Indonesia

Natural Disasters Water levels rose as much as 3 meters in areas of Manila as rains from tropical storm Mario flooded the Philippine capital, The New York Times reported. More than 500,000 people were evacuated from the city while schools, offices, transportation and electricity closed down. Emergency supplies of bottled water are being shipped into […]

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Asia Vast fires in Indonesia have started earlier in the season than usual and are spreading widely, in part due to a severe drought gripping Southeast Asia, the Guardian reported. The fires, which may have been started illegally to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations, are creating hazardous air pollution in cities like […]

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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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For the first time since 2008, Australia’s government will sell some of its water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin, making as much as 10 gigaliters available to irrigators, the Guardian reported. The decision has been applauded by drought-hit farmers, but members of the Greens political party worry that the sell-off could damage communities and environments […]

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Sierra Nevada snowpack could drop 50 percent if the entire Amazon rainforest was cut down, according to a Princeton study that explored the effects of Amazon deforestation on the climate of other regions. While it is unlikely the entire Amazon will be cut, researchers say the study points out important connections between deforestation and water […]

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Water Pollution The top 10 toxic hotspots in the world are primarily in developing countries in places where people are either processing resources or recycling waste for the developed world, polluting waterways and creating major health concerns, according to a new report released by the Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland, the Guardian reported. Among […]

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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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Technology Researchers at Michigan State University are developing flexible films that, when placed in sandy soil, could increase water retention efficiency by up to 20 times, Gizmag reported. The technology aims to boost crop production during droughts, and may have the added benefit of protecting groundwater from agricultural chemicals and fertilizers. Water Supply and Infrastructure […]

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The federal government must improve oversight on the nexus between water and energy, as domestic energy production will likely account for 85 percent of growth in domestic water production. That according to a Government Accountability Office report released this week, The Hill reported, which calls on the Energy Department to oversee water availability and use […]

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India A water shortage in India’s Cauvery River Basin has pitted the state of Karnataka against its southern neighbor, Tamil Nadu, the Times of India reported. The states rejected water sharing suggestions from the Cauvery River Authority and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with Karnataka arguing that it cannot release any water downstream without jeopardizing its […]

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A new study found that only 30 percent of Arctic sea ice loss in the last few decades can be attributed to natural causes, meaning the remaining monsoon rains fall 22 percent below average, Reuters reported. Water shortages have contributed to 300 millimeters of rain (11.8 inches), Xinhua reported. Meanwhile, two 35-mile tunnels to divert […]

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aid organizations are warning of a possible famine in Sudan, despite the government’s promise to allow food aid into conflict zones, according to AlertNet. Those who flee face severe water shortages in South Sudan’s refugee camps. A photo story from the Guardian shows how law banning mining and drilling on glaciers, Reuters reported. increasing the […]

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What does Chicago have to do with the growing algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico? Nutrient pollution from the Windy City and from agriculture in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa is pushing the Mississippi River to the brink of ecological disaster, according to The Economist. A key California Senate panel has supported legislation that would […]

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gold2

Water supplies remain key to the global boom in gold mining, driven by high demand and near-record prices.

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Negotiations The Guardian received a leaked copy of the draft negotiating text for the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development. Only about 20 percent of the document’s language has been settled, and critics of the process fear a weak agreement or even no agreement could be reached. Water is part of the draft text, but […]

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ChiAsia and Climate Change Ten Asian cities throughout India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are taking part in a pilot project to assess their vulnerability to climate change and develop urban planning methods to improve their resilience, AlertNet reported. A lawsuit filed by two non-governmental organizations in China—the first case of its kind—seeks to gain compensation […]

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The negotiations on a final plan for Australia’s Murray-Darling river system are well under way, with South Australian water officials summoned to give evidence to the federal parliament this week, The Australian reported. South Australia has lashed the draft plan for the basin, saying that it does not return enough water to the environment. Many […]

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Water Pollution Hydraulic fracturing for shale gas should take place at least 600 meters down from aquifers used for water supplies, according to a new study published in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, the Press Association reported. Heavy municipal and industrial pollution in a river in the Indonesian province of West Java is threatening […]

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Water-Food Continuing low water levels in Texas may prompt the first-ever restrictions on irrigation in the state’s major rice-growing areas, Bloomberg reported. Egypt’s slide from breadbasket of the eastern Mediterranean to net grain importer signals an economic crisis that threatens to shake the nation, according to The Washington Post. Brazil is planning a new grains […]

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Weather Extremes Thousands of Australians have been forced from their homes because of floods that have risen to record levels in some areas of Queensland and New South Wales, Reuters reported. While the coal industry is largely unaffected, agriculture and properties are likely to sustain significant damage. Bad weather has gripped much of Europe as […]

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