Jaymi Heimbuch

New Data Reveals Farmers Are Mining Groundwater at Alarming Rate

California farms represent 8% of the US's agriculture value, and the Central Valley is where most of that growing takes place. However, as the state struggles with ongoing droughts, the groundwater supplies are dwindling at a frightening rate. According to satellite technology used by NASA, over a 6.5 year period the groundwater supplies in Central Valley leaked away by an amount equal to 63% of the capacity of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir. With that much water disappearing, it is harder to replenish supplies when it finally does rain. Does this water debt mean a future food crisis?

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Why Are California Regulators Turning a Blind Eye to Massive Groundwater Pollution from Dairies?

California's Central Valley is home to some of the state's largest dairies, and we're all quite familiar with how damaging dairy farms can be on the environment. It is responsible for about 4% of man-made GHG emissions, and in the Central Valley of California alone, cows generate the same amount of fecal waste as a city of 21 million people, much of which goes untreated and pollutes waterways. And are regulators doing anything to change this? It looks like a big fat No.

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California Bill Brings Rainwater to Your Toilet

While rainwater collection is a contentious issue in some areas, California is looking to make it a little easier to use your rain barrels as a water source. This week, AB 275, the Rainwater Capture Act of 2011 was introduced into the California State Assembly, a bill that would allow landowners the authority to install rain barrel systems and not only capture water for outdoor use, but for indoor use as well.

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Your Idle Computer Can Solve Global Water Problems

We're fans of IBM's World Community Grid, a project that uses your idling computer to work on some huge problems, from curing cancer to finding clean energy sources. And now added to that list, is finding solutions for clean water.

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Dolphin Slaughter Resumes in Japan

Each year in early September, Japan opens season on dolphins, and today marks the start of the season in Taiji, a now notorious place for slaughtering cetaceans thanks to the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. And of course, activist Ric O'Barry is on the move. He delivered a petition to the US Embassy in Tokyo signed by 1.7 million people from 155 countries demanding an end to the hunt. The embassy wasn't his first destination -- the Japanese fisheries agency was. But death threats from a group known for violence kinda put a damper on that.

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Everything You Need to Know About Groundwater

What is groundwater?

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Jordan River Expected to Run Dry by 2011

Even the most famous and admired places aren't immune to the problems of abuse and pollution - the Jordan River being a prime example as it's expected to run dry by 2011 due to overexploitation, pollution and lack of regional management, according to Friends of the Earth, Middle East. Over 90% of the river's water has been diverted by Israel, Syria and Jordan, and what's left is an unappealing mix of sewage, saline water, and run-off from cropland. And by the end of 2011, there won't even be that left.

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Water Footprint Labels to Become as Important as Energy Star

World Water Day is approaching (March 22, 2010 if you'd like to mark your calendar) and there's no better time than now to start focusing more on the importance of water footprints. We're already working hard on figuring out how to account for carbon in products and services, but equally as important is their water footprint. Accountants are already studying up, and even huge companies like IBM are putting the importance of water management on par with electricity management. This could mean that a water footprint label is soon to be as prominent on product packaging as an Energy Star label, and with an equal amount of clout among consumers.

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William Kamkwamba Moves on From DIY Windmills to DIY Water Well Drills

ted talk windmill image

William Kamkwamba has been a source of inspiration for us ever since he created his own working wind turbine from scratch in 2007. With zero money, zero new parts, and zero experience, he managed to devise a wind turbine that could power four lights and two radios. He later gave a talk at TED about his experience. Now, he offers up this excellent interview about his endeavor, hoping to spark others in similar into creative action. He's also moved on from windmills and has another big project up his sleeve.

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