Water for Food


Mapping Ecosystem Markets

By Christopher Hartley, Deputy Director and Senior Environmental Markets Analyst, Office of Environmental Markets, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Washington, D.C. and Genevieve Bennett, Senior Associate, Ecosystem Marketplace Hartley is a featured speaker at the 2017 Water for Food Global Conference. He is involved in the sessions, “Water Frontiers I: Drought, Water Risk and the Context… [Read More]

The High Plains Aquifer: Not an Underground Lake

January 16, 2015


The United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a report on the status of the High Plains Aquifer, the largest aquifer in North America and the aquifer that underlies eight states and supplies one-third of the groundwater pumped annually within the United States.

The report highlights that there are some locations in which the High Plains Aquifer has been severely depleted, with the water table dropping more than 150 feet in parts of Kansas and Texas. In other locations, the water levels have remained fairly stable, as is the case in Nebraska. Read More

Farming in the Great Plains: ‘Things can go either way.’

April 1, 2014


A year ago, I had a decision to make. It was time to plant, and my ground was ready. But soil temperatures were barely what they should be, and there was snow in the forecast. In my area, everyone knew that the longer we waited, the more yield we could lose. And the unusually wet spring had already delayed planting. But was it still too early? Should I wait until after the snow? Read More


Great Plains Megadroughts: Could it happen again?

March 27, 2014

The Nebraska Sandhills are a unique landscape, covering more than 20,000 square miles.

A visit to Nebraska’s little known Sandhills reveals a landscape of gently rolling sand dunes blanketed with prairie grasses and wetlands. With its rich diversity of plants and wildlife, wide-open views and glorious sunsets, the Sandhills are a unique ecosystem covering a quarter of the state. Beyond its charms, the region serves critically important environmental and economic functions for the entire nation.

It’s hard to imagine this lush, tranquil landscape was once a barren wasteland of swirling sand and obscured sun. Read More


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