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Choke Point: India - The Leopard in the Well
Circle of Blue Reports
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A treacherous mountain range unleashes a torrent of water, mud, and boulders that was long anticipated and willfully ignored.

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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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Did you miss Circle of Blue’s reporting on how cleaning up the power sector – namely coal – and reducing energy demand would clear the air and provide water benefits? Not to worry; Brett Walton gives an update on the current smog situation and how a recent report may provide solutions.

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A new study finds that Australia’s groundwater contributes more to GDP than some industries.

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Mining boom in South Gobi influenced by local and global citizen activism

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Nation’s Ministry of Environment turns to Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum for help.

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Scientists estimate that 99 percent of methane hydrates are buried in seabed in deep water.

Though methane hydrate, a newly discovered unconventional natural gas reserve, is seen as an alternative to coal-fueled power, the technology for tapping deepwater supplies is not yet viable.

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Few places in the United States better understand the economically essential and ecologically risky accord between energy and water than this southeast Ohio town.

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The braided hard-packed dirt roads of Mongolia are a feature of the country's high steppes, the result of rain and mud forcing drivers to find alternative routes up and down long ridge slopes.

Paved roads are still a rarity in this country, which is larger than Alaska and where 1.2 million people – 40 percent of the resident population – earn their keep herding livestock.

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From outside the perimeter fence, the Oyu Tolgoi mine rises from the Gobi Desert in a wall of blue. Photo/Keith Schneider

Circle of Blue senior editor Keith Schneider wraps up his recent trip to Mongolia.

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A Chinese researcher reveals massive groundwater use at a coal-to-liquids plant in dry Inner Mongolia.

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Circle of Blue’s Keith Schneider reports from Beijing on discussions about China’s resource challenge.

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A huge country with a tiny population navigates the problems of modern development.

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Energy India Fusion Tables

Click through the interactive infographic to see how India, the world’s fastest-growing nation with the second-highest population, races to meet rising demand for energy.

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Mahanadi River India Chhattisgarh energy water shortage drought rainfall coal power plant river choke point circle of blue wilson center aubrey ann parker

Most abundant in Chhattisgarh and the neighboring eastern states of Jharkhand and Odisha, India’s coal belt cinches the nation round the middle, tapering off in its westward stretch to both the south and north.

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India Tilda Chhattisgarh irrigation canal system infrastructure agriculture farm farming farmer water food energy choke point circle of blue wilson center aubrey ann parker

Small-scale projects offer solutions to India’s water, food, and energy choke points. Still, India’s government seems determined to duplicate the frantic program of industrial development, economic growth, centralization, and one-size-fits-all silver bullets that China and the West are pursuing. The consequence is an endemic pattern of resource waste that is firmly embedded in India’s political system, causing economic and ecological havoc.

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The state aims to turn an old problem into an asset.

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Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, is the largest shipper of Canadian crude oil, built and operates the twin, 20-inch-diameter steel pipelines, about 1,000 feet apart, that cross the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan. The company's holdings include this tank farm in Edmonton, Alberta. Photo/Keith Schneider

A rally in St. Ignace on July 14 draws attention to the risks of ruptures and leaks when transporting fossil fuels through the Great Lakes.

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Despite the push for renewable energy alternatives to address water and climate concerns, India plans to keep coal as its primary source of electricity. But corruption, bureaucracy, slow environmental reviews, and inefficient transmission lines are hampering domestic production and causing unstable power supply.

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Marcellus shale drilling site

A Duke University study finds methane in drinking water wells, along with two additional gases associated only with shale gas extraction.

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