Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets ... Some researchers...now believe sea salt could be more vulnerable to plastic contamination because of how it is made, through a process of dehydration of sea water.

A growing body of research has established the presence of microscopic plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, freshwater, soil and air. This study is the first, however, to show plastic contamination in tap water from sources around the world ... The contamination defies geography and income: The number of fibers found in a tap water sample from a washroom sink at the Trump Grill was equal to that found in samples from Quito, Ecuador.

Many of the trees we grow evolved in temperate climates and can’t tolerate the stress of drought, water restrictions, higher salinity levels in recycled water, wind and new pests that arrive almost daily via global trade and tourism ... one particularly dangerous menace — the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle — could kill as many as 27 million trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties... roughly 38% of the 71 million trees in the 4,244 square mile urban region

Always short of water, Mexico City keeps drilling deeper for more, weakening the ancient clay lake beds on which the Aztecs first built much of the city, causing it to crumble even further. It is a cycle made worse by climate change. More heat and drought mean more evaporation and yet more demand for water, adding pressure to tap distant reservoirs at staggering costs or further drain underground aquifers and hasten the city’s collapse.

while the federal government tends to be relatively diligent about maintaining the dams it owns, the vast majority of dams around the country are either operated by states or private interests, where upkeep tends to be patchier. (Though, in fairness, California, which owns the Oroville Dam, is much better about inspections than most states.)

What was once a statewide drought this week became a Southern California drought. A week of powerful storms has significantly eased the state’s water shortage, pulling nearly all of Northern California out of drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor ... Only about 2% of the state remains in “exceptional drought,” compared with 18% last week, the drought monitor reported. A much smaller sliver of Los Angeles County, for example, is classified as such.

In other words, plants create themselves partly out of thin air. Salad greens are about ninety per cent water. About half of the remaining ten per cent is carbon ... Aeroponic farming uses about seventy per cent less water than hydroponic farming, which grows plants in water; hydroponic farming uses seventy per cent less water than regular farming. If crops can be raised without soil and with a much reduced weight of water, you can move their beds more easily and stack them high

One of the few things Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that the nation faces an infrastructure crisis. In water infrastructure alone, the nation needs about $600 billion over the next 20 years, according to federal estimates. And yet federal spending on water utilities has declined, prompting state and federal officials to try to play matchmaker, courting private investors to fix what needs fixing.

Yemen’s 18-month civil war has killed about 10,000 people, and now it is pushing the country to the brink of famine. More than 21 million Yemenis — 80% of the population — are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Much of Yemen’s poverty is due to dire water shortages. Yemen’s conflict has been characterized as a proxy war between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s domestic conflict over the inability to produce consensus... has now escalated into an intractable multi-party war.

In 2012...After Veolia took over management of the city’s water, the chemical used to control corrosion of metals, such as lead, was changed. Typically, it takes months for a water department to change corrosion control methods, because changes can cause lead spikes. Feasibility studies must be conducted, rounds of testing completed, state agencies notified and their approval sought. Instead, PWSA changed the corrosion control to save money in violation of state law