The Central Asian nation of Tajikistan has huge rivers. They begin atop some of the world's highest mountains and then flow west through the country's lush, green valleys. Yet for many Tajik families, getting enough water each day is still a struggle.
Faced with persistent drought and water-usage concerns, the city of Los Angeles is paying property owners to replace their grassy lawns with heartier plants, such as shrubs, trees, and perennials. The city's water utility is hoping to boost the successful program by raising its offer, to $2 a square foot from $1.50, reports member station KPCC.
America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.