Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

Farms Using Oilfield Wastewater Under Review for Food Safety

Thirsty California farmers keen to irrigate are using oilfield wastewater to make ends meet, and a new state expert panel has started investigating the safety of the water's chemical makeup on food crops. For decades farmers have used produced water from oil drilling for irrigation, but no serious assessment has been done to identify potential long-term health risks. [KQED]

Cover Crop Impact at the Watershed Scale on Water Quality?

Well there's no surprise here - a study out of Notre Dame finds that by planting winter cover crops and using no-till farming methods, nitrate loss from farm fields is reduced by 30 to 40 percent, which will help prevent future algal blooms. [Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District]

New Catfish Inspections Stir Debate Over Safety vs. Trade

After seven years of delay, the USDA has established tough new rules to inspect imported catfish. Critics say the new program is the result of intense lobbying from special interest groups that will waste taxpayer dollars and invite other nations to enact copycat legislation to harm American seafood exports. Supporters argue that the new rules will ensure imported catfish is safe for American consumers. [New York Times]

Labor Conditions Are Awful at Chicken Plants, According to Report

A new multimedia report from Oxfam America highlights the harsh conditions endured by laborers at chicken processing facilities in the US. While workers reportedly processed roughly 14,000 chickens in a workday, they were paid an average of $11 an hour, and suffered exceptionally high rates of injury due to the repetitive and dangerous nature of the work.

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