Desalination

Pollution More than 300 applications for mining permits have been filed in 2014 in northern European countries including Finland, Norway and Sweden, representing a growing interest in the Arctic’s mineral resources, the Guardian reported. Environmental groups are concerned that mining waste will pollute the region’s pristine waterways, while social groups worry mining could cause cultural […]

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criticized a $US 25 billion water supply and ecosystem restoration plan for California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, saying that the plan would violate federal Clean Water Act standards for water quality and may not produce the desired habitat improvements. The delta is the largest estuary on the U.S. west coast and […]

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Water Supply Water shortages are worsening in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, where residents are protesting to get water access at least once a week, the Associated Press reported. Drought, population growth and inadequate infrastructure are all contributing to the problem, as current water supplies are sufficient for just half of the city’s demands. Water delivery […]

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Floods Flooding in Nepal costs the country approximately $US 232 million each year when taking into account damages to both infrastructure and health, according to a new study by Nepal’s government and the Climate Development Knowledge Network, the Guardian reported. There is evidence that the intensity and frequency of floods in Nepal are increasing, with […]

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Weather and Water An El Niño weather pattern, in which surface water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator warms, is likely to develop this summer, according to the World Meteorological Organization and other prominent weather agencies, AlertNet reported. El Niño conditions are known for influencing extreme weather around the globe, such as flooding in […]

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Queensland’s rush to build desalination and recycled water facilities is a cautionary tale.

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Water conservation has had an unintended consequence in Berlin, where groundwater levels are rising, the Economist reported. The water table, which has risen more than a meter since 1989 in some places, now threatens to flood basements and cellars in areas where approximately 200,000 people live. Water Infrastructure Mexico is directing nearly $US 23 billion […]

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Water Governance Argentina plans to cut subsidies for natural gas and water by 20 percent this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The cuts, which exempt some industrial and residential users, are meant to save as much as $US 1.6 billion to fund utility costs and social programs. A draft law in Spain could require […]

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Water and Energy The World Bank has approved a $US 73 million grant to continue the development of the Inga 3 hydropower project, the first in a series of large dams planned for the Congo River, Inter Press Service reported. The Grand Inga project would give the Democratic Republic of Congo the third highest hydropower […]

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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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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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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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Water Supply It is likely that California will record its driest year ever in 2013, and dry conditions are expected to continue for the third winter in a row, USA Today reported. The dry conditions are expected to create water shortages for farmers and will increase the risk of large wildfires next year. An article […]

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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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An estimated 500,000 cubic kilometers of fresh and brackish water exist as groundwater underneath the sea floor of continental shelves, according to a new study from the Adelaide-based National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training that was published in the journal Nature. Researchers say the newly discovered reserves could help relieve water stress in some […]

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Foreign investment is needed to develop dams and irrigation in Australia’s north in order to turn the region into a “food bowl” providing exports for other countries, according to economists, Bloomberg News reported. However, the Australian public is wary of large agricultural investments by foreign companies—deals that many see as giving up control of the […]

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Lots of Water Aquifers beneath parts of 17 states in the south-central United States hold more than enough salty water to fill the Great Lakes twice, according to a first-of-its-kind U.S. Geological Survey report. Freshwater aquifers in the region, including the famed Ogallala, which irrigates the Great Plains, are well-known, but the last general surveys […]

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Water demand from energy producers is driving a rapid increase in global desalination capacity, Bloomberg News reported. This year, total desalination capacity is expected to be 50 percent greater than last year’s capacity, able to produce 80.9 million cubic meters of water. Sea Level Rise Rising water due to climate change could threaten $US 226 […]

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Countries in East Africa are planning a $US 19.5 million data project to better manage water usage between farmers, All Africa reported. To be completed by 2015, the project will contain publicly-accessible information on water levels, temperatures, flows, quality and quantity across nine countries. Water Supply Communities facing drought in the Southwest have begun pressuring residents […]

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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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