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water

Most of the southwestern U.S. is in the midst of some level of drought. Parts of California, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas are all seeing extreme drought, as rainfall and winter snowpacks have been far below average.

One of the biggest factors affecting water supplies in these hot, dry places is evaporation. Reservoirs can lose as much water to evaporation as the water that’s actually pumped out of them for drinking water.

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

A Simple, Elegant Invention That Draws Water From Air

May 27, 2014

When Italian designer Arturo Vittori and Swiss architect Andreas Vogler first visited Ethiopia in 2012, they were shocked to see women and children forced to walk miles for water.

Only 34 percent of Ethiopians have access to a reliable water supply. Some travel up to six hours a day to fetch some or, worse, resorts to using stagnant ponds contaminated by human waste, resulting in the spread of disease.

Though they concede it's unlikely the public was endangered, officials in Portland, Ore., have decided to drain 38 million gallons of water from a reservoir after a young man was observed urinating into it on Wednesday.

For the first time in almost 20 years, the Colorado River is flowing into northern Mexico through a dam that usually stops it. It’s called a pulse flow — a temporary release of water.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Stina Sieg of KJZZ traveled to see the effect it’s having on Mexico’s long-barren delta.

As California deals with a historic drought, more communities are looking to recycling sewage and storm runoff as a way to deal with the water crisis.

At the Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility in El Segundo, California, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Ron Wildermuth, manager of public and government affairs for the West Basin Municipal Water District.

Possible Rate Hikes For Seattle Public Utilities Customers

Feb 6, 2014
Flickr Photo/Joe Shlabotnik

Steve Scher talks with Ray Hoffman, director of Seattle Public Utilities, about the possible rate hikes for Seattle residents. SPU is hosting four public meetings to collect comments from the community.

Oregon Public Broadcasting Photo/April Baer

Voters in Portland, Oregon have decide not to add fluoride to their municipal drinking water. Seattle and most other large cities in the US added the chemical decades ago to prevent cavities in children.

Nothing spoils a summer swim in your favorite lake like an algae bloom. These become more common as the weather warms up.  A lake in Federal Way, Washington -- near Seattle -- is serving as a proving ground for a possible new tool to combat toxic blooms.

Almost every summer until last summer, Lake Lorene would turn pea soup green.

Lamont Granquist

Environmental groups have collected samples of black rock collected in water bodies along train tracks in the Northwest and found that some of that rock is coal. The Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, Columbia Riverkeeper and other environmental groups have sent a notice of intent to sue BNSF Railway and several coal companies for violations of the Clean Water Act.

Water
Flickr photo/Ibrahim Areef

The Clean Water Act turned 40 this year. What has it accomplished? Where would we be without it? And what will the next 40 years look like for clean water in this country? Weekday presents a special broadcast produced by KUOW's EarthFix and Living On Earth from Public Radio International.

Eric Stowe / Splash

Eric Stowe’s Seattle-based nonprofit Splash works to provide clean water to children in China and the developing world. Ross Reynolds talks with Eric Stowe about how he got involved in clean water and the struggles he faces in his work .

blue faucet
blockpartypress / Creative Commons - flickr

Last Tuesday's general election marked a decisive moment for the city of Shoreline: 70 percent of voters there agreed to buy water services back from the city of Seattle and create their own water utility. 

Diver exploring outfall drain in Puget Sound
OPB Photo/Michael Bendixen

The Clean Water Act took effect 40 years ago Thursday. In 1972, stormwater pollution was nowhere near a top priority. Today, it’s taken the lead as the top water contaminator. How bad is it? Puget Sound diver Laura James takes us where nobody wants to go — inside a stormwater outfall — to get an upclose look.

Read the full story on KUOW's EarthFix

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