economy

Water Scarcity Political instability and conflict between countries could develop as a result of water scarcity and competing water demands in major river basins like the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates, according to the president of the World Water Council, Bloomberg News reported. Development of the Grand Renaissance Dam in the Nile basin and crop irrigation […]

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Energy & Natural Resources As many as 15,000 people, many of them Q’eqchi Mayans, will be displaced by the construction of a $US 337 million hydropower project in Guatemala, the Guardian reported. The Xalalá dam would be the second largest in the country, and the government has has vowed to build the project despite local […]

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Average water flows in Mongolia’s Tuul River have been declining, dropping to 10 cubic meters per second between 1996 and 2012 compared to its historical average of 25 cubic meters per second, The Diplomat reported, citing government meteorological data. The river is important for recharging aquifers that supply water to Mongolia’s capital, Ulan Bator, raising […]

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Climate Change Bangladesh is likely to be one of the countries hardest hit by global climate change as rising seas, erosion and intense storms threaten its low-lying river deltas, The New York Times reported. A major problem is saltwater intrusion up freshwater rivers, which makes some farm fields unusable. Some countries, including Britain, are discounting […]

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Pollution Officials have found 131 dead pigs in China’s Ganjiang River near Nanchang, and are still recovering more carcasses, Bloomberg News reported. Drinking water in Nanchang has been tested and is safe, according to tests, but the incident is once again raising concerns about food and water safety a year after dead pigs were found […]

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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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Water Supplies China has lost 9 percent of its wetlands in the past decade even after setting aside several billion dollars to protect wetland areas, Reuters reported. There is some concern that the decline in wetlands, which are being destroyed by agricultural expansion, infrastructure projects and climate change, could lead to a decline in water […]

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South Africa South Africa needs better cooperation between national and municipal water managers to ensure adequate supply and pollution control, according to an environmental performance review by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bloomberg News reported. South Africa’s water supplies, already scarce, are further reduced by acid mine drainage from closed gold mines. The […]

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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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A new study finds that Australia’s groundwater contributes more to GDP than some industries.

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Water Pollution Volunteers in Puerto Rico spent the weekend pulling trash from San Juan’s estuary system, which has been degraded by littering and sewer and storm water runoff, Reuters reported. Conservationists hope that the government will undertake a more than $500 million dredging project to improve water quality in the estuary. The Worth of Groundwater […]

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Water Infrastructure Ghana’s water infrastructure is in such a state of disrepair that it threatens the country’s economic growth, which is predicted to reach 8 percent in 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Some companies have turned to private water tankers to secure supplies for their factories because of intermittent service. U.S. Natural Disasters A new report […]

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Asia and the Pacific Lack of access to safe water in Pacific countries and stressed rivers in Asia are threats to the regions’ water security, according to a new study from the Asian Development Bank and the Asia-Pacific Water Forum. The study found that 75 percent of countries in Asia and the Pacific currently lack […]

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Days of heavy rainfall have swollen rivers in the United Kingdom, where nearly 60 flood warnings remained in force Thursday and areas of York were already underwater, the Guardian reported. South America Brazil has the potential to become the world’s breadbasket due to its water resources, argues private investor and author James Dale Davidson in […]

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Floods A recent spate of flooding in Thailand has raised concerns that the country is still not adequately protected against heavy rains and overflowing rivers, Reuters reported. Floods last year killed more than 800 people and shut down major industries. The largest weather field research project in European history aims to improve flash flood monitoring […]

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Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac, which hit land Tuesday evening near New Orleans, has brought barge traffic on the Mississippi River to a crawl, Bloomberg News reported. The backup is expected to further slow exports of grain from the United States. For almost 24 hours on Tuesday, strong winds and storm surge from the hurricane reversed […]

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monsoon

Monsoon rainfall is 14 percent below average in India, which depends on rainwater to feed more than 50 percent of its agricultural land.

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Business An ‘new gold’ for the 21st century, banking on scarcer supplies and an exploding global population to drive demand, MarketWatch reported. North America The Premier of British Columbia has said that the Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine, which could pollute one of the last pristine wild salmon fisheries in the world. A Mexican town is […]

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South Australia has allocated $2 million to support its bid to keep more water flowing in the River Murray, AAP reported. States within the Murray-Darling River Basin are debating a draft plan for water management in the Basin, and are each struggling to get their share of water for agricultural, industrial and environmental purposes. The […]

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Switching to a low-carbon global economy could create a net gain of between 15 and 60 million new jobs around the world, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme, the Guardian reported. Iran has rejected a Chinese company’s bid to build the country’s proposed Bakhtiari dam, which would hold 4.8 billion cubic […]

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