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  • PHILLIPS, Calif., April 1- California Governor Jerry Brown, in his most sweeping action to combat a devastating multi-year drought, ordered residents and businesses on Wednesday to cut water use by 25 percent in the first mandatory statewide reduction in California history. The move comes as California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the...

  • PHILLIPS, Calif., April 1- California farmers, already hit by reductions in the amount of water they can buy for irrigation, will not be held to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's order on Wednesday for a 25 percent reduction in water use in the state's prolonged drought.

  • AGRICULTURE NOT SUBJECT TO THE 25 PERCENT REDUCTION OF WATER USE ORDERED BY CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR BROWN- STATE.

  • 'Dry wine': The plight of California grape growers Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 3:32 PM ET
    A winery's vineyard irrigation system provides moisture to grapevines on March 17, 2015, near Los Alamos, California.

    A tipping point may be coming. A crowded marketplace was already pressuring winemakers to cut prices. Now, the drought is pushing up costs.

  • California imposes mandatory water restrictions Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 2:51 PM ET
    Men walk past a bench with a sign telling people to only water their lawns three times a week, March 24, 2015, in Los Angeles.

    Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order slashing water use by 25 percent to deal with a drought that just won't quit. NBC News reports.

  • SACRAMENTO, April 1- California Governor Jerry Brown, acting as the state enters the fourth year of a record-breaking drought, on Wednesday ordered a mandatory 25 percent reduction in water usage for cities and towns. Brown said the move, which comes as California reports its lowest snowpack levels on record and is a first of its kind in California, would save some...

  • UPDATE 1-Germany sets very high bar for fracking Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 7:26 AM ET

    *Opposition to fracking strong in Germany. Opposition is strong in densely populated Germany due to concerns about the risk of contaminating drinking water. Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said the new law would set Germany's strictest conditions for fracking.

  • German cabinet imposes high barriers for fracking Wednesday, 1 Apr 2015 | 4:57 AM ET

    BERLIN, April 1- German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet signed off on a draft law on Wednesday that imposes an effective ban on the controversial technique of fracking for shale gas. Opposition is strong in densely-populated Germany due to concerns about the contamination of drinking water. The new law will allow fracking for deep-lying or "tight" gas, a...

  • Investing in the world's water crisis: Ex-NFL star Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 1:17 PM ET
    Water faucet tap

    The world is facing a serious water crisis. Former NFL star Jack Brewer highlights a couple of companies investing in solutions.

  • India turns to 'satellite god' for crop mapping Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 5:00 PM ET

    NEW DELHI, March 27- Sher Singh, a farmer from India's desert state of Rajasthan, prays to Varuna, the Hindu god of water, for a bountiful harvest. Now, he is also looking to the heavens for satellite imaging to boost his crop. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to promote a "per drop, more crop" approach to farming to make better use of scarce water, and aims to have a new...

  • BEIJING, March 23- China will no longer chase bumper grain harvests and instead make safer foods a priority and boost imports as it bids to tackle its rural environmental problems, government officials said. He said China had recently published its sustainable development plan for agriculture, which will cap water use as well as reduce the use of chemical...

  • U.S unveils new rules to for fracking on federal lands Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 12:03 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 20- The U.S. Department of Interior said on Friday it finalized new rules to govern drilling on federal land using a process known as fracking, including new measures to protect groundwater. The rules, the culmination of a four-year process, will affect over 100,000 oil and gas wells on federally managed lands, 90 percent of which use the...

  • PORT VILA/ SYDNEY, March 19- Villagers in Vanuatu buried food and fresh water as one of the strongest storms on record bore down on them, fleeing to churches, schools and even coconut drying kilns as 300 kph winds and massive seas tore their flimsy houses to the ground. Despite reports of utter devastation six days after Cyclone Pam pummelled the impoverished South...

  • California farmers: Selling water makes more money Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 10:32 AM ET
    Irrigation water runs along a dried-up ditch between the rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif.

    In drought-stricken California, farmers make more selling water than rice. NBC News reports.

  • BEIJING, March 18- China will pursue "active" fiscal policy and make "flexible" use of its monetary policy tools to keep its economy growing at a reasonable speed, the Chinese cabinet said on Wednesday. In its latest attempt to relieve concerns about China's cooling economy, the State Council said it would increase "targeted" adjustments to policies to support the...

  • *Experts say Kenya needs bigger, irrigated plantations. MUMIAS, Kenya, March 18- In the sugar cane fields of western Kenya, farmers complain that falling prices mean they can barely make ends meet. With much of the production coming from small rain-fed plots rather than large irrigated plantations, costs are much higher than Kenya's competitors.

  • BEIJING, Feb 25- China is expanding an income-tax break to help more companies and will speed construction of water projects, the cabinet said on Wednesday, as it boosts fiscal support for a cooling economy. A scheme to discount corporate tax rates by a fifth will be widened to cover firms with annual taxable income of 200,000 yuan, the State Council said in an...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 23- A cleanup was continuing in the Kanawha River in West Virginia on Sunday after an oil spill last week following the derailment of a CSX Corp train, though drinking water was not affected, the company and federal officials said. Twenty seven of the train's 109 cars carrying 3.1 million gallons of crude oil from North Dakota to Virginia came off the...

  • Brazil finally gets some rain, but rationing still looms Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 | 10:59 AM ET

    A cold front along Brazil's southeastern coast near the two principal cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro brought heavy rains on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to most of the region and the neighboring center-west, home to much of the country's farm belt. Water levels in reservoirs run by Sabesp, which manages most water and sewage services in the state of Sao Paulo,...

  • Water, air quality fears conflict with pig farms Monday, 16 Feb 2015 | 10:19 AM ET

    Modern meat production has proven to be efficient and profitable, but comes with its own set of problems.