Australia
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Expensive research and cleanup efforts make little headway.

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The water advisory group is a casualty of sharp cuts to the Commonwealth’s budget.

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California, in the third year of its worst drought ever, faces challenges similar to those of Australia. A panel of water policy experts and Circle of Blue journalists questioned whether the nation’s most populous state has the resolve to enact similar reforms.

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A new study finds that Australia’s groundwater contributes more to GDP than some industries.

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Learn more about the history of trading water in Australia’s three markets in this infographic.

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Limited water supplies and competing agricultural, environmental, industrial, and municipal interests challenge Australia’s water-trading system.

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Australia’s largest urban economy wants to build a parallel water system to deliver non-potable supplies.

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

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Soaring global demand for coal has transformed the Hunter Valley farming region — which also boasts some of Australia’s best wine valleys — into a global hydrocarbon center. Like many other farmers in the region, John Cruickshank has a hard time finding the labor force he needs to nurse his vines into wine since he cannot compete with the lucrative high salaries paid by the mining industry.

Farmers and small town residents grapple with the pressures of an unprecedented expansion in coal mining.

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Agriculture is the largest water user in Australia. Where do other sectors like mining, manufacturing, and household use fall?

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The scale and rapid development of the nation’s coal seam gas industry is changing the social fabric of the country’s small towns and farming regions, which have become protest centers.

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Rural culture and the industrial economy are at odds.

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After the 20-week public consultations ended last week, three key basin states have rejected the proposed plan, and more than 60 Australian academics have slammed the document for neglecting to include climate change projections and for its lack of transparency.

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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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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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As an energy boom, propelled by natural gas, continues to gather steam, mining and drilling companies square off with landowners around the globe over who has the right to resources that are located deep below ground.

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Climate change became a hot-button issue at a recent U.N. Security Council meeting.

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Wastewater Recycled for Drinking Water

On Australia’s western coast, the city of Perth is in critical danger of depleting the water reserves held by its dams. In response, the government is pumping treated wastewater into the Gnangara Mound Aquifer.

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