Does efficient irrigation technology preserve groundwater? A new GAO report says the answer is probably no.

Note: This story is embargoed for republication until Nov. 24, 2019

Efficient irrigation may produce more crops, but it doesn’t appear to preserve groundwater, according to a federal report released this week. Decades of irrigation has already depleted aquifers that many irrigated farms rely on, according to the report from the Government Accountability Office, and efficient systems appear to not help. Minus a few exceptions, GAO researchers found “there is no change in the amount of water farmers apply to a field with more efficient technology,” according to the Nov. 12 report.

#AgAlerts: Water: unaffordable; contaminated; flooding results

A new report finds nearly half the residents of Martin County, Kentucky, cannot afford water service. Local activists with the Martin County Concerned Citizens are ringing alarm bells about water affordability as the beleaguered county faces another likely water rate increase in the coming months.

EPA roiling the U.S. waters

In March, the EPA issued a proposed rule to define what is considered a water body under its jurisdiction. Since then, farmers throughout the Midwest have expressed concern over the rule. Some have even claimed it could drastically change the way farmers run their businesses.

In Wisconsin’s karst area, even good farming may pollute groundwater

Two new studies of private well water in Kewaunee County, Wis., have linked contamination to fertilizer, livestock manure and human waste — laying bare a situation that county conservationist Andy Wallander, after 25 years on the job, can sum up in a sentence.