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From revelations about the hidden messages in burbling lakes of lava to the staggering costs of runaway climate change, these 10 stories shed light on our planet and how we're changing it. They include our editor's picks and some our best-read stories for the year.
New rules and new technology are giving farmers and managers a better look at groundwater supplies.
In addition to reusing water, we'll have to augment the supply from reservoirs with recycling, stormwater capture, desalination and other strategies.
Cash-strapped environmental regulators have a powerful and cheap new weapon. New research suggests machine learning methods more than double the number of violations detected.
Diversity reigns when water gets scarce. New research suggests the most resilient forests are made up of trees that have a wider variety of rates for water moving up from the soil.
Driven by public pressure, governments and corporations are considering eliminating or phasing out single-use plastics such as straws. Stanford experts discuss the limitations of these bans and the potential for meaningful change.
A Stanford study reveals the changing scope of Native American groundwater rights – and opportunities for better freshwater management.
A study shows natural sources of hexavalent chromium are affecting more people and wells in California than industrial sources. But groundwater pumping may accelerate release of this carcinogen.
In an arid region south of Tijuana, strawberries grown for export have become so valuable, farmers keep trying to grow more, and are allowed to use more groundwater than nature replenishes.
The system could one day be adapted into solar-powered water purification stations for use in developing regions where fresh water is a precious commodity.
Pumping an aquifer to the last drop squeezes out more than water. A new study suggests it can also unlock dangerous arsenic from buried clays. Sinking land may provide an early warning and measure of contamination.
A wastewater treatment plant under construction in Redwood Shores will be the largest to test a technology that significantly reduces the cost of cleaning water. The key: bacteria that eschew oxygen while producing burnable methane.
Inconsistent or vague definitions in oil and gas regs leave water supply vulnerable
Extinct lake landforms provide clues of climate change over millions of years and inform our understanding of rainfall patterns and water management in the arid American West.
In order to meet the California’s future water needs, researchers propose a cap and trade approach to water conservation based on local supply and demand realities.
If asked to imagine a geologist, you might envision a tanned and dusty figure, hardy and weathered like the ancient rocks that he or she spends days studying out “in the field."
With a new web-scraping and search algorithm and real water utility data, Stanford researchers have shown a relationship between media coverage of the recent historic California drought and household water savings.
A new web portal puts four years of California drought data into an interactive format, showing where regions met or missed water conservation goals. The idea is to motivate awareness and conservation.