"The Ogallala Aquifer suffered its second-worst drop since at least 2000 in a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new measurements show."
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
"At least 51 people -- including at least 20 children -- were killed when a massive tornado struck an area outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon, officials said."
"HASKELL COUNTY, Kan. — Forty-nine years ago, Ashley Yost’s grandfather sank a well deep into a half-mile square of rich Kansas farmland. He struck an artery of water so prodigious that he could pump 1,600 gallons to the surface every minute."
"AUSTIN, Texas -- Six people have lost their lives and nearly 100 others were injured as tornadoes touched down in north-central Texas overnight. More than 100 homes were damaged or destroyed."
"Several hundred people have been evacuated from a section of Lubbock, Texas, after a leaking tank released a chemical that could turn into highly corrosive hydrochloric acid, the city's Fire Department said on Thursday."
"The resilient longhorn, able to survive on sparse foliage and water, has endured in Texas for more than 100 years. But the recent sale of about 100 longhorns by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has spurred debate about the breed’s future in the state."
"CONWAY, SC -- Pollution from a pair of coal ash ponds at Santee Cooper’s retired Grainger electric generating plant here has sparked another lawsuit – this one filed by The Southern Environmental Law Center, which alleges the state-owned utility is violating the federal Clean Water Act."
"HATCH, N.M. -- In southern New Mexico, the mighty Rio Grande has gone dry -- reduced to a sandy wash winding from this chile farming community to the nation's leading pecan-producing county. Only puddles remain, leaving gangs of carp to huddle together in a desperate effort to avoid the fate of thousands of freshwater clams, their shells empty and broken on the river bottom."
Seattle-based InvestigateWest published a feature package last summer documenting illegal parkland conversions in Michigan, New York City, and Oklahoma. They could not cover all the other states — that was left for you to do, with the assistance of their database of some 40,000 federal grants under the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
News stories about the April 17, 2013, explosion of a fertilizer storage plant in the town of West, Texas that killed 15 people have so far focused on the plant operator's risk-disclosure failure, instead of the likely fact that government agencies knew the nature and magnitude of the hazard — or should have known. The bigger story is the regulatory failure — and industry's decades-long campaign to keep the public ignorant of the threats they face. Photo: AP/LM Otero/Available through Creative Commons.