February, 2011

Desert Energy Development Eagle Crest Energy is developing a 1,300-megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric project in southern California, south of Joshua Tree National Park. Sited at a decommissioned iron mine, the facility’s tiered reservoirs will help integrate nearby wind and solar power into the electrical grid. Water to fill the reservoirs will come from groundwater conveyed […]

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California’s water is on the brink of a catastrophe, according to a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California. The state is running out of cheap, new water sources, struggling to rein in pollution from agricultural runoff, and piggybacking on a fragmented system of hundreds of local and regional agencies in charge of […]

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In a desperate attempt to make it easier to solve California’s complex and contentious water problems, a dangerous new idea has recently been floated — intentionally letting some species go extinct rather than take the difficult steps needed to save them and their ecosystems. This idea should be quashed, smothered, strangled, and quickly tossed in […]

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South Africa has pledged $168 million to clean the toxic water that threatens to spill out from derelict gold mines under Johannesburg, Reuters reports. It plans to immediately start building pumping, treatment and monitoring stations that would begin operations by March 2012, or just a few months before the acid water is expected to reach […]

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Will Europe replicate the shale gas boom in the United States? It’s far too early to know, experts say, but exploratory drilling is already under way in Britain, Germany and Poland. Others, like France, are holding off exploration until further environmental studies. South Korea proposed a “climate vulnerability” index to judge which developing countries are […]

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Wind generating capacity in China has reached more than 42 GW—the most of any country.

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Some 50 million environmental refugees will flood the global north by 2020, as they escape from food shortages and other climate-induced disasters, according to experts at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Southern Europe might see a strong wave of migrants from Africa and the Middle East, where food […]

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The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan highlights “Choke Point: China” in The Daily Dish. “The story has some amazing stats,” Sullivan notes.

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Investing 2 percent, or roughly $1.3 trillion, of the global gross domestic product in 10 sectors, including agriculture, energy, construction and fishing, could shift the world to a greener future while simultaneously expanding the global economy at its current rate, a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme says. The measures will reduce greenhouse […]

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Clean alternatives help, but not nearly enough, to loosen energy-water choke point

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Visualizing.org, the global open data visualization platform created by Seed Media Group and GE, opened its World Water Day data visualization challenge today in collaboration with Circle of Blue, the leading news organization reporting on global water challenges.  The challenge calls on designers, data experts, and visualizers to tap into the world’s stream of water data to create visualizations specifically on the topic of urban water.

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How is water affected by illegal waste exports from the United Kingdom to the developing world? The U.K. Environment Agency is pursuing in court 30 cases of illegal exports of electrical and household waste — as well as tyres — to West Africa and South East Asia, which have dire consequences for public health and […]

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Rising food prices have already pushed 44 million people in developing countries into poverty since last June, and are likely to hit Africa hard in the short term, the World Bank said earlier this week. But some experts argue that growing world consumption will also spark agribusiness investment, especially in Africa, according to The Christian […]

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Climate change made the floods that inundated England and Wales in 2000 between two and three times more likely to happen, according to a new study that promises to break ground in climate science, the Guardian reports. The findings suggest that experts can now not only trace the role of climate change in causing weather […]

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Singapore is the green champion among Asia’s cities, according to the Asian Green City Index. Singapore scored highest in wastewater treatment, mainly thanks to its NEWater project, which turns dirty water into a clean resource for drinking and industry through micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultra-violet technology. Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo and Yokohama trail […]

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Elizabeth Economy writes for the Council on Foreign Relations: While China’s economy continues to grab headlines, a new report, “Choke Point: China,” suggests that we ought to be spending a bit more time on an often-ignored economic fundamental: water. China’s environment has been a long-standing passion of mine, both as a research focus and as […]

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Greenwire gives details on the highs and lows of President Barack Obama’s EPA budget proposal. Under the plan, EPA would take a 12.6 percent funding cut, or $1 billion less, than fiscal year 2011, including a slash in money for local and state water projects. Deep cuts are also planned for the Great Lakes Restoration […]

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An escalating confrontation over resources; a confrontation with global implications.

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A gallery of images from Choke Point: China, a new water-energy series about the tightening noose that could choke off China’s modernization.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has joined forces with NASA to study the “rivers in the sky,” the narrow regions in the Earth’s atmosphere that transport enormous amounts of water vapor, sometimes enough to flood an area the size of Maryland 1 foot (0.3 meters) deep. Can water become a player in Afghanistan’s stability? […]

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