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Water in the West

Stanford Study Probes Psychological Resistance to Recycled Water

Stanford researchers have found that Californians’ views on recycled water depend heavily on how that water is eventually used.

The study, which appeared in the August 2017 issue of Water and Environment Journal, revealed that psychological resistance to using treated effluent can be reduced, to some extent, by explaining the treatment process to people and informing them of an existing program in Orange County.

Dry Groundwater Wells in the Western United States

Debra Perrone and co-author Scott Jasechko validate concerns of many California homeowners in areas like Ceres and Denair that domestic wells are more susceptible to drying. The researchers analyzed millions of well depth records in 17 western states and found that during 2013 to 2015, about 1 in 30 wells were dry. Further, dry wells tended to be concentrated in rural communities. In some rural areas, the research suggests that as many as 1 in 5 wells were dry at certain times.

America’s Biggest Water Users – Farmers – Learn to Use Less of It

In the Southwest and beyond, irrigation technology and other steps such as planting 'cover crops' to enrich the soil are making a difference. The third article in a series on solving water challenges in the American West.

Reporting for this story was supported by a media fellowship from the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

For Water Users on Colorado River, a Mind-set of Shared Sacrifice

A wet winter is easing water strains in the Southwest, but the longer-term outlook is generally hotter and drier. States now have that in mind in water bargaining. The sixth article in a series on solving water challenges in the American West. 

Reporting for this story was supported by a media fellowship from the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

‘Pumped Dry:’ Behind the Knight-Risser Prize Winning Series on Groundwater

At the Knight-Risser Prize Symposium on Jan. 25, Ian James, an environment reporter for the Palm Springs based Desert Sun, talked about a growing crisis in groundwater supplies. James worked with colleagues at the Desert Sun and USA Today to put together a dramatic, globe-spanning series about groundwater overdraft, which was the winner of the 2016 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism.

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