Energy

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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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 small diamond found in Brazil contains a form of mineral that could tell scientists more about the amount of water deep in Earth’s mantle, and if that water was part of the planet’s original composition, according to a new study published in Nature. The mineral suggests that the diamond formed in a water-rich area […]

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Gold mining operations in South Africa have left rivers and soil near Johannesburg with elevated levels of uranium, raising concerns about the long-term health effects for approximately 400,000 residents in the area, Bloomberg News reported. Water samples taken from rivers west of the city showed uranium levels that could reach 4,000 times natural levels, and […]

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Energy A grant worth more than $US 70 million is at stake when the World Bank decides whether or not to go ahead with initial funding for the Inga 3 hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo—a decision that has now been postponed indefinitely, International Rivers reported. Nongovernmental organizations have raised concerns about the […]

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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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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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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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Climate Change Under a worse-case scenario in which global temperatures rise 4 degrees Celsius, most of the world would experience interrelated stresses to water, agriculture, ecosystems, and public health, with 18 percent of the population experiencing “severe pressure” in each category, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, […]

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Pollution The disposal of wastewater created during the mining of bituminous tar sands is a growing problem for Canada’s oil industry, which must store the water in vast reservoirs, and the industry is planning expansions that could turn Alberta into the largest man-made lake district in the world, Bloomberg News reported. Environmentalists worry that the […]

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Europe Problems at a water treatment facility that filters 55 percent of Dublin’s drinking water have forced the city to turn off taps each night since the middle of last week, Bloomberg News reported. Some are blaming the supply cuts on a lack of investment in Ireland’s water infrastructure, though there are mixed views on […]

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Conservation A new coal plant planned by Bangladesh and India could harm the ecologically sensitive Sundarbans—the world’s largest mangrove forest, Yale Environment 360 reported. While Bangladesh’s government argues that the plant will generate much needed electricity, conservations worry that the vast amounts of water it would withdraw and release could destroy the mangroves and the […]

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Hydropower In an effort to move toward cleaner renewable energy, China is turning to huge hydropower projects and is currently adding 15 gigawatts of capacity each year, the Guardian reported. While the projects may cut coal’s share of energy production, they could also cause the displacement of thousands of people and alter river environments. Egypt, […]

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Food Record grain harvests in some of the world’s biggest exporters this year have restocked global supplies, drawing down food prices that spiked following the 2012 drought to their lowest level in three years, AlertNet reported. Officials at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warned that global markets and prices are still […]

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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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Scientists estimate that 99 percent of methane hydrates are buried in seabed in deep water.

Though methane hydrate, a newly discovered unconventional natural gas reserve, is seen as an alternative to coal-fueled power, the technology for tapping deepwater supplies is not yet viable.

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Few places in the United States better understand the economically essential and ecologically risky accord between energy and water than this southeast Ohio town.

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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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The consequences of severe fires last long after the flames have been snuffed out. Watersheds and reservoirs, in particular, are at risk from debris, erosion, and pipe-clogging ash, all of which degrade water quality and increase the cost of treatment. So the Interior Department and the Department of Agriculture announced a plan to work with […]

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