Agriculture

Water Access North America, Middle East, Africa Two experts from the United Nations found that water shutoffs to Detroit residents unable to pay their water bills are a violation of human rights, the U.N. News Centre reported. The experts visited the city over the weekend, where as many as 3,000 water customers are being disconnected […]

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Water Infrastructure Australia, Asia, Africa, Middle East Australia is planning to build more dams and invest in as many as 30 irrigation schemes to provide more water for agricultural production, Reuters reported, citing a new government paper. Per capita water availability from the country’s existing dams has declined more than 20 percent since 1980. As […]

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to regulate drinking water supplies for strontium, a naturally occurring metal that affects bone development. As many as 10 million Americans are supplied by water systems, particularly those using groundwater, in which strontium levels may cause health problems, according to the agency’s analysis. Draft standards for allowable […]

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Law The construction of a BP oil pipeline in Colombia caused serious damage to water supplies and fields, according to more than 100 farmers who are suing the oil company in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported. The lawsuit is one of the largest environmental cases in UK history. A dispute over water rights between […]

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Water Supply The overuse of groundwater in India is creating tensions between farmers and businesses, adding to the urgency of developing a better management system, Bloomberg News reported. For example, farmers in Uttar Pradesh say that a nearby Coca Cola plant has drawn down groundwater reserves so far that they are repeatedly forced to dig […]

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Protesters in Ireland tried to stop officials from installing water meters as the country began charging residents for water for the first time since 1997, Bloomberg News reported. Customers are expected to pay an average of $US 299 for water each year, but bills will not start until January 2015. Pollution The construction of a […]

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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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Last month, the White House office that oversees new regulations completed its review of a list of water contaminants that could be subjected to federal regulation. On August 27, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs returned the list to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which will make it public later this year, according to […]

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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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Farmers want to know the economic and social ramifications of reducing groundwater use.

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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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United States At least 182 households in California’s San Joaquin valley no longer have running water in their homes due to the ongoing drought, prompting bottled water distributions by emergency services, the Associated Press reported. Circle of Blue’s latest story about the drought explains how a well-drilling “free-for-all” by the agriculture industry is behind the […]

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Asia The South Asia region could lose as much as 9 percent of its annual gross domestic product by 2100 if nothing is done to curtail climate change, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank, AlertNet reported. Increasingly common extreme weather events are expected to damage infrastructure, agriculture and human health in […]

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Mining Approximately 10 million gallons of wastewater spilled from northern Mexico’s Buenavista copper mine last week, contaminating portions of the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, the Associated Press reported. The rivers provide water to a number of cities and towns in the region, including Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state. The failure of a tailings dam […]

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Iraq Militant forces of the Islamic State have taken over the Mosul Dam in Iraq, the country’s largest dam and a strategic control point that experts say could be used as a weapon, Bloomberg News reported. The group has used dams in the past to flood areas or withhold water and electricity, but so far […]

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Energy Dam levels are at historic lows in regions of Brazil that produce 70 percent of the country’s hydropower, Bloomberg News reported. Further, rains from an El Nino weather event are no longer likely to replenish the dam reservoirs, according to forecasters, meaning Brazil will continue to rely on thermoelectric plants to bridge the energy […]

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Algae toxins poison Lake Erie; 400,000 people without water.

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Floods Heavy rains triggered floods and landslides in India’s Maharashtra state this week, burying towns and trapping at least 100 people, CNN reported. A death toll of 51 has been confirmed, but rescuers are still hoping to find survivors in the debris. Floods in southwest Romania raised water levels in some rivers to levels seen […]

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