antczak

Interstate water wars are heating up along with the climate

The Supreme Court recently dealt defeat to Florida in its 20-year legal battle with Georgia over river water. Other interstate water contests loom, but there are no sure winners in these lawsuits.
MNStudio/Shutterstock

Even in a ‘water-rich’ country like New Zealand, some cities could face water shortages this summer

Given long-term forecasts for growing urban populations and an increasingly variable climate, local authorities will have to think about how best to encourage people to conserve water.
A center-pivot sprinkler with precision application drop nozzles irrigates cotton in Texas. USDA NRCS/Wikipedia

Farmers are depleting the Ogallala Aquifer because the government pays them to do it

An invisible crisis is brewing in US farm country as the overpumped Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer drains. The key drivers are federal farm subsidies and the tax code.
The enthusiasm for recycling water that Australians had at the height of the drought little more than a decade ago has waned. Shaney Balcombe/AAP

When water is scarce, we can’t afford to neglect the alternatives to desalination

Cities relied entirely on conserving and recycling water to get through the last big drought. We now have desalination plants, but getting the most out of our water reserves still makes sense.
Chemicals poured down the sink or pumped into the atmosphere can eventually end up in the groundwater, which means less available fresh water for us to use. Flickr/Kamil Porembiński

Curious Kids: how is water made?

While making small volumes of pure water in a lab is possible, it’s not practical. The reaction is expensive, releases lots of energy, and can cause really massive explosions.
Informal settlements in Cape Town only use 4.7% of the city’s water. Flickr/Blackwych

Cape Town water crisis: 7 myths that must be bust

There are a number of myths surrounding Cape Town’s drought, one of them being that the city saw the crisis coming but didn’t prepare for it.
The Thomson Dam, Melbourne’s largest water storage, dropped to only 16% of capacity in the last big drought. Melbourne Water/flickr

This is what Australia’s growing cities need to do to avoid running dry

Australian cities have turned to some very costly solutions when water is scarce. But as the world’s second-highest users of water per person, more efficient use and recycling are key.
Lake Powell, photographed April 12, 2017. The white ‘bathtub ring’ at the cliff base indicates how much higher the lake reached at its peak, nearly 100 feet above the current level. Patti Weeks

Climate change is shrinking the Colorado River

The Colorado River supplies water to millions of people and irrigates thousands of miles of farmland. New research warns that climate change is likely to magnify droughts in the Colorado Basin.

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