The Stream

Flooding in many coastal areas of the United States has increased since the 1950s, with some places now experiencing flooding once every three months compared to once every one to five years in the past, according to a new study released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Reuters reported. Flood frequency has increased at […]

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China Rules for pilot water trading markets in seven Chinese provinces will be approved by October, Reuters reported. The markets could improve water use efficiency in the country, but some experts have questioned their legality under Chinese law. India India is hoping to forge closer ties with Nepal by offering to help develop hydropower in […]

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India While some regions of India are mired in drought, the country’s eastern states are being inundated by monsoon rains, AlertNet reported. Floods have displaced 10,000 people in Odisha, where floodwaters from a major river washed into 30 communities. Agriculture A drought in Thailand and the closure of a government subsidy program for rice growers […]

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Rainfall has been far below average in Lebanon, leading to water shortages for farmers and a drop in fruit and vegetable production, Inter Press Service reported. As a result, food prices are rising and straining food security for Syrian refugees and border communities in the country. Energy China’s National Energy Administration cautioned regional developers to […]

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India A drought in northern India has prompted gangs of bandits to demand a daily payment of water from local communities, the Associated Press reported. The bandits said they would shoot community members if they failed to deliver 35 buckets of water each day. Delays and deficits of monsoon rainfall are drying up farm fields […]

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Agriculture More than half of the fertilizer applied to farmland globally is unnecessary, while 8 to 15 percent of the water used is wasted, according to a new study published in the journal Science, the Guardian reported. Better use of resources could help current farmland produce enough food to feed 3 billion more people, the […]

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Water Shortages India’s monsoon has so far delivered 36 percent less rain than average, and reservoir levels are below their 10-year averages, according to water officials, Bloomberg News reported. If the monsoon continues to perform poorly and dry conditions are compounded by an El Nino weather event, 333 million people in six states could face […]

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California Drought New rules passed in California Tuesday will impose up to $US 500 fines on residents caught wasting water on lawns, cars and sidewalks, NPR reported, citing the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times. Despite the severe, 3-year drought, residents in the state have not reached water conservation goals through voluntary measures alone. […]

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Israeli air strikes have damaged vital water and sewage infrastructure in Gaza, according to aid agencies, compounding problems stemming from fuel shortages that have led to 90 million liters of untreated wastewater being released in the Mediterranean each day, Reuters reported. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Tuesday that Gaza’s population will likely […]

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After a delayed arrival of the annual monsoon, farmers in northern India are shifting crops and preparing for drought, Business Standard reports. Though heavy rains fell on Sunday in northern India, seasonal precipitation is just 43 percent of normal, the worst since 2009. Hydroelectric power generation will also drop, more so in the south where […]

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Improvements to Delhi’s water supply system, assessments of canals that will link major rivers, solar pumps for irrigation wells, and a proposal to clean up the Ganges River are all included in the first budget from Narendra Modi, India’s newly elected prime minister. Of those initiatives, the Ganges garners the largest piece of the pie, […]

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Because California’s cities have not cut water use in line with recommendations during a historic drought, state regulators proposed a set of mandatory restrictions to curb excessive lawn watering, sidewalk spraying, and car washing, the Los Angeles Times reports. The water board will hold a hearing Tuesday to discuss the proposal. If adopted the rules […]

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Europe More cities in France are starting to return to public water supplies, pressuring private water firms that control 60 percent of the country’s water market, Reuters reported. The trend follows Paris’ decision to ditch its private water system five years ago, and is allowing cities to negotiate for better prices with their private suppliers […]

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Water Scarcity New research has quantified the amount of water being virtually exported from and imported to Chinese provinces, confirming that arid regions are sending huge amounts of water to more water-rich areas in the form of agricultural products, Reuters reported. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that this imbalance […]

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Water Scarcity A growing population and Egypt’s food subsidy programs are pushing farmers to grow more wheat, but land and water constraints will likely mean that imports of the staple crop will increase, Reuters reported. Agriculture accounts for the use of 85 percent of Egypt’s water supply, the vast majority of which comes from the […]

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California Drought As much as 1,150 megawatts of energy production could shut down if water supplies for power plants in drought-hit California are not secured, according to the state’s grid operator, Bloomberg News reported. Several of the state’s energy agencies have warned that the drought could threaten grid reliability, though current restrictions on water use […]

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Pacific The island nation of Kiribati became the first country to purchase land outside of its own territory in response to climate change, buying 20 square kilometers on an island in Fiji, the Guardian reported. Due to rising sea levels—which in some areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans are increasing 1.2 centimeters a year—Kiribati […]

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Water Scarcity Agricultural diversions, dams and climate change have led to the loss of 85 percent of the water in Lake Urmia, a lake that once covered 5,000 square kilometers, Bloomberg News reported. Iran’s president said the country is initiating efforts to restore the lake, which are expected to take 10 to 15 years to […]

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Satisfaction rates with local water quality have stayed consistent for the past five years, with 71 percent of people surveyed worldwide saying that they were satisfied in 2013, according to a newly released Gallup poll. One area of the world where satisfaction rates have not improved is sub-Saharan Africa, where only 50 percent of respondents […]

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Energy Chile’s president has reiterated her commitment to boosting the country’s energy supplies, including the addition of 865 megawatts of generation capacity from large-scale hydropower projects in the next four years, Reuters reported. However, the permit for Chile’s largest hydropower project was recently cancelled due to environmental and societal concerns. In reaction to a large […]

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