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Rescooped by Lee Yi Jie from Grain du Coteau : News ( corn maize ethanol DDG soybean soymeal wheat livestock beef pigs canadian dollar)
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Shrinking water supply under threat in U.S. farm breadbasket

Aug 27 (Reuters) - A critical water source for U.S. farmers and ranchers is being depleted at a rapid rate and nearly 70 percent of it will disappear within the next 50 years if the current trend does not change, according to a report issued this week.

Thirty percent of the groundwater from a critical portion of what is known as the High Plains Aquifer already has been pumped and another 39 percent will be depleted over the next five decades, according to the report by environmental science and engineering experts published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The report said limited water supplies will begin to have a significant impact on food production over the next few decades. It laid out different scenarios for how targeted reductions in water usage made now could extend peak agricultural production for many more decades. It said cutting back water use from the aquifer by 20 percent now, for instance, would reduce agricultural production in the near term but would extend the longevity of production well into 2070.

"It is generally understood the groundwater is going down. At some point in the future we need to use less water," said David Steward, a professor of civil engineering at Kansas State University who participated in the study. "We tried to put together some information to help with the planning process. If we are able to save more now, it's going to make the decline that we have more gradual."

The study examined in depth the portion of the High Plains Aquifer in the western part of Kansas, generally the largest wheat-growing state in the country.

The High Plains aquifer system, including a portion known as the Ogallala aquifer, is one of the world's largest. It covers an area of approximately 174,000 miles under portions of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

The aquifer is tapped to irrigate corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops, sustain cattle and other livestock, and for drinking water for millions of people throughout the region.

The researchers said current water policies have not translated to significant reductions in use of the groundwater - people are simply pumping until wells run dry. Although their focus was on western Kansas, they said balancing the water needs of the present with the long-term needs of the future is a global concern.

"Although consumption of freshwater supplies has not yet crossed a potentially dangerous planetary threshold, crop yields have begun to fall in many regions because of water scarcity, and global food security remains a worldwide concern," the report said. "There is a clear need for society to become prepared for the consequences of reductions in groundwater use that shall occur in the foreseeable future."

The study took four years to complete and included an examination of thousands of water usage reports, well readings, climate data and other information, said Steward, one of six co-authors of the study.


Via Stéphane Bisaillon
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WWF: EU Commission plans on water resources will sink without Member State support

WWF: EU Commission plans on water resources will sink without Member State support | water | Scoop.it
(Brussels 14th November) – Today the European Commission launched its long-term water strategy, “Blueprint to Safeguard Water Resources” - an important step necessary for the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) to be implemented effectively.

 

Despite improvements, Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands are still facing many challenges from pollution, water over-usage and degradation, due to infrastructure developments. Under current planning there will only be an improvement in only10% of water bodies across the EU by 2015. This is completely inadequate given that more than 50% of water bodies across the EU have been degraded to a point beyond which they can no-longer sustain functioning ecosystems.   WWF welcomes this push to re-energise Member States in their fledgling efforts to improve the health and quality of their waters, but most of the actions put forward by the European Commission will not be possible without Member State support.     Quotes from Sergey Moroz, Freshwater Policy Officer    “The Water Framework Directive is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands and achieve sustainable water management. However, assessment of Member State plans show that a business-as-usual attitude prevails. Currently hundreds of new hydropower or inland navigation projects are planned without taking into account the trade-offs between water protection and economic development required by the Water Framework Directive”.   “75% of Europeans care deeply about their water and want governments to take stronger action, including making polluters pay for any damages incurred. Ministers currently negotiating the Common Agricultural Policy need to recognise this and make sure that agricultural subsidies be only given to farmers who respect water protection rules. While this is something included in the European Commission “Blueprint” it also needs agreement from both European Parliament and Agricultural Ministers.”     Editors Notes
The “Blueprint to Safeguard EU’s Waters” proposes a number of actions including enforcement of the existing legislation by the European Commission, as well as voluntary actions such as developing guidance on pricing water and recovering the costs of environmental damage, ensuring enough water is left in the ecosystems to support aquatic life (ecological flows), or maximising uptake of green infrastructure measures. It also proposes including water protection as condition in Common Agricultural and Cohesion policies.   The March 2012 Eurobarometer on water shows that most Europeans realise the importance of water-related problems and support stronger EU action.    The main findings include: •Almost 75% of Europeans consider that the EU should propose additional measures to address water problems in Europe with the main focus of such measures on water pollution from industry and agriculture. •As many as 68% of those questioned recognise that water-related problems are serious and worry equally about water quantity and quality.  •Europeans also ask for a combination of measures: the introduction of heavier fines for polluters, a fairer pricing policy and financial incentives (tax breaks or subsidies).  •As many as 2/3 of EU citizens say that quality and/or quantity of water is a serious problem.      Contact: Philippe Carr, WWF European Policy Office, Media & Communications,  WWF European Policy Office, Tel:+32 476 25 68 79 E-mail: pcarr@wwf.eu  

