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Murray-Darling River Basin

Australia’s conservative coalition government will cut by 13 percent the amount of water it purchases from farmers, water that will be used to restore flows in the country’s most important watershed, The Australian reports. Instead, the government will spend $2.3 billion on water-efficient infrastructure projects, in hopes of saving an equivalent amount of water. Concerns […]

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Australia New South Wales and the federal government of Australia have reached a new agreement about government water buybacks in the Murray-Darling River Basin, capping the buybacks at 1,500 gigaliters, the Guardian reported. The buybacks transfer water rights from farmers and other water users to the government, and are meant to keep enough water in […]

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Water Storage A company in the United Kingdom is looking to use old mine quarries as basins for water pumping stations that could act as batteries storing renewable energy, Bloomberg News reported. Water pumped uphill from one basin to another by solar and wind power could later be released downhill to provide energy. Dam reservoirs […]

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Water Politics Australia’s Coalition party has revealed a controversial plan to cut $650 million from a government buyback program that purchases water to return to the Murray-Darling River for environmental flows, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The party says the plan will slow the pace of buybacks, but will still deliver all of the water […]

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Water Supply Pakistan is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with only a 30-day supply held in reserve, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank. Water shortages, in combination with already widespread energy shortages, could further destabilize the country, The Atlantic reported. Surface and groundwater supplies in Inner Mongolia are […]

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Water Supply Mecca’s production of drinking water from desalination plants is set to increase 29 percent to 670,000 cubic meters per day, al-Madina and Bloomberg News reported. Saudi Arabia continues to expand its desalination facilities to meet growing demand for water. A pilot project in the Texas Panhandle is testing water conservation practices on farms […]

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Cauvery River Dispute The Hindu reported that water releases from Karnataka’s Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir have stopped on Monday night, due to poor storage in the reservoirs. The Karnataka government submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court earlier Monday to review the Supreme Court’s September 19th ruling to release 9,000 cusecs of water to the Tamil […]

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The possible sale of Australia’s Cubbie Station to Chinese investors has sparked concerns about water buyback targets for the Murray-Darling River Basin, according to The Australian. Cubbie station, the country’s largest cotton producer, has water entitlements of about 140 billion liters (36.9 billion gallons) per year. Food Prices and Security Three United Nations food agencies […]

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Flood protection will cost the United Kingdom at least $1.3 billion (£860 million) by 2015, the Guardian reported, citing the U.K. government’s climate change advisers. The experts also warned that instead of maintaining the expenditure needed, the government has been drastically reducing the amount of public money available for protecting householders from floods. Meanwhile, the […]

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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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A revised management plan—with no change to surface water limits, but an even stricter cap on groundwater withdrawals—for Australia’s Murray-Darling river basin has infuriated many groups, especially farmers. The head of the New South Wales irrigators council called for revisions, lest “social and economic Armageddon” come to farm communities. Victoria’s water minister labeled the plan […]

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As the consultation period for the draft plan on the Murray Darling River Basin draws to a close this week, a prominent Australian environmental expert said that the proposed plan is a step back from current arrangements. Why is the draft so controversial? Managing India’s water resources sustainably will be a top priority in the […]

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Extensive flooding in Australia makes the need to implement a new Murray-Darling Basin water management plan less urgent, argued the Water Minister of New South Wales, who called for delayed action on the reforms, according to The Australian. Two billion people gained access to safer drinking water between 1990 and 2010, meeting an international Millennium […]

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Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Western Hemisphere, largely thanks to a new free-trade agreement with the U.S. and an ongoing $US 5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal. Slated for completion in 2014, the expansion will double the canal's capacity, which will reduce emissions, and the new system will recycle 60 percent of the water in each transit, along with an overall decrease of 7 percent less water than is used by the existing locks.

News headlines are often dominated by the big, unexpected events — BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, for example, or Japan’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophes in 2011 — but some events come with advance warning. Here is a preview of the water news to look for in 2012.

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Afghanistan’s plans to build 12 dams on the Kabul River, and India’s support for the projects, has Pakistan up in arms. But according to researchers, the timing could not be better for a water treaty between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Texas Drought Amid a dire drought that is expected to continue into 2012, Texas has pumped […]

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The weather extremes in Australia are a dress rehearsal for the effects of climate change in the rest of the world, according to this Rolling Stone article. Why is China leading the world in renewable energy investment? Will the Arctic be the next frontier for the geopolitics of energy in the 21st century? Economic expert […]

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Are markets in water rights likely to evolve as a rising population leads to shortages and climate change disrupts patterns of rain and snowfall? Reuters highlights some of the major water trading schemes in the world. The withdrawal of rebel forces from Somalia’s capital may offer citizens some relief from a famine that threatens almost […]

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With just a few weeks until the details of a draft plan for the Murray-Darling River Basin are revealed, a new report says that big water cuts could finish small country towns and communities in Australia’s food bowl, ABC News reported. A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives could restrict the U.S. Environmental […]

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Rising food prices have already pushed 44 million people in developing countries into poverty since last June, and are likely to hit Africa hard in the short term, the World Bank said earlier this week. But some experts argue that growing world consumption will also spark agribusiness investment, especially in Africa, according to The Christian […]

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The water trade in Australia is growing quickly, but some fear that state restrictions will hamper river restorations.

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