Here are 20 interesting and informative articles about water published recently that discuss topics like water supply, water conservation, desalination, and droughts.

Wastewater that Cleans Itself Results in More Water, Less Sludge Gizmag

“Using wastewater to clean itself is the premise of new Australian technology that relies on the formation of compounds called hydrotalicites, and which results in less sludge than traditional water treatment with lime.”

New Desalination Technologies Spur Growth in Recycling Water Yale Environment 360

“A host of new technologies are being developed that not only are improving traditional desalination but opening up new frontiers in reusing everything from agricultural water to industrial effluent.”

As Oklahoma Drought Continues, Farmers Prepare For Losses NPR

“The agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states have withered after four years of extreme drought. Farmers in Oklahoma are bracing for one of the worst wheat crops in the state’s history.”

Tree Rings Reveal Nightmare Droughts in Western U.S. Science Daily

“Scientists extended Utah’s climate record back to 1429 using tree rings. They found Utah’s climate has seen extreme droughts, including one that lasted 16 years. If history is repeated in the rapidly growing Western states, the water supply would run out based on current consumption.”

Ogallala Water Use Climbs as Drought Intensifies in the Southern Plains Circle of Blue

“The 42 months from October 2010 to March 2014 were the driest such period on record for the Texas Panhandle – worse than the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and worse than the great drought of the 1950s, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.”

Athabasca Glacier Melting at ‘Astonishing’ Rate of More than Five Metres a Year Calgary Herald

“What’s believed to be the most-visited glacier in North America is losing more than five metres of ice every year and is in danger of completely disappearing within a generation”

Proposals Focus on California’s Groundwater Problems The Desert Sun

“Groundwater accounts for an estimated 40 percent of California’s water supply in an average year, and that number has risen sharply during the drought, with farmers and others relying more heavily on wells.”

What’s the Magic Number on Texas’ Water Needs? The Texas Tribune

“The 2012 state water plan — the state’s strategy for meeting water needs — estimated that Texas would face a shortfall of 2.7 trillion gallons of water a year by 2060, and that filling the gap would take an estimated $53 billion in new infrastructure.”

New Technology Tools Aim to Reduce Water Use The Wall Street Journal

“In an effort to encourage conservation and manage water use more efficiently, utilities and consumers are turning to a variety of new technology tools, including software and mobile apps that let households know just how much water they are using.”

Amid Drought, Water-Use Penalties Hit Bay Area SFGate

“A debate has ignited in Pleasanton after leaders of the tidy East Bay city full of manicured yards and swimming pools declared a ‘local drought emergency’ and laid out some of the strictest water restrictions in the Bay Area: a 25 percent mandatory cut over past use, with stiff fines for violators.”

Gulp: The Lake That Supplies Vegas With Most of Its Water Is Now at Record-Low Levels Slate

“Thanks in part to the epic ongoing drought, the city’s main water supply just hit a frightening new milestone low this week. According to Bureau of Reclamation data as of June 2, there’s never been so little water behind Hoover Dam since its construction in the 1930s. That’s a problem, because Vegas gets 90 percent of its water from Lake Mead.”

California Orders Thousands of Sacramento Valley Water Users to Stop Pumping From Streams The Sacramento Bee

“California has ordered more than 2,600 water agencies and users in the Sacramento Valley to stop pumping water from streams, a drastic response to the ongoing drought that hasn’t occurred since 1977.”

San Diego’s Billion-Dollar Water Bet CNN (video)

“In San Diego, the largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere is being constructed. It will soon take water from the ocean and create 50 million gallons of freshwater per day.”

Price of Water 2014: Up 6 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities; 33 Percent Rise Since 2010 Circle of Blue

“The price of water rose again in 2014, though less steeply than in previous years, according to Circle of Blue’s annual survey of single-family residential water rates in 30 major U.S. cities. The average price for a family of four using 100 gallons per person per day increased 6.2 percent, the smallest year-to-year change in the five-year history of the survey. The median increase was 5.2 percent.”

From Toilet to Tap: Getting a Taste for Drinking Recycled Waste Water CNN

“But business is booming in California’s Orange County Water District (OCWD), through a pioneering wastewater treatment facility that recycles used water — or sewage — and returns it to the drinking supply. The plant is expanding production from 70 to 100 million gallons per day, enough for 850,000 people, around one-third of the county population. As the OWCD output is mixed with the main groundwater supply it reaches over 70% of residents.”

Americans Use Twice as Much Water as They Think They Do, Study Says LA Times

“In a paper published online Monday in the journal PNAS, a researcher concluded that Americans underestimated their water use by a factor of 2, and were only slightly aware of how much water goes into growing the food they eat.”

Water Levels Dropping, Fresno Weans Itself from Groundwater Circle of Blue

“Fresno, a farm hub of 505,000 people, is moving from a system reliant on groundwater to a river-fed supply. Doing so requires a $US 1.1 billion investment over 10 years, said Martin Querin, water division manager.”

In California, Spigots Start Draining Pockets The New York Times

“The message to customers: Use more than your allotment, and it will cost you. A lot. Water bills below the allocation run $40 or so. Go above it, and fines pegged to the amount of excess water used will quickly double, triple or quadruple that bill.”

For First Time in 15 Years, Drought Hits 100% of California LA Times

“For the first time in 15 years, the entire state of California is experiencing drought, ranging in severity from moderate to exceptional. That’s the analysis from the National Climatic Data Center’s most recent drought monitor released this week, which found that nearly 39% of the country was in drought.”

California Drought Similar to Historic Drought in Texas Science Daily

“John Nielsen-Gammon, professor of atmospheric sciences who also serves as Texas’ State Climatologist, says the current drought in California is so far comparable in many ways to the 2011 Texas drought, the worst one-year drought in the state’s history that caused more than $10 billion in damages and led to numerous wildfires and lake closings.”

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