Chile

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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A drought in Malaysia has drawn down reservoir levels in the state of Selangor, putting water supplies in “critical condition” and forcing water rationing near the nation’s capital, Bloomberg News reported. Extended drought conditions could have negative consequences for oil palm plantations in the region, but the current dry spell began in early February. South […]

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Drinking Water The quality of drinking water supplies is at risk from increasingly frequent extreme weather, such as droughts, floods and wildfires—especially if they occur in combination, The Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing a new study released by researchers at the University of New South Wales. For example, a large wildfire followed by heavy rain […]

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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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Mining Barrick Gold Corp, the company behind the massive $US 8.5 billion Pascua-Lama gold mine project on the Argentina-Chile border, said it is suspending construction at the site, Reuters reported. The mine has faced stiff opposition and legal battles due to concerns about its effect on glaciers and water supplies. In Indonesia, coal’s “last frontier” […]

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Water Scarcity Farming communities in northern Chile are concerned about the effect of new, large-scale mining projects on the region’s scarce water supplies, the Santiago Times reported. Though investments by the mining companies have led to improved irrigation infrastructure, distrust remains in these communities. Water flows in West Africa’s Volta River Basin could decline 24 […]

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United States The Department of Energy now says that contrary to a claim made earlier this year, chemicals from hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania did not contaminate drinking water aquifers, Bloomberg News reported. The conclusion comes from a National Energy Technology Laboratory study conducted in Pittsburg, the first ever where a drilling company has allowed government […]

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Natural Disasters The Philippines government is cracking down on informal settlements along rivers in Manila, with plans to relocate more than 19,000 families from the settlements to permanent housing projects, AlertNet reported. The settlements, which can impede water flow and drainage during floods along rivers, are seen as a safety risk. Nearly 6,000 people are […]

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Chile denied a recent report on deals to export water to Qatar, ABC News reported. The report included a quote by Chilean Ambassador Jean Paul Tarud saying, “Chile has some of the largest fresh water export capabilities in the world.” Public backlash in Chilean social media followed the report. Chile has been suffering from drought […]

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Water-Food-Energy A drought in Vietnam has uncovered tensions between water users in the country’s energy and agricultural sectors, Radio Free Asia reported. Despite a directive from the prime minister, the operator of a hydropower dam has refused to send more water downstream to drought-hit farms. While South Africa’s mining sector receives much of the blame […]

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A leak was discovered at yet another underground water storage tank used to contain radioactive wastewater from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, The New York Times reported. The country is struggling to find places to store the contaminated water, but has promised not to release it into the Pacific Ocean. A Chilean court […]

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Drinking Water Bacteria A University of Michigan study showed that bacteria found in drinking water can be traced to treatment filters instead of the original aquifers or rivers. The researchers, who studied Ann Arbor, Michigan’s tap water, said their findings could lead to more natural, sustainable water treatment processes and assist engineers in controlling microbes […]

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gold2

Water supplies remain key to the global boom in gold mining, driven by high demand and near-record prices.

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Chile A glacial lake in Chile’s Patagonia region drained for the eleventh time since 2008, releasing a flood of 200 million cubic liters of water through a hole in the temperature-weakened glacier wall, AFP reported. The Inter Press Service reports on why Chile relies so heavily on hydropower, despite its potential for developing non-conventional renewable […]

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Asia On the eve of India Water Week, The Wall Street Journal looks at India’s looming water crisis — from its rapid groundwater depletion to its chaotic water policy. In even more details, National Geographic explains how growing food demand is straining the energy and water supplies in India’s Gujarat State and globally. Crop losses […]

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Patagonia Chile’s supreme court has rejected seven appeals filed against a project that plans to build five large dams in Patagonia, the Guardian reported. The controversial project could generate up to 20 percent of Chile’s electricity demand in 2020 but is opposed by green groups concerned about its potential environmental damage. Asia India and Pakistan […]

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It will take $US 1 trillion over the next 25 years to fix the water infrastructure in the United States, according to an estimate by the American Water Works Association, Bloomberg News reported. Energy PetroChina purchased a 20 percent stake in a Canadian shale gas project, strengthening China’s presence in North America’s energy markets, according […]

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Arsenic Arsenic is tainting freshwater supplies in Mexico’s Laguna region, the country’s biggest milk producer, as dairy operations, upstream dams and climate change deplete aquifers, AlertNet reported. In Chile, people exposed to high levels of arsenic in their drinking water during the 1950s have a higher risk of cancer despite subsequent contamination control, according to […]

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Ohio has suspended operations at five deep wells used to dispose of fracking-related fluids, citing concerns of a possible link between well activity and nearly a dozen quakes in the area in the past year, Reuters reported. United States Is Utah getting closer to a water rights settlement with the Navajo Nation? The Venice of […]

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Are markets in water rights likely to evolve as a rising population leads to shortages and climate change disrupts patterns of rain and snowfall? Reuters highlights some of the major water trading schemes in the world. The withdrawal of rebel forces from Somalia’s capital may offer citizens some relief from a famine that threatens almost […]

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