Brazil

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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South America More than $US 40 billion worth of mining projects have been blocked or delayed in Chile, creating a bottleneck for foreign investment that the country’s national mining association has asked the incoming government to address, Reuters reported. Many of the mining projects, including the Pascua-Lama gold mine, have been put on hold due […]

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Drinking Water A new device is capable of removing 95 percent of the arsenic in water within five minutes by using organic material like barley husks or coconut shells as a filter, the Guardian reported. Non-government organizations in Canada and Bangladesh are working to install the device in Bangladesh communities, where arsenic poisoning is a […]

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Water and Energy At the binational Itaipú hydropower dam on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay, environmental and social activists are working with energy companies to protect and restore the watershed for the benefit of residents and future power generation, Inter Press Service reported. Though activists are not completely satisfied with the program, they […]

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NASABrazilAgriculture

A new study from the World Resources Institute shows the connection between crops and water scarcity.

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Water and Government Bhutan plans to increase its hydropower capacity from 1,480 megawatts to 10,000 megawatts by 2020 in an effort to create revenue for its many public programs, journalist James Fahn explains in an op-ed for The New York Times. He also explores what the country’s new democracy—based around a principle of achieving “Gross […]

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Agriculture Huge soybean farms in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state are very efficient at keeping nutrient pollutants like phosphorus out of nearby waterways, but it is unclear if the more intensive form of farming will slow down deforestation in the Amazon, according to an editorial published in The New York Times. Brown University professor Stephen Porder […]

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A new research center hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute will focus on resolving transboundary water disputes, Bloomberg News reported. Violent conflicts over water may become more common due to climate change and increasing competition between water users. Deforestation An interactive map developed by the University of Maryland and Google shows how the world’s […]

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Water Conservation Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has said that it will take “national will” for Iran to conserve its scarce water supplies, urging his top ministers to create a national plan for water conservation, Bloomberg News reported. The president outlined priorities such as curbing illegal well drilling and improving the efficiency of irrigation […]

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