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Choke Point: India - The Leopard in the Well

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The Daily Stream

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April 24: Mine Projects in Andes Could Threaten Water Supplies

Mining
Large gold mining projects proposed for the Colombian Andes pose threats to unique páramo ecosystems, and subsequently water supplies for the country’s capital and other cities, Yale Environment 360 reported. Mining directly in the páramo is banned in Colombia, but conservationists worry that mining nearby could cause cyanide contamination of water supplies.

Global mining company Rio Tinto has offered communities little commitment to rehabilitate the Ranger uranium mine in Australia’s Kakadu national park, saying that responsibility fell to its local subsidiary Energy Resources of Australia, the Guardian reported. Local residents are worried that ERA may not have enough money to clean up the site, and are concerned about the effects of a slurry spill last December that is currently being investigated for possible groundwater contamination.

West Virginia Chemical Spill

Approximately 227,000 liters (60,000 gallons) of contaminated water from West Virginia’s January chemical spill near Charleston is now destined for disposal in Ohio injection wells, Gizmodo reported. The injection wells are located in Vickery, Ohio, about 400 miles from Charleston.

Extreme Weather
Sri Lanka may be heading for a drought as upcoming monsoon rains may not be enough to break a period of dry weather, according to some experts, AlertNet reported. Forecasters at the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum have warned that, as El Nino conditions strengthen, monsoon rains in South Asia may be reduced.

Businesses around the world must address climate change now as a matter of survival, not just sustainability, argues Amy Larkin, former director of Greenpeace Solutions, in a column for the Guardian. She points to increasingly extreme weather as evidence of the economic costs of climate change, and says there is no longer time for small steps.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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Water News

Newest Article

Jolted by Reality, Colorado River Water Managers Plan for Persistent Drought

Unprepared for more years of drought, basin states work to preserve Lake Powell.

Following EPA Action, Rio Tinto Exits Alaska Pebble Mine Project

U.S. agency moves to restrict development in Bristol Bay watershed.

California Drought Plan Is a Roadmap for a Perilous Year

A landmark management plan brings together state and federal agencies to prioritize human health, water quality, and fish.

Cause of Lake Erie’s Harmful Algal Blooms Gains More Certainty

New research finds that agricultural practices lead to biggest threat to water quality and health in the Great Lakes.

Partnership Agreement Saves Canada’s Renowned Lake Laboratory

A legendary freshwater research facility in western Ontario has a new operator.

Uttarakhand’s Furious Himalayan Flood Could Bury India’s Hydropower Program

A treacherous mountain range unleashes a torrent of water, mud, and boulders that was long anticipated and willfully ignored.

As Snow Survey Reveals Drought Deficit, Californians Take Extraordinary Measures to Cope

Sierra Nevada snowpack, a major part of California’s water supply equation, is near record lows.

Study: Global Warming Will Harm Agriculture Sooner Than Previously Thought

Increased heat and water scarcity will limit food production. Farmers and food markets can adapt, but only to a point.

Q & A: Julene Bair, Author of The Ogallala Road

Fancy machinery and irrigation systems that pull millions of gallons per day from the nation’s largest aquifer have transformed the High Plains. But at what cost? Circle of Blue’s Brett Walton spoke with Julene Bair, author of The Ogallala Road, a memoir of a life shaped by land and water.

UN Report: Water and Energy Face Off on an Uneven Playing Field

To meet rising demands for both resources, greater harmony will be necessary.

‘Transformational’ Water Reforms, Though Wrenching, Helped Australia Endure Historic Drought, Experts Say

California, in the third year of its worst drought ever, faces challenges similar to those of Australia. A panel of water policy experts and Circle of Blue journalists questioned whether the nation’s most populous state has the resolve to enact similar reforms.

Choke Point: Index and Qlikview Interactive Dashboard.

Like a human pulse, reservoirs are the most obvious indicator of a water supply system’s health. Qlik and Circle of Blue’s interactive dashboard shows both current conditions and historical trends for major reservoirs in Australia and California.

Californians, In a Departure, Appear Ready to Support Big Water Spending to Respond to Drought

State leaders face infrastructure decisions now that will have consequences for decades.

California Drought: Lessons from Australia’s Biggest Dry

How should California respond to its water challenge? Join the Conversation

President Obama Signs Bill to Continue Funding National Drought Warning System

The National Integrated Drought Information System puts federal data in the hands of farmers, state officials, and businesses.

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In The Circle: Fresh Focus

Newest Article

California’s San Joaquin River Is Nation’s Most Endangered in 2014, Conservation Group Says

Regardless of drought, the San Joaquin faces key decisions this year, according to American Rivers.

Australian State Considers Selling Its Biggest Water Assets, Built During Drought Panic

Queensland’s rush to build desalination and recycled water facilities is a cautionary tale.

Warnings — They Are So Easy To Ignore

An American landslide as a global metaphor.

California Mountain Snowpack Likely to Receive a Failing Mark Tomorrow

Rain and snow are falling today, but the winter of 2013-14 was historically hot and dry.

Rooted in the Land, One Kansas Rancher Manages the Ecosystem as a Whole

Sunlight, soil, water, ruminants – it is all a big cycle at the Homestead Ranch.

This Is India — TII

A correspondent’s thoughts on food, wildlife, transport, and politics.

Snow Fail

California’s drought is a preview of the latter half of the 21st century.

Choke Point: Meghalaya’s “Swiss-Cheesed” Hills, Increasing Violence a Stark Reminder of Cost of Coal

To the best of anyone’s knowledge – and that includes a tribunal of senior jurists who heard testimony in the state capitol, Shillong, on January 24 – 15 men drowned in a coal mine in Meghalaya’s mineral-rich Garo Hills on July 6, 2012.

Pete Seeger’s Lifetime of Water Songs

An unstoppable force of American folk culture, Pete performed at Croton Point, New York, at 87 years old in June 2006. <

Abu Dhabi Slowly Pursues Water-Conserving, Renewable Energy Path

A plan for when fuel runs out.

#1 in Top 50 Water Blogs of 2013

Did you see that Circle of Blue was ranked #1 in the "content excellence" category on the list of Top 50 Water Blogs of 2013?

As We Use More Water, Consume More Energy and Grain, The Earth Is Pushing Back Hard

PRAGUE -- City Square erupted at the start of the 2014 New Year with a deafening and blazing midnight fusilade of rockets and cannon blasts.

California’s Historically Dry 2013 Redefines Drought

Even the soggy parts of California saw less rain than Phoenix.

Texas A&M University Unveils North American Soil Moisture Database

The database is one step toward better information about the water held in soils.

Torrent of Water and Questions Pour From India’s Himalayas

One year later, Circle of Blue's senior editor Keith Schneider returns to India for our second round of reporting on water, food, energy problems in the region.

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Action Figures

Newest Article

Azzam Alwash

Can war end in environmental rejuvenation? It did for Iraq’s Mesopotamian Marshlands, believed by many to be the Biblical Garden of Eden. The marshes — straddled between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that wind their way from Turkey’s eastern mountains through the desert plains of the Middle East — were systematically destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s […]

Dennis Nelson

Dennis Nelson grew up on his family’s North Dakota farm, where the groundwater well barely supplied their basic needs. As a child, he didn’t know why the water was scarce when their land was surrounded by wetlands, or “prairie potholes,” as he calls them. “I simply couldn’t make the connection at a young age about […]

Stacey Travis

For more than 15 years, Stacey Travis was a television producer for networks like FOX, A&E, and AMC. Until, that is, she drastically switched careers in 2006, when doctors in Uganda and South Sudan told her about the water-related illnesses that plague these nations. Travis felt compelled to help and soon after founded Drop In […]

