Energy

Pollution The salinity of fresh water systems in the United States is growing due to urban wastewater, stormwater and fertilizer runoff, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Guardian reported. The salinity is creating problems for cities that rely on surface water supplies for drinking, and can also create issues for agricultural […]

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Approximately 33 centimeters (13.26 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours on Long Island, New York—a record amount equal to the rainfall the area usually receives in more than two months, Reuters reported. The heavy rain led to flash flooding, closing roads and creating dangerous conditions for commuters. Water Supply San Francisco is faced with […]

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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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India While some regions of India are mired in drought, the country’s eastern states are being inundated by monsoon rains, AlertNet reported. Floods have displaced 10,000 people in Odisha, where floodwaters from a major river washed into 30 communities. Agriculture A drought in Thailand and the closure of a government subsidy program for rice growers […]

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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 Shortages India’s monsoon has so far delivered 36 percent less rain than average, and reservoir levels are below their 10-year averages, according to water officials, Bloomberg News reported. If the monsoon continues to perform poorly and dry conditions are compounded by an El Nino weather event, 333 million people in six states could face […]

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Energy Chile’s president has reiterated her commitment to boosting the country’s energy supplies, including the addition of 865 megawatts of generation capacity from large-scale hydropower projects in the next four years, Reuters reported. However, the permit for Chile’s largest hydropower project was recently cancelled due to environmental and societal concerns. In reaction to a large […]

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The decision pits energy development against river protection in one of the world’s evocative places.

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Water Scarcity Water supplies are increasingly being used as a weapon in conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa, Inter Press Service reported. The United Nations has recently expressed concerns about forces in Syria deliberately cutting off supplies to civilians, which it called a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. Water shortages […]

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ExtremeRain

The Southwest is drying out, while the Northeast is becoming wetter.

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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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