By Andrew Freedman – Mashable – June 16, 2015
Humanity is rapidly depleting a third of the world's largest groundwater aquifers, with the top three most stressed groundwater basins in the political hotspots of the Middle East, the border region between India and Pakistan, and the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa. Making matters worse, researchers say in a pair of new studies, we don't know how much water is left in these massive aquifers — which water resources scientists often refer to as Earth's water savings accounts. For full story, click here.
By Jim Spencer – Star Tribune – June 11, 2015
A bill that would effectively overturn a new Environmental Protection Agency clean water rule won a critical committee vote Wednesday and now appears headed for a decision by the full U.S. Senate. The clean water rule was EPA’s attempt to re-establish jurisdiction over some remote streams, ditches and wetlands that could be sources of pollution to the nation’s rivers and lakes. For full story, click here.
Commodities Now – June 2015
"We need to change the way we produce food," FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said today in a World Environment Day speech advocating creating positive connections between food, agriculture and the environment. Governments, citizens, producers and investors must forge a "new and holistic way of thinking and, of course, acting" to face down climate change and feed a growing population, he said at the Expo 2015 in Milan. For full story, click here.
By Josephine Marcotty – StarTribune – June 6, 2015
Starting as soon as this fall, America’s heartland could begin to look strikingly different to a monarch butterfly fluttering south for the winter. Oceans of corn would be dotted with islands of native plants. Homeowners would have fewer lawns — and a lot less mowing. Roadsides would grow thick with grasses and flowers. And more than a billion unruly milkweed plants would pop up along a 200-mile-wide corridor along I-35 from Duluth to Texas. That’s the ambitious vision buried in a national pollinator plan released recently by the White House — an epic attempt to save the gaudy symbol of the prairie from its steady slide toward the Endangered Species list. The key is milkweed, the one and only food source for monarch caterpillars, which has all but disappeared from Midwestern landscapes, thanks largely to GMO crops and the widespread use of Roundup. For full story, click here.
By Ken Ward – WV Gazette – June 4, 2015
A five-year investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of the boom in natural gas drilling and production has identified potentially serious threats to drinking water supplies, but provides no new detailed data that would help to quantify the scope of any contamination that has occurred across the country. EPA media officials promoted the study as finding that “hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systematic impacts” to drinking water. But the actual conclusion of the agency’s 998-page report contained a subtle, but important, difference: It said EPA “did not find evidence” of widespread or systematic impacts. And authors of the EPA study made clear that they lacked enough data to draw strong conclusions about the extent of any damage. For full story, click here.