The Stream

U.S. Water Infrastructure The U.S. federal judge overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy will not impose a requested 6-month moratorium on water shutoffs for city residents who are behind on their water bills, The Detroit News reported. Judge Steven Rhodes said there is no law guaranteeing residents a right to water service, and called the water shutoff plan […]

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Water, Energy, Food Rising demand for trains and trucks to transport materials for the booming U.S. oil and gas industry is pushing more shipments of grain onto the nation’s river barges, Reuters reported. Record corn and soybean crops this fall are expected to further strain the river transport network, which is already under stress from […]

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Water Shortages Water levels in the primary reservoirs that supply Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, have reached just 7.6 percent of capacity—worse than before the city’s utility tapped the “dead” water volume at the bottom of the reservoirs in May, Bloomberg News reported. The city is now turning to the very last level of water […]

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Pollution Emissions of pollutants in China’s waterways, including nitrogen and organic pollutants, have already declined by slightly more than the 2 percent goal set by the government in 2014, Reuters reported, citing government officials. China is also considering an additional $US 326 billion plan to clean up wastewater and restore its lakes and rivers. Drought […]

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Africa A national plan to increase Morocco’s water resources by 5 billion cubic meters by 2030 will cost the country $US 27 billion, a price it is hoping to cover primarily with investments from the private sector, Bloomberg News reported. The investment is designed to maintain current per capita water availability as the country’s population […]

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Pollution The Buenavista copper mine in northern Mexico has spilled toxic waste into the Sonora River basin for the second time in two months, prompting the government to warn nearby residents not to use the water, the Associated Press reported. The mine is already facing a cost of $US 151 million to clean up a […]

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Natural Disasters Water levels rose as much as 3 meters in areas of Manila as rains from tropical storm Mario flooded the Philippine capital, The New York Times reported. More than 500,000 people were evacuated from the city while schools, offices, transportation and electricity closed down. Emergency supplies of bottled water are being shipped into […]

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Water Supply As water supplies continue to decline in Tehran, Iran is spending $US 11 million to complete a new water treatment plant and mulling a plan to import water from Tajikistan, Bloomberg News reported. Officials are also considering stricter measures to get residents to reduce water consumption, which is much higher in the capital […]

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Water Scarcity Shortages of water are hurting production at two major oil fields in southern Iraq, with one field citing water as a reason its output has declined 40 percent since last year, Reuters reported. Water scarcity in general threatens Iraq’s plans to grow its oil production capacity, which may rely on pumping seawater to […]

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Mining An international World Bank tribunal in Washington D.C. is hearing final arguments this week in a court case between El Salvador and Australian mining company OceanaGold, which is suing the country for not permitting a gold mine that El Salvador says will pollute waterways, Inter Press Service reported. OceanaGold is asking for more than […]

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Drought Vast clouds of water vapor that typically flow from the Amazon rainforest to southern Brazil failed last year, possibly causing the severe drought that is afflicting cities like Sao Paulo, Climate News Network reported. Scientists believe that deforestation in the Amazon basin and climate change are to blame for stopping the flow of water […]

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Infrastructure The British government has approved plans to develop a 25-kilometer “super sewer” in London on the River Thames, which will help stop as much as 30 million tons of raw sewage from overflowing into the river each year, Bloomberg News reported. The sewer is estimated to cost $US 6.5 billion, and construction could begin […]

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United States Approximately 90 percent of urban streams and 61 percent of rural streams in the United States contain levels of pesticides above thresholds that are considered safe for aquatic wildlife, though they are generally safe for humans, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Reuters reported. The percentage of contaminated urban streams […]

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Pollution Harmful tailings waste from the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia was found to be leaking into nearby rivers on September 4, more than a month after a tailings dam at the site burst and released billions of gallons of tailings, Reuters reported. The provincial government said the company has curbed the leaks now, […]

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United States A new regional water system will include Detroit and three counties, including Macomb, Oakland and Wayne, the Detroit Free Press reported. The new system, dubbed the Great Lakes Water Authority, is meant to ease the financial burdens on bankrupt Detroit, though water rates are set to increase for residents. The federal government announced […]

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India Both India and Pakistan have offered to assist each other after monsoon rains caused deadly floods in the Kashmir region, Reuters reported. The two countries have long been at odds over Kashmir, but the death of at least 239 people in the floods prompted cooperation. Unlicensed bottled water plants supply just as much water […]

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Water Dispute The Russian Republic of Dagestan has accused neighboring Azerbaijan of taking more than its allotted share of water from the Samur River, leaving Dagestan with inadequate supplies for irrigation, Radio Free Europe reported. Azerbaijan, however, says a persistent drought has resulted in falling water levels in the river. Africa Uganda’s National Water and […]

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Water Scarcity Water levels in the reservoir that supplies drinking water to most of Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, have fallen to just 9 percent of capacity and are below water supply pumps, Bloomberg News reported. The reservoir has been shrinking for the past two years, supplying one third of demand and prompting water rationing that cuts […]

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Pollution More than 300 applications for mining permits have been filed in 2014 in northern European countries including Finland, Norway and Sweden, representing a growing interest in the Arctic’s mineral resources, the Guardian reported. Environmental groups are concerned that mining waste will pollute the region’s pristine waterways, while social groups worry mining could cause cultural […]

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Climate Change Changing rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures could force a 40 percent increase in malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2050, according to a new report by the Nairobi-based Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, AlertNet reported. Almost 90 percent of small-scale farmers in the region rely on rainfall to grow crops to produce […]

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