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Climate Change Nearly 1,000 high-altitude lakes have been formed in Peru over the past 40 years as the country’s glaciers have melted 40 percent, Reuters reported. The glaciers are the source of much of the drinking water in Peru but are disappearing due to climate change, the Peruvian government said. Declining Arctic sea ice is […]

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Water Supply As water supplies continue to decline in Tehran, Iran is spending $US 11 million to complete a new water treatment plant and mulling a plan to import water from Tajikistan, Bloomberg News reported. Officials are also considering stricter measures to get residents to reduce water consumption, which is much higher in the capital […]

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Iraq’s Mosul Dam, the largest in the country, is back under Iraqi and Kurdish control, but potential delays in maintenance during the fight over the dam have raised concerns about its structural integrity, Reuters reported. The dam has long needed almost constant maintenance due to flaws in its foundations, and a complete breach could flood […]

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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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After a delayed arrival of the annual monsoon, farmers in northern India are shifting crops and preparing for drought, Business Standard reports. Though heavy rains fell on Sunday in northern India, seasonal precipitation is just 43 percent of normal, the worst since 2009. Hydroelectric power generation will also drop, more so in the south where […]

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United States Pollution Alpha Natural Resources, a United States coal company, has been leveled with a $US 27.5 million penalty for violating the federal Clean Water Act and has agreed to spend an additional $US 200 million to clean up water pollution from its mines in Appalachia, The New York Times reported. The cleanup is […]

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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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Did you miss Circle of Blue’s reporting on how cleaning up the power sector – namely coal – and reducing energy demand would clear the air and provide water benefits? Not to worry; Brett Walton gives an update on the current smog situation and how a recent report may provide solutions.

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What Should We Do? Continuing to flesh out a plan he outlined in June, President Barack Obama issued an executive order creating two climate change advisory bodies. The Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience is a federal conglomeration, comprising senior officials from at least 30 agencies. The other is a task force of prominent state, […]

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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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Pollution The Chinese government has released a plan to reduce coal’s share of the country’s energy supply to 65 percent by 2017, AlertNet reported. The plan is meant to curb air pollution, but could also affect water supplies that are used in the mining and burning of coal. Levels of radioactive tritium are once again […]

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Increase the Flows The Army Corps of Engineers has released a draft report on how it plans to implement a $US 1.7 billion project to revive the Florida Everglades. In essence, the corps will send more water south from Lake Okeechobee, treat it to remove phosphorous, and let it drain slowly to mimic natural filtration […]

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“Five hundred times higher than safe levels is not protective of public health,” said Avinash Kar, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, in review of a proposal for a drinking water standard in California, Los Angeles Times reported. The carcinogen hexavalent chromium standard, which will be the first of its kind in the […]

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Water Contamination The Lock the Gate alliance in Australia finds that of 43 coal and gas developments that would potentially affect water supplies in the country, only four have had the government’s “water-trigger” assessment applied to them, The Guardian reported. “The states have really let the side down badly on water quality,” said Carmel Flint, campaign coordinator with Lock […]

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EPA proposes tougher federal wastewater guidelines, while electricity generation turns from coal to gas. Photo courtesy of Brent Moore via Flickr Creative Commons A 2008 coal-ash pond failure at the Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee spilled 4.1 million cubic meters (5.4 million cubic yards) of wet coal ash into surrounding communities. While the EPA’s proposed […]

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A Chinese researcher reveals massive groundwater use at a coal-to-liquids plant in dry Inner Mongolia.

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Circle of Blue’s Keith Schneider reports from Beijing on discussions about China’s resource challenge.

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One resident in Sri Lanka’s western province was killed Thursday evening during a protest against a factory that had been contaminating drinking water in 15 local villages, Calgary Herald reported. More than 4000 people were present, hoping to provoke government action to stop the factory’s chemical emissions from polluting their water supply. China China’s mammoth coal industry […]

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Energy Of 274 coal plants nationwide that discharge coal ash and scrubber wastewater into waterways, at least 16 are in Michigan, according to a new report released by the Sierra Club. “This report makes it clear that DTE needs a lesson in common sense: dumping poisons into our water without disclosing threatens the health, drinking […]

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Floods and Climate Change Man-made climate change is increasing the size of “atmospheric rivers” that carry water vapor, thereby increasing the risk of major floods in certain regions of the world, scientists concluded in a study published in Environmental Research Letters. Northwest Europe, including the United Kingdom, is one region that could suffer more frequent […]

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