Farmers are depleting the Ogallala Aquifer because the government pays them to do it

November 9, 2020, The Conversation, Matthew R Sanderson, Professor of Sociology and Professor of Geography and Geospatial Sciences, Kansas State University; Burke Griggs, Associate Professor of Law, Washburn University; Jacob A. Miller, PhD Student in Sociology, Kansas State University A slow-moving crisis threatens the U.S. Central Plains, which grow a quarter of the nation’s crops. Underground, the region’s lifeblood – water …

Water Connects the San Luis Valley, which is once again the target of a water export proposal which threatens our communities and way of life

Our economy, culture and community are connected to agriculture. The some 1,600 farms and ranches in the Valley are the region’s economic engine. With less than 7″ of precipitation annually, the Valley’s crops require irrigation to grow.   Exporting water out of the basin to the Front Range would mean less water for irrigated agriculture. A plan being proposed by Renewable Water Resources will remove …

Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains dust levels stir concerns

Science Magazine, October 2020, doi:10.1126/science.abf3504 Recent studies are showing how climate change is drying out the region. Greenhouse gases are making heat waves like those in the 1930s far more likely, according to a study published in May in Nature Climate Change. And in an April study in Science, researchers suggested much of the western United States is on the brink of a prolonged …

A scoping review of drought impacts on health and society in North America

Published: 21 September 2020 Margaret Sugg, et al. Climatic Change (2020) Drought is a highly destructive natural hazard with wide-ranging impacts on water security, agriculture, energy, and human health. Unlike most natural hazards, droughts can develop anywhere, evolve rapidly within a month or slowly over a season, and span months to decades without a clear beginning or end. Few studies investigate the direct …

Nearly all of Colorado is under some drought status – 20 years into megadrought in the West

Also see: https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2020/04/16/climate-driven-megadrought-emerging-western-u-s/ – April 20th, 2020 The Colorado Sun | evan@coloradosun.com Colorado currently is one of the drier parts of the country, and although conditions have improved in recent weeks, the long-term outlook for the state is relatively grim.  Much of Colorado continues to suffer through extreme drought, and nearly all of the state is experiencing drought, according to the …

The heat waves that powered the Dust Bowl are now more than twice as likely to happen again MICHAEL D’ESTRIES May 27, 2020 A dust storm approaches Stratford, Texas, in 1935. (Photo: NOAA George E. Marsh Album [public domain]/Wikimedia Commons) They were called “black blizzards” and “black rollers,” towering billows of dust rising thousands of feet high that became ominous symbols of …

Climate change threatens Colorado river and the water supply for 40 million people The Weather Channel | Jan Wesner Childs Climate change has dramatically decreased natural flow in the Colorado River, jeopardizing the water supply for some 40 million people and millions of acres of farmland, according to new research from the USGS. The decline is expected to continue unless …

2019 Colorado Hot Issues in Health Conference, Climate Session

Hosted by the nonpartisan Colorado Health Institute, the event has convened the state’s leading thinkers to discuss pressing issues related to health and health care for nearly 20 years. The 2019 Hot Issues in Health Conference will take place on Thursday, December 5, 2019 and Friday, December 6, 2019 at the Hilton Denver Inverness in Englewood, Colorado Moderator: Karam Ahmad, …

As California burns, many fear the future of extreme fire has arrived

“It’s burning differently. It’s burning more aggressive than it has in years past. And I know we say that every year, but it’s unprecedented.” Vice: Thousands of firefighters are battling unprecedented fatal wildfires in California. By Alissa Greenberg and Jason Wilson in Redding, for The Guardian, Tue 31 Jul 2018   Homes destroyed by the Carr fire in Redding, California. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Roger Gray …

Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California’s mega farms

The floor of the Central Valley is slumping, and there is arsenic in the tap water. Now it seems the two problems are connected.  By Alissa Greenberg in Lanare, California, for The Guardian, Wed 18 Jul 2018    Farm fields along the path of the California aqueduct in the Central Valley, a region that produces a quarter of the nation’s food. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters …