The Stream

Africa Ethiopia decided not to accept financial help from Egypt for funding the Grand Renaissance dam on the Nile River, Reuters reported. The decision gives Ethiopia complete control over the controversial hydropower project, which Egypt has opposed due to concerns about water availability downstream. Seismic testing for oil is slated to begin April 26 in […]

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India’s government is predicting a normal monsoon season this year, with rains at 96 percent of a 50-year average, Bloomberg News reported. The possibility of an El Niño weather pattern forming this summer is not expected to affect the rains, though it has caused droughts in the past. China The quality of groundwater in China […]

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Water Contamination Cholera in Haiti’s waterways is a persistent and neglected crisis nearly four years after United Nations peacekeepers allegedly introduced the disease following the devastating 2010 earthquake, The New York Times reported. Clinics treating those affected by the disease have been closing, and large funding shortfalls are leaving communities without necessary water purification tablets […]

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Pollution Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and nickel are some of the most common pollutants contaminating approximately 19 percent of arable land in China, according to an official report, The Wall Street Journal reported. The contaminants are deposited in the soil by water and air, and some of the most polluted areas are in […]

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Extreme Weather Extreme flooding along the Madeira River in the Amazon basin, which killed 60 people and displaced 68,000 families this year, was the result of massive deforestation in Bolivia and Peru, according to a scientist who was previously the head of the Inter-American Development Bank environmental division, IPS reported. His assessment contradicts the views […]

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Weather and Water An El Niño weather pattern, in which surface water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator warms, is likely to develop this summer, according to the World Meteorological Organization and other prominent weather agencies, AlertNet reported. El Niño conditions are known for influencing extreme weather around the globe, such as flooding in […]

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China A startup program in China, initiated by the company behind the Taobao Marketplace, seeks to create a map of water quality across the country by allowing residents to purchase water quality testing kits and upload the results with their smartphones, Bloomberg News reported. The results will be aggregated in a map that the company’s […]

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Water Pollution Water utility officials in Lanzhou, China, found the carcinogenic substance benzene present at levels 20 times the national limit in the city’s water supply, Xinhua reported. Approximately 2.4 million residents of the city were told to stop drinking their tap water while authorities search for the source of the benzene, which they say […]

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South America An ongoing drought has raised the prospect of water rationing in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, Reuters reported. The city is home to 20 million people and will be one of the sites to host World Cup soccer games in June. Mining companies are slowing down their investments in Chile due to high […]

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Water Supply Reservoir levels outside of Tehran are at a “critical level” and approximately 500 cities across Iran are facing water shortages, according to water officials in the country, Voice of America reported. Officials said water cuts could be imposed for some of the 22 million people served by Tehran’s water supply if consumption is […]

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Water conservation has had an unintended consequence in Berlin, where groundwater levels are rising, the Economist reported. The water table, which has risen more than a meter since 1989 in some places, now threatens to flood basements and cellars in areas where approximately 200,000 people live. Water Infrastructure Mexico is directing nearly $US 23 billion […]

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Water Governance Argentina plans to cut subsidies for natural gas and water by 20 percent this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The cuts, which exempt some industrial and residential users, are meant to save as much as $US 1.6 billion to fund utility costs and social programs. A draft law in Spain could require […]

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Only 25 percent of people in South Asia have access to piped water supplies and more than a quarter lack access to electricity due to large gaps in infrastructure, according to the World Bank, Reuters reported. The Bank has estimated that the region needs $US 2.5 trillion in investment by 2020 to provide necessary services […]

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Water Data Farmers and water managers in Nepal are lacking adequate scientific data to make informed decisions about everything from local development to crop insurance, Inter Press Service reported. Nepal’s difficult terrain and sparse monitoring networks are one reason behind the data deficiency, but scientists also say that available data is not analyzed properly. Surveyors […]

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Climate Change Climate change is no longer a potential problem, but one that is happening right now, says a new report from the International Panel on Climate Change created by dozens of leading scientists, The New York Times reported. The report outlined how climate change effects on businesses, food security and public health will worsen, […]

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Climate Change Bangladesh is likely to be one of the countries hardest hit by global climate change as rising seas, erosion and intense storms threaten its low-lying river deltas, The New York Times reported. A major problem is saltwater intrusion up freshwater rivers, which makes some farm fields unusable. Some countries, including Britain, are discounting […]

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Scientists have called into question the viability of wetland ecosystems recreated on land used for oil sands mining in Canada, saying they do not function as well as before, Yale Environment 360 reported. None of the areas reclaimed by oil companies have yet been certified as meeting government standards, and reclamation efforts can cost as […]

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Water Supply Impoverished neighborhoods and a refugee camp east of security barriers in Jerusalem have dealt with very little water service for the past three weeks, according to a petition submitted to the High Court by Israel’s Association for Civil Rights, the Jerusalem Post reported. Water infrastructure in these areas has been neglected, according to […]

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Pollution Oil spilled into southern Lake Michigan Monday from a BP refinery in Indiana that was updated last year to accommodate an increasing amount of crude oil coming from Canada’s tar sands, Reuters reported. Lake Michigan is currently 60 percent covered in ice, and the company has not yet said how much oil was leaked. […]

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Asia Vast fires in Indonesia have started earlier in the season than usual and are spreading widely, in part due to a severe drought gripping Southeast Asia, the Guardian reported. The fires, which may have been started illegally to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations, are creating hazardous air pollution in cities like […]

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