Africa
NASABrazilAgriculture

A new study from the World Resources Institute shows the connection between crops and water scarcity.

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Black Volta River

Though three more ratifications are needed before the UN Watercourses Convention has the force of international law, advocates assert that four countries are close: Ireland, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

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Blue_Nile_Falls_Ethiopia-banner

The dust of Egypt’s leadership transition has barely begun to settle, and already the new government is working to forestall any loss in supply or access to the Nile’s waters. Meanwhile, Ethiopia continues upstream with one of the largest hydropower projects in the world.

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infographic: Wealth of the Nile

Controversy over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will become the largest dam in Africa when it is completed in 2017, stems from a long history of disputes along the Nile River’s 10 countries.

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Photographer Norbert Schiller on the Nile River Basin

In reporting on the Nile River Basin, Circle of Blue spoke with Norbert Schiller, a journalist and photographer with more than 25 years of experience covering the Middle East and Africa. He is currently a columnist for Mint Press News.

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rice-field

Growing agricultural sectors pose problems for water management and ecosystems.

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Malawi Jerry Can Ned Breslin

It’s not about access, it’s about whether water flows.

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Kenya M-PESA

Five percent of mobile phones in Kenya have been deactivated this month, but what might it mean for water users and water providers who are connected by cellular technology and economic infrastructure?

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Food Shortages Loom Again in Somalia, But Refugees Can’t Escape Water Crisis

Poor rains have led to crop failures in Somalia, and the threat of food price increases could push parts of the country back into famine. Meanwhile, there is little relief for those who fled to neighboring Kenya, as the refugee camps there are facing water shortages.

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Land Grabs, Agriculture, Agriculture as an Investment, Farmland Investment

GRAIN’s online database is the foundation for much of what the world knows about foreign investments in land. Though the majority of “land grabs” are for agribusiness, other sectors include construction, finance, industry, real estate, and more.

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gold2

Water supplies remain key to the global boom in gold mining, driven by high demand and near-record prices.

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famine

Although a repeat famine is unlikely, the situation in East Africa remains dire despite recent rains.

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ned-breslin

Sometimes, all it takes is a little outside-the-box thinking to make a difference, as Ned Breslin describes of a recent trip to Rwanda’s capitol.

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Chicago Spearheads $7 Billion Plan to Fix Its Crumbling Infrastructure

From expanding its largest airport to replacing century-old water pipes, Chicago introduces an ambitious construction plan that will be partly financed with public-private partnerships.

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alt

We need a mind shift this World Water Day; a transformation in how we think about and the approach we take to getting the message out to the world about water on this one day. And the shift is long overdue.

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Sahel drought

An estimated 10 million people are struggling with growing food shortages in Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, which have all declared emergencies and appealed for international assistance. Aid agencies and governments are now bracing to reach remote communities before the situation deteriorates into a famine.

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NASA Satellite image of Lake Poyang

Urban waste and falling water levels signaled a rough start to 2012 for some of the world’s largest and most iconic freshwater lakes.

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Mozambique Guitar Hero

One of my best friends fell victim to polio as a child, as he describes in this Frontline story from PBS.

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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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Adding pressure to already strained budgets, the price of food is expected to remain high and quite volatile on the heels of this year’s extreme floods and droughts. Though price increases are occurring globally, they are hitting hardest in the developing world.

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