Stretching the Ogallala Aquifer

If one wanted the Kansas portion of the Ogallala Aquifer to last forever, to be farmable sustainably in perpetuity, one would need to cut back current groundwater mining by 80 percent to bring withdrawals into line with natural recharge, according to a new study published last week in PNAS. That ain’t gonna happen. But even …

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it’s gotta carry the coffee

Lingering at my sister Lisa’s dining room table this evening after dinner, my eye drifted to this casserole on a shelf opposite. My memories of childhood are vague, and I often depend on Lisa for the sort of specifics I can’t quite grab hold of. But neither of us could remember the casserole’s story, other …

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On the implications of pumping California dry

So what if we pump California’s Central Valley aquifers to empty? On The Public Record twiddles on the back of an envelope: Before this report, my rough feel was that about one million acres of irrigated lands in CA are supported by unsustainable groundwater withdrawals. If overdraft is 10 MAF/year in the Central Valley, it …

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Having to rip out your lawn is not the worst thing that can happen

The bemused Brits at the Economist paid Pat Mulroy a visit: The main reason why Lake Mead, currently only 40% full, has been getting emptier is a decade-long drought. Whether this is a cyclical and normal event, or an early sign of climate change, is unclear. But even if the drought ends, most scientists think …

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The Flip Side of Declining Food Prices

Yes, as I have noted many times, food is getting a lot cheaper. But the other downsides to the current economic mess are likely to overwhelm any short term benefits for the hungry in the world’s poor parts, according to an analysis by Joachim von Braun of the International Food Policy Research Institute, published in …

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