China

Flooding in many coastal areas of the United States has increased since the 1950s, with some places now experiencing flooding once every three months compared to once every one to five years in the past, according to a new study released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Reuters reported. Flood frequency has increased at […]

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China Rules for pilot water trading markets in seven Chinese provinces will be approved by October, Reuters reported. The markets could improve water use efficiency in the country, but some experts have questioned their legality under Chinese law. India India is hoping to forge closer ties with Nepal by offering to help develop hydropower in […]

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Rainfall has been far below average in Lebanon, leading to water shortages for farmers and a drop in fruit and vegetable production, Inter Press Service reported. As a result, food prices are rising and straining food security for Syrian refugees and border communities in the country. Energy China’s National Energy Administration cautioned regional developers to […]

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Water Scarcity New research has quantified the amount of water being virtually exported from and imported to Chinese provinces, confirming that arid regions are sending huge amounts of water to more water-rich areas in the form of agricultural products, Reuters reported. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that this imbalance […]

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Human rights groups have sent a report to the United Nations arguing that water shutoffs by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department are violating the human right to water, the Detroit News reported. Half of the city’s water accounts are overdue, and the city has so far shut off 4,500 of the 46,000 customers that […]

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Tensions over the expansion of a water system came to a head this week when 100 police were injured in a conflict with residents of a community on the outskirts of Mexico City, the Associated Press reported. The city is attempting to link the community—and its natural spring—to the municipal water supply system, but residents […]

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Water Quality The water supply for approximately 680,000 was shut off in Jingjiang City, China today due to concerns about its quality, Reuters reported. Supplies, which came from the Yangtze River and were flagged because of a strange smell, were later turned back on using an alternative source, according to Bloomberg News. Proposed regulations in […]

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Water Supply Several California water districts that provide water to farms have proposed a plan to reverse water flows in portions of the California Aqueduct later this summer, the Associated Press reported. The plan is expected to cost between $US 1.5 million and $US 9.5 million and would be paid for by the water districts. […]

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India’s government is predicting a normal monsoon season this year, with rains at 96 percent of a 50-year average, Bloomberg News reported. The possibility of an El Niño weather pattern forming this summer is not expected to affect the rains, though it has caused droughts in the past. China The quality of groundwater in China […]

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Pollution Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and nickel are some of the most common pollutants contaminating approximately 19 percent of arable land in China, according to an official report, The Wall Street Journal reported. The contaminants are deposited in the soil by water and air, and some of the most polluted areas are in […]

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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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China A startup program in China, initiated by the company behind the Taobao Marketplace, seeks to create a map of water quality across the country by allowing residents to purchase water quality testing kits and upload the results with their smartphones, Bloomberg News reported. The results will be aggregated in a map that the company’s […]

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Water Pollution Water utility officials in Lanzhou, China, found the carcinogenic substance benzene present at levels 20 times the national limit in the city’s water supply, Xinhua reported. Approximately 2.4 million residents of the city were told to stop drinking their tap water while authorities search for the source of the benzene, which they say […]

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An American landslide as a global metaphor.

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Climate Change Climate change is no longer a potential problem, but one that is happening right now, says a new report from the International Panel on Climate Change created by dozens of leading scientists, The New York Times reported. The report outlined how climate change effects on businesses, food security and public health will worsen, […]

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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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Increased heat and water scarcity will limit food production. Farmers and food markets can adapt, but only to a point.

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Pollution Oil spilled into southern Lake Michigan Monday from a BP refinery in Indiana that was updated last year to accommodate an increasing amount of crude oil coming from Canada’s tar sands, Reuters reported. Lake Michigan is currently 60 percent covered in ice, and the company has not yet said how much oil was leaked. […]

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Asia Vast fires in Indonesia have started earlier in the season than usual and are spreading widely, in part due to a severe drought gripping Southeast Asia, the Guardian reported. The fires, which may have been started illegally to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations, are creating hazardous air pollution in cities like […]

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Asia Water cleanup systems meant to decrease the radioactivity of wastewater at Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have malfunctioned, prompting the Tokyo Electric Power Company to suspend water cleanup operations, the Japan Times reported. One of the three systems was not sufficiently reducing levels of radioactive substances in the water, and officials stopped the […]

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