Ajay Krishnan

Can something be made of nothing? According to the research of 16-year-old Ajay Krishnan, the answer is yes. A research enthusiast since the sixth grade, Krishnan — now a junior at Oregon Episcopal School — found a way to produce hydrogen gas from wastewater utilizing microbial electrolysis cells. For his work in renewable energy, Krishnan […]

Rose George

While working as an editor and writer at COLORS Magazine, Rose George was assigned to work on Cacas, a coffee table book featuring photographs of animal and human feces, for which “caca” is slang. Through the project, she discovered Sulabh International, an organization in India that provides public toilets and works to liberate those whose […]

Peter Thum

Wine turned Peter Thum to water. While working on a project in South Africa involving two wineries, Thum saw the difficulties that many people experienced just trying to get clean water every day. “I did a bit of research and began to see the size and magnitude of this problem,” he says. So he decided […]

Vessela Monta

“We cannot say that rain is not interesting just because we can dig wells,” says Vessela Monta, a civil engineer by trade who began working with the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) in 2002. Some resources — like the availability of harvestable rainwater — get forgotten when discussing sustainability, but not to Monta. She points […]

Isabella Bovolo

Guyana means “land of many waters” in a native Amerindian language, but it also houses one of the most pristine rainforests left in existence, the Iwokrama. In 1996, Guyana and the Commonwealth of Nations established an organization of the same name. According to Iwokrama resident scientist Isabella Bovolo, the organization aims to fill large data […]

David Breashears

In 2007, from 5,600 meters atop the north side of Mount Everest, explorer David Breashears recalls how he was “astonished” by what he saw and “shocked” that he hadn’t been more aware of the state of this Tibetan glacier. Breashears was on a comparative photography assignment to match a photo from 1921 with the modern […]

Erin Huber

Erin Huber grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, near the Great Lakes, where clean fresh water is abundant and tap water is sometimes taken for granted. As a humanitarian and an environmentalist, Huber spearheaded rooftop gardens and farmers’ markets, but eventually honed her focus to water. Huber founded the Drink Local Drink Tap (DLDT) campaign in […]

Rohini Nilekani

Rohini Nilekani began her career as a journalist and writer. But upon marrying Nadan Nilekani — co-founder of the Indian tech-consulting firm Infosys — and coming into some money, she sought a cause to support financially. “I was looking for an area that would make sense to me and that would also have some kind […]

Chris Groves

Dr. Chris Groves spends a lot of his time going underground into caves carved by eons of water flow. Once a boy with an interest in rocks, today Groves is a world-renowned cave and limestone karst expert who directs the Hoffman Environmental Research Institute at Western Kentucky University. “It was the only practical way to […]

Lori Pottinger

Lori Pottinger advocates for rural communities that are at risk of being displaced by dam construction. She says that residents are not always aware of the extent of cultural and lifestyle adjustments they will have to make — or the option of resisting development. “They’re giving their all, and then they’re getting nothing from these […]

Kunal Sangani

Innovation started early for incoming Stanford University freshman Kunal Sangani. At just 17, he was named the U.S. finalist for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize for his project about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”). A native of Syracuse, New York, where intense discussion about fracking led to a moratorium on […]

Ed Wargin

Ed Wargin set out almost 17 years ago to document the Great Lakes, and he’s almost finished. The Fresh Coast Project is an effort to document the Great Lakes as a single unit. “I have felt through the years that we needed a solitary type of message, that we needed to look at the Great […]

Ned Breslin

Ned Breslin is the CEO at Water For People, a nonprofit that implements drinking water solutions in 11 countries.
  •    More Ned Breslin

  • Peter Gleick

    Dr. Peter Gleick is president of the Pacific Institute, an internationally recognized water expert, and a MacArthur Fellow.
  •    More Peter Gleick

  • James Workman

    James Workman is an award-winning journalist and has served as an environmental consultant to U.S.-cabinet members.
  •    More James Workman

  • US Drought Monitor US Drought Outlook
    The U.S. Drought Monitor and Seasonal Outlook report the most current drought conditions and forecast, courtesy of NOAA, et al.

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