Brazil

Drought Vast clouds of water vapor that typically flow from the Amazon rainforest to southern Brazil failed last year, possibly causing the severe drought that is afflicting cities like Sao Paulo, Climate News Network reported. Scientists believe that deforestation in the Amazon basin and climate change are to blame for stopping the flow of water […]

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Water Supply An ongoing, severe drought in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state has prompted rationing for 2 million people in 18 cities and threatens the water supplies of 20 million people, Bloomberg News reported. Nonetheless, elected officials–many up for reelection this fall–are playing down the water crisis. North America’s “water tower”–the Rocky Mountains–is increasingly drying out […]

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India At least 28 people have died and 1,500 communities have been flooded in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state following heavy rainstorms in the Himalayas, Reuters reported. Dams in the mountains are already overflowing and exacerbating the flooding, which is expected to continue with more rain forecast for the region. A break in a major […]

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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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Residents of Gaza should begin rationing their water, warned local officials after Israeli strikes severely damaged Gaza’s only power plant, Reuters reported. The plant, which supplies two-thirds of Gaza’s energy and powers many water pumps, could take a year to repair. Extreme Weather An ongoing drought in Brazil has drawn down water levels in Sao […]

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Satisfaction rates with local water quality have stayed consistent for the past five years, with 71 percent of people surveyed worldwide saying that they were satisfied in 2013, according to a newly released Gallup poll. One area of the world where satisfaction rates have not improved is sub-Saharan Africa, where only 50 percent of respondents […]

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SaoPauloMetroMapWeb

New conditions of supply and demand in the world’s ninth-largest city.

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Extreme Weather Extreme flooding along the Madeira River in the Amazon basin, which killed 60 people and displaced 68,000 families this year, was the result of massive deforestation in Bolivia and Peru, according to a scientist who was previously the head of the Inter-American Development Bank environmental division, IPS reported. His assessment contradicts the views […]

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South America An ongoing drought has raised the prospect of water rationing in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, Reuters reported. The city is home to 20 million people and will be one of the sites to host World Cup soccer games in June. Mining companies are slowing down their investments in Chile due to high […]

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Only 25 percent of people in South Asia have access to piped water supplies and more than a quarter lack access to electricity due to large gaps in infrastructure, according to the World Bank, Reuters reported. The Bank has estimated that the region needs $US 2.5 trillion in investment by 2020 to provide necessary services […]

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A small diamond found in Brazil contains a form of mineral that could tell scientists more about the amount of water deep in Earth’s mantle, and if that water was part of the planet’s original composition, according to a new study published in Nature. The mineral suggests that the diamond formed in a water-rich area […]

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Hydropower Environmental groups have raised concerns that the population of Irawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River—which now consists of an estimated 85 individuals—will disappear if construction of a dam on the river is completed, Time reported. A report from the World Wildlife Fund says that explosions during the dam’s construction could kill dolphins in the […]

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Natural Disasters The annual economic cost of natural disasters in China nearly doubled in 2013, costing the country $US 69 billion, Reuters reported. The most expensive disasters were floods and mudslides, followed by earthquakes and droughts. An extended period of heavy rainstorms and floods in the United Kingdom has taken a toll on the country’s […]

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Weather It is becoming more likely that an El Niño weather pattern will form this year, potentially bringing severe drought to places like Australia and India while bringing heavy rains and floods to the Midwest United States and Brazil, Reuters reported. El Niño is caused when surface water temperatures increase in the Pacific Ocean. Hydropower […]

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Hydropower Pakistan aims to develop hydropower dams capable of producing 13,000 megawatts of electricity, which would increase the country’s hydropower output by almost eight times, AlertNet reported, citing government officials. Pakistan currently experiences frequent power outages due to demand outstripping supply, and the country’s industrial sector has suffered as a result. A drought in Sri […]

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Little more than a month after a chemical spill shut off drinking water for West Virginia’s state capital, approximately 100,000 gallons of coal slurry has spilled into a creek and another of the city’s rivers, the Charleston Gazette reported. The spill is downstream of drinking water intakes, but it could severely damage the creek and, […]

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Drought As California endures a drought that could be the worst in 500 years, federal politicians are wrangling over how best to allocate available water supplies, the San Jose Mercury News reported. You can see Circle of Blue’s reporting on California’s drought and water pollution here. Severe droughts are also threatening water supplies for communities […]

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Drinking Water An initiative to install water filters in 65,000 restaurants in Mexico City aims to improve the safety of drinking water, and consumers’ confidence in it, the Associated Press reported. The city’s drinking water has a bad reputation for being contaminated, which experts say often happens in the distribution systems between water treatment plants […]

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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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