Environmental officials from the U.S. and Canada announced that they are about to sign a negotiated update to the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The document “addresses critical health issues in the Great Lakes region,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a news release.
The Egyptian government will spend $US 1.3 billion between now and June 2013 on water infrastructure projects, Zawya news reports. A newly created Egyptian ministry of “utilities, drinking water and sewerage” will allocate the money, and subsidiary groups will manage new projects and guide the completion of existing projects.
Receding Sea Ice
Arctic sea ice is still shrinking at record rates, the National Snow & Ice Data Center reports. Satellite observations pegged the sea ice extent below 1.54 million square miles — the lowest level measured since satellite observations began in 1979. The center reported that ice losses from abnormally high sea-surface temperatures were compounded by a cyclone in the region. The melt season usually ends in mid-September.
Broad Impacts from Deforestation
Dense rainforests capture at least twice as much rain as their thinned-out counterparts. That’s the major finding from a study published yesterday in the journal Nature, the International Business Times reports. The study also found that rain loss over deforested tropical areas affects the local ecosystem and starts a “ripple effect” that can mean less rainfall hundreds of miles away.
Water a Frequent Killer in the Congo
Cities in the Democratic Republic of Congo face a massive array of severe water challenges, the Inter Press Service reports. Few residents are connected to any regular water supply, and those that are receive only occasional service. Some city water utilities are forced to block unauthorized wells dug by local residents. Provincial water authorities said water-borne disease is on the rise.
Andrew Maddocks is a Washington, D.C–based correspondent for Circle of Blue. He graduated from DePauw University as a Media Fellow with a B.A. in Conflict Studies. He co-writes The Stream, a daily summary of global water news.
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