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Twitter / bertrandom: This is what we've come to ...

Twitter / bertrandom: This is what we've come to ... | water | Scoop.it
RT @bertrandom: This is what we've come to as a society: the gamification of drinking water http://t.co/VA9i4NgmmR
Lee Yi Jie's insight:

This prove that water is essential for our life and we cannot live without water.

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Fracking: A Tragic Waste of Water Resources | Green Conduct

Fracking: A Tragic Waste of Water Resources | Green Conduct | water | Scoop.it

The natural gas mining method known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is another major source of water usage and a serious source of contamination. The EPA estimates one well in a coal bed can require anywhere from 200,000 litres to more than 1 million litres while a horizontal well in a shale formation can use between 7.5 million to 19 million litres of water.

 

The EPA estimates anywhere from 15 to 80 per cent of water is recovered. There are several ways of disposing of the water used in the process. It can be stored underground in impermeable injection wells that prevent it from leaking into the environment or in steel tanks or pits; recycled for use in another fracturing well; or treated and discharged back into the water supply. Because of its high salt content, the waste water is often also bought by municipalities for use in de-icing and dust suppression on roads.

 

Although the fluid used in fracking is mostly water, some acids, emulsifiers and other chemicals are added to make the water more viscous and effective at fracturing the rock. These include guar gum, boron, zirconium, titanium, iron and polyacrylamide.

 

Aside from such additives, the process of fracking also releases naturally occurring salts, metals, radioactive elements like barium and strontium and carcinogens like benzene.

 

Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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History of water availability in the Rockies shows trouble ahead for Athabasca watershead

History of water availability in the Rockies shows trouble ahead for Athabasca watershead | water | Scoop.it

[excerpt

A pair of recent papers shed some light on the long-term history of water availability in western North America, and find that modern trends in water availability and usage represent real challenges for the future.

[...]

The first paper, published in Geophysical Research Letters, provides a unique, 5,200-year record of water levels at Lake Athabasca in Canada, which is fed by rivers coming down from mountain catchments. Water usage in that region has increased 88 percent since 2000, in large part due to the booming oil sands industry, which now accounts for about 65 percent of water use. At the same time, streamflow feeding Lake Athabasca has decreased over the last few decades. Effective planning requires accurate predictions of future water availability.

In a sediment core from the bottom of a pond connected to Lake Athabasca, the researchers used the ratio of carbon to nitrogen as a proxy to infer lake level in the past. The ratio tracks changes in vegetation, which can shift from peat to open water plants. The advantage of this technique is that it can probe deeper into the past than records generated from tree rings (which go back about 1,000 years). A comparison with existing tree ring data verifies that this carbon/nitrogen technique does, in fact, accurately track lake level.

The deeper history of the record turns out to be pretty important. The researchers found that "modern society in western Canada developed during a rare interval of relatively abundant freshwater supply." We happen to be living in an especially wet period, a result of the extra accumulation at mountain glaciers during the 1700s (a period known as the Little Ice Age). At only one other point in the record (around 0-500 A.D.) was water this plentiful—the 2,500 years previous to that were much drier.


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Twitter / perform: Drinking water http://t.co/5lZlWLFrAc

Twitter / perform: Drinking water http://t.co/5lZlWLFrAc | water | Scoop.it
RT @perform: Drinking water http://t.co/5lZlWLFrAc
Lee Yi Jie's insight:

Drinking water at some specific time will help us to avoid some health problems or reduce having health issues.

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