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Biofuels

Water and Energy The World Bank has approved a $US 73 million grant to continue the development of the Inga 3 hydropower project, the first in a series of large dams planned for the Congo River, Inter Press Service reported. The Grand Inga project would give the Democratic Republic of Congo the third highest hydropower […]

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Wetlands The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service submitted a final plan for the nation’s second-largest tidal marsh restoration, a 50-year $US 1.2 billion project to revive habitat for threatened birds, plants, and animals in the San Francisco Bay. The voluntary plan sets ambitious goals for 17 species, but comes with no dedicated federal funding. “Recovery […]

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Water Supply The Bureau of Reclamation released a final environmental impact statement for a $US 400 million water pipeline project in southeastern Colorado. The Arkansas Valley Conduit includes roughly 365 kilometers (227 miles) of pipeline plus upgrades to an existing water treatment plant in order to supply 40 towns and water systems currently serving 52,000 […]

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Marine Life A decade long, $US 60 million project will dismantle the Veazie Dam on Maine’s Penobscot River, to the relief of conservationists, government officials, and anglers alike, The New York Times reported. Dams on the river and pollution from paper mills have reduced the number of river herring running upriver from as many as […]

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Smart water meters—digital meters that measure usage and transmit data wirelessly—are coming under fire from opponents across the U.S. They argue that high up-front costs and more accurate readings will push water utility rates up, USA Today reported, without any lasting benefits for most. Water as Power Every gallon of fuel pumped into cars requires […]

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The Environmental Protection Agency released the volume-standards for renewable fuel production in 2013. Ten percent of all transportation fuel will come from renewable sources, which works out to 62.65 billion liters (16.55 billion gallons) from conventional biofuel and 53 million liters (14 million gallons) of cellulosic biofuel. Other contributions to the standard come from bio-diesel […]

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In 22 years, the energy sector will demand twice as much water, driven primarily by booming coal-fired electricity and increasing biofuel production. That’s the central finding of an International Energy Agency projection, National Geographic reported. The total increase in demand is equivalent to four times the volume of the U.S.’s Lake Mead. Measuring Risk, Expecting […]

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A U.S. Department of Agriculture research branch published reports on the consequence to farm income of eliminating direct payments and on trends in nitrogen used for corn. One of the debate points for the farm bill is whether to reduce “direct” payments — cash given to farmers based on fixed per-acre rates. The federal government […]

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Circle of Blue’s 2012 Election Guide breaks down the presidential candidates’ positions on water issues, and it identifies state and local ballot initiatives related to water. A Green Light for Dredging The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave its final approval to deepen 50 kilometers (32 miles) of Savannah Harbor by 1.5 meters (5 feet), […]

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Turkey is building a $US 700 million pipeline to transfer water from a dam on its Mediterranean coast to Cyprus, Bloomberg News reported. The pipeline will run 107 kilometers (66 miles) under the sea to bring 75 million cubic meters (19.8 billion gallons) of water to the northern part of the island, which is controlled […]

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Great Lakes Week Great Lakes Week 2012 kicked off yesterday and runs through Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. The event is a series of seminars where stakeholders, from activist groups to governments, collaborate on the future restoration of the Great Lakes bodies. Watch live coverage online at the website, or follow on Facebook and Twitter @EPAGreatLakes, […]

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United States CO2 emissions are the lowest they have been in 20 years, a decline attributable to a shift toward natural gas usage. Some are calling natural gas a temporary fix, however, due to the potentially detrimental effects of natural gas drilling, The Associated Press reported. Saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico has flowed into […]

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Low water levels in the Mississippi River have prompted salt water to move up the river from the Gulf of Mexico, Associated Press reported. The Army Corps of Engineers says that salt water is not yet a threat to water supplies in the New Orleans area. Indianapolis and some of its suburbs have seen about […]

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aid organizations are warning of a possible famine in Sudan, despite the government’s promise to allow food aid into conflict zones, according to AlertNet. Those who flee face severe water shortages in South Sudan’s refugee camps. A photo story from the Guardian shows how law banning mining and drilling on glaciers, Reuters reported. increasing the […]

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its new framework for addressing the twinned problems of stormwater and sewer overflows. Nearly eight months in the making, the framework will give municipalities greater flexibility in how they meet federal water quality standards by allowing them to fix the most dire problems first. The […]

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Agriculture The Ethiopian government is relocating thousands of people from the country’s Gambella region in order to make way for commercial agriculture, the Guardian reported, citing a report from Human Rights Watch. The report argues that citizens are not getting proper compensation for the land, and that relocation threatens their food security. A new government […]

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2011 ‘Tis the season for reflection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looks back at a year of extreme weather and finds a record number of events that caused more than $1 billion in damage. Starting with a January blizzard in the Midwest and continuing through floods and fires, drought and heat, a spate of […]

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Biofuel Reality Check In 2007, Congress enacted revised standards for national biofuel production, setting annual volume mandates for transportation fuels up to 2022. To assess the benefits and barriers to achieving the standards, Congress asked the National Research Council to investigate. As with any prognostication, the major findings in the 447-page report are peppered with […]

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U.S. government support for biofuels and inaction on climate change are creating food price spikes and hunger in other countries, the Guardian reported, citing a new study by the Global Hunger Index. Twenty-six countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, are at extreme risk of hunger. Yemen could face a humanitarian crisis on a par with that […]

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There is enough fresh water in the world to meet the soaring global food demand in the next decades, yet the problem is its inefficient use, AFP reported, citing a study released at the World Water Congress in Brazil and published in the journal Water International. The Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plans to build a […]

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