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Satellite measurements show huge drop in groundwater aquifers in California's Central Valley

By Thomas H. Clarke, Jr. For the last three years, California has been experiencing a major drought; only this season has the rainfall been "normal", probably due to El Nino. Yet, during the last six years, even before the onset of the drought, crop irrigation in California's Central...

Decline of Western Aspen trees swells population of rodents that carry the deadly sin nombre virus

As noted in prior posts, Aspen trees in the West have been dying. There appears to be no single cause. However, drought in the 1990's and early 2000's probably made the trees more susceptible to cankers, fungi, and other maladies. The result is that some sites have lost as much as 2/3 or more...

Krugman Links Climate Change, Food Scarcity and Mideast Unrest

By Allison A. Torrence , Associate, Jenner & Block LLP Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman recently wrote an article in the New York Times explaining his theory that climate change-caused food scarcity is triggering recent uprisings in the Middle East. Krugman focuses his analysis on...

Data from crop trials demonstrates threat climate change poses to crops

Serendipity has helped more than a few scientists with insights and discoveries. Researchers were chatting, and realized that data from work one of them was focused upon various crop trials spread across southern and eastern Africa, if correlated with local weather conditions (other than drought), could...

An articulate end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it view from Thomas Friedman

I am certainly old enough to remember a variety of doomsday scenarios, usually built around decreases in agriculture productivity or population growth (or both). There have also been some modern scholarly papers that posit that things are going to get very very difficult indeed really soon. See, for...

Jenner & Block: New Water Scarcity Mapping Tool

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block The World Resources Institute recently released its Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas (Atlas) to help companies identify water-related risks. The Atlas is a tool that provides geographical and sector-specific water risk context for companies. The Atlas is intended...

Jenner & Block: You Are Drinking What? Reuse Of Municipal Wastewater

By E. Lynn Grayson, Partner, Jenner & Block The Wall Street Journal has reported that about 60% of the U.S. is now living through drought conditions and half of all counties have been declared disaster areas. Drastic situations call for drastic measures BUT drinking our own wastewater? The...

Most Trees, No Matter Type or Where Located, Are Always Close to Thirsty Death

Sometimes a piece of research changes the way one looks at ecosystems. Evaporation from tiny pores in the leaves of trees pulls water up from the roots through thousands of slim tubes, called xylem tissue. When water is scarce, these tubes can develop microscopic air bubbles which block these tubes...

Governor Jerry Brown Urges Conservation As California Runs Dry

BROWN URGES CONSERVATION AS CA RUNS DRY: With the state facing its worst drought in decades, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) urged Golden State residents last week to cut back their water usage wherever possible. Brown said residents should voluntarily be taking shorter showers, turning off faucets while...

The 2014 California Environmental Legislative Recap: An Election Year Drought

By Mr. Gary A. Lucks Get the latest expert analysis on California's new environmental and land use laws. This article summarizes legislation passed during the 2014-2015 California Legislative Session, including bills addressing water supply, hazardous waste, solid waste, cimate change, air...

Virginia’s Draft State Water Resources Plan

By Henry R. "Speaker" Pollard, V The severe drought in Virginia in 2002 saw several localities nearly exhaust available public water supplies and reenergized public policy concerns about Virginia’s water resources and their proper and sustainable management. This led the General...

Drought: Water Restrictions Reach Oilsands

Unprecedented water use restrictions, due to widespread and extreme drought, are in force in western parts of the US and Canada. California is in its worst drought on record . Widespread water shortages have prompted state governor Jerry Brown to proclaim a State of Emergency and issue an executive order...

State Net Capitol Journal – Here Comes El Nino and Drought Stokes Wildfires in Western States

California Update: Here Comes El Nino While much of the West suffers through an epic drought that has contributed to a deadly fire season, state and local officials are bracing for a severe El Nino winter that could bring substantial rain along the Pacific Coast and significant snowfall in the mountains...