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Choke Point: India - The Leopard in the Well
Energy
Rio + 20

Even before it started, the global freshwater crisis was a focus of the 10-day Rio+20 summit that ended on June 22. In fact, UN-Water hosted “Water Day” on June 19, the day before the three-day high level UN conference that culminated the summit

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The NRDC report contains statistics and predictions about renewable energy use in G20 countries.

The NRDC predicts that the G20 will produce less than 4 percent from renewables by 2015 and 6 percent by 2020, up from only 2.6 percent currently and 0.86 percent in 2002.

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An overview of Australia’s Hunter Valley, traditionally known for its vineyards but more recently as a hydrocarbon center.

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Push-back on the transportation of tar sands equipment through a wilderness corridor reflects civic resistance to North American fossil fuel boom.

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Australia Liverpool Plains Mullaley New South Wales farm farmers irrigation food production drought energy coal seam gas water supply

Rural culture and the industrial economy are at odds.

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Massive hydrocarbon production has created worries over water use and pollution as the “Down Under” nation rises to the top of global exporters.

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A coal loader eats away at a mountain of black coal at the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. In 2011, the mines, trains, and coal loading terminals here shipped about 114 million metric tons of coal on about 1,000 freighters, bringing billions of dollars in export earnings.

International demand and new technologies push nation to the top for hydrocarbon exports. But massive production has also created worries over water.

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Dr. Subir Bhattacharjee in his laboratory at the University of Alberta

Subir Bhattacharjee — a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and one of Canada’s top water quality experts — tells Circle of Blue about the water cycle of the tar sands while he attends a high-level conference in Alberta, Canada.

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The Eisenbarth Pad in Ohio near Keidash Point Park outside of Sardis Ohio, on Saturday, March 17, 2012.

With the price of natural gas falling thanks to innovating drilling solutions in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, investments in water-sipping energy models like wind and solar have dried up.

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Map: Major Hydropower in China

China is pushing its renewable energy agenda by investing in hydropower. By 2015, the Chinese government expects that its installed capacity from hydropower will amount to 300,000 megawatts, thus reducing the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

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The proposed pipeline could be approved on a much shorter timeline than was laid out by President Barack Obama, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday giving approval power for the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate has not yet considered the bill.

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The falling price of photovoltaic panels and public concerns about aquifers and rivers in the western United States are boosting solar energy technologies that save water.

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Solar array from Iberdrola Renewables

The U.S. government is in the process of designating more than 6,000 hectacres of federal land for solar energy development. As companies line up to submit projects, some valley residents are questioning the centralized model of energy generation and are, instead, trying to shape an independent energy future.

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In the era of deficit and disinvestment, water-intensive fossil fuel production is overwhelming the water-sipping clean energy sector.

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Tar Sands Map

However, the company building the pipeline will be invited to re-appl,y after finding a new route through Nebraska, according to a government official.

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China is on target to begin transferring water from the Yangtze River Basin to Hebei, Shandong, and Tianjin by 2013.

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Beach-70

Closing in on nearly two decades in court, this “David and Goliath” fight seems far from over. Plaintiffs contend that no amount of money can repair the damage to the environment and to the lives of the 30,000 who claim to have been affected, while the U.S. oil company has denounced the Ecuadorean court system […]

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Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Western Hemisphere, largely thanks to a new free-trade agreement with the U.S. and an ongoing $US 5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal. Slated for completion in 2014, the expansion will double the canal's capacity, which will reduce emissions, and the new system will recycle 60 percent of the water in each transit, along with an overall decrease of 7 percent less water than is used by the existing locks.

News headlines are often dominated by the big, unexpected events — BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, for example, or Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophes in 2011 — but some events come with advance warning. Here is a preview of the water news to look for in 2012.

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freshwater-use-by-pplants

Water-energy choke points in Texas serve as examples of a larger issue for the United States, as pointed out in a new report for the Energy and Water in a Warming World Initiative, spearheaded by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Water_for_Energy_Pacific_Institute_Nov_3_2011

At the forefront of a national trend, this region is already suffering from intense conflicts that willy only worsen with climate change and population growth. However, the report also highlights several ways to dramatically reduce the water requirements for electricity generation.

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