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Surge in oil and gas production has seen more spills that are harming water supplies.

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The Global Rundown Scientists in New York City are studying health and disease outbreaks through wastewater, while hundreds are ill with a waterborne disease in Portugal. Peru’s Conga gold mine is gaining community support, and Canada fined an oil company for water pollution. Land investors in Egypt are suing over a lack of water, while […]

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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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A heat wave and ongoing drought in Brazil is expected to raise energy prices and could harm crops if the weather continues, while water shortages are a risk in cities like Sao Paulo, Reuters reported. The problems could have political ramifications for Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, who is seeking reelection this year. North America An […]

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Pollution The disposal of wastewater created during the mining of bituminous tar sands is a growing problem for Canada’s oil industry, which must store the water in vast reservoirs, and the industry is planning expansions that could turn Alberta into the largest man-made lake district in the world, Bloomberg News reported. Environmentalists worry that the […]

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Climate Change The next report released by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to contain stronger warnings about the security of the world’s food supply, The New York Times reported, citing a leaked version of the report. Previous releases from the IPCC reflected hope that the increased plant growth prompted by […]

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Water Contamination Work to replace and upgrade Chicago’s aging water pipelines could cause levels of lead in the city’s drinking water to spike, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing a recent study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many old pipelines connecting houses to the main water system are made out of lead, and disturbing them […]

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Canada Oil Sands An unknown volume of water has been released from a holding pond at Suncor Energy’s oil sands project in Alberta, Reuters reported. The water was released into the Athabasca River, though it is unclear if the water contained toxic materials. China Water Pollution Another wave of dead animals has hit China’s waterways, […]

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Canada Oil Sands An unknown volume of water has been released from a holding pond at Suncor Energy’s oil sands project in Alberta, Reuters reported. The water was released into the Athabasca River, though it is unclear if the water contained toxic materials. China Water Pollution Another wave of dead animals hit China’s waterways Sunday, […]

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Business An ‘new gold’ for the 21st century, banking on scarcer supplies and an exploding global population to drive demand, MarketWatch reported. North America The Premier of British Columbia has said that the Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine, which could pollute one of the last pristine wild salmon fisheries in the world. A Mexican town is […]

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Push-back on the transportation of tar sands equipment through a wilderness corridor reflects civic resistance to North American fossil fuel boom.

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Dr. Subir Bhattacharjee in his laboratory at the University of Alberta

Subir Bhattacharjee — a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and one of Canada’s top water quality experts — tells Circle of Blue about the water cycle of the tar sands while he attends a high-level conference in Alberta, Canada.

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Water scarcity will likely create conflict in regions around the world within the next decade, according to a report from the United States Director of National Intelligence, launched March 22 in Washington. The report, available here, predicts that water-linked instability is most likely to occur in South Asia and the Middle East. Providing enough water […]

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Drought and Water Access A forest fire in China’s Yunnan province was brought under control Tuesday after burning for two days and coming within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of the provincial capital, Xinhua reported. The fire was linked to drought conditions that have plagued Yunnan for the past three years. The Guardian looks at the […]

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A year after the devastating tsunami in Japan, communities in the affected regions are slowly repairing their towns. On the one-year anniversary of the disaster, the Guardian features a series of montages that press agencies have created by combining pictures taken during or just after the tsunami hit with images taken up to a year […]

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Droughts South-East England is officially in a state of drought, the Press Association reported, citing the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Guardian has mapped out the affected regions. As rivers and reservoirs in England and Wales are running low after two dry winters, water industry executives have again called for regulatory reforms […]

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The proposed pipeline could be approved on a much shorter timeline than was laid out by President Barack Obama, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday giving approval power for the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate has not yet considered the bill.

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Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that shale gas production would undermine the still-emerging renewable energy sector in the United States, according to Yale Environment 360. Meanwhile, two groups of scientists at Cornell University are dueling over whether the climate impact of shale gas is bigger or smaller than coal’s, Associated Press […]

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Unlike the other oil-rich, water-poor Gulf states, by 2024 Qatar plans to produce up to 70 percent of its food domestically, by spending massively to boost crop yields and convert semi-desert into farmland, Reuters reported. But many economists and agricultural experts say Qatar’s plans do not make economic sense. There isn’t enough research on the […]

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Global carbon emissions are likely to continue increasing at a rate of 3 percent each year, EurActiv reported, citing a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Emissions from burning fossil fuels rose by 5.9 percent in 2010. The booming shale gas industry could create 870,000 jobs and $118 billion in economic growth […]

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