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Law The construction of a BP oil pipeline in Colombia caused serious damage to water supplies and fields, according to more than 100 farmers who are suing the oil company in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported. The lawsuit is one of the largest environmental cases in UK history. A dispute over water rights between […]

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A private company has filed paperwork to prepare plans for a large hydroelectric dam in Alaska. Glacial Energy LLC, based in Wasilla, Alaska, is seeking a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a 113-meter (370-foot) high dam on the Talkeetna River, some 177 kilometers (110 miles) north of Anchorage. The permit allows […]

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Climate change, dam construction, irrigation and groundwater use are causing water supplies in Iran to shrink rapidly, a phenomenon epitomized by the near disappearance of Lake Urmia, The New York Times reported. Lake Urmia is estimated to contain just 5 percent of the water it once held, and though it is a saltwater lake, Iran’s […]

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In a normal week, I use this space to look back at U.S. government water news from the seven days that have just passed. Today, however, I turn the lens in the opposite direction. These are the policies, reports, and decisions to anticipate in 2014, organized chronologically, more or less. Great Lakes The government gets […]

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Cotton sorghum agriculture farming irrigation Ogallala Aquifer water Texas USDA

Though corn acreage is forecasted to rise slightly over last year’s planting, the biggest jump is predicted for sorghum, which uses less water.

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Rivers Vietnam and Cambodia urged Laos to halt its controversial Xayaburi dam project on the Mekong River at a recent meeting of the Mekong River Commission, the Guardian reported, citing NGO International Rivers. In 2012, Laos held a formal groundbreaking ceremony for the dam, which some fear could threaten food security and wildlife. A photo […]

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Upgrades to the world’s agricultural export infrastructure, such as roads, waterways and ports, needs to become a priority in order to feed a growing planet, according to the CEO of global agribusiness company Bunge, Reuters reported. Low water levels and a back-up of barge traffic on the Mississippi River have put renewed focus on grain […]

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The Guardian explores how Costa Rica has implemented a green economy, which places a monetary value on ecosystem services, to protect resources like forests and water. Officials in Mumbai have warned that water rationing will likely occur after July 15 due to dwindling water supplies in India’s most populous city, The Times of India reported. […]

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Climate change is causing the global water cycle to accelerate and intensify faster than previously thought, with the possibility that it could intensify 16-24 percent by 2100, according to a new study published in the journal Science, Nature reported. This means that dry areas of the globe will become drier, while wet regions will likely […]

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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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The proposed pipeline could be approved on a much shorter timeline than was laid out by President Barack Obama, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday giving approval power for the project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Senate has not yet considered the bill.

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Lines in the Sand Last Wednesday, the Obama administration denied a permit for Keystone XL, a 2,750 km (1,710 mi) pipeline from Canada’s tars sands to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. In a statement, President Barack Obama said that the decision was “not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but [on] […]

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Tar Sands Map

However, the company building the pipeline will be invited to re-appl,y after finding a new route through Nebraska, according to a government official.

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Developing the United Kingdom’s shale gas reserves is incompatible with the country’s climate change goals, according to a new study from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in Manchester. The carbon cost of developing just 20 percent of U.K.’s proven shale reserves would offset about 15 percent of the government’s greenhouse gas emissions budget […]

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The Obama administration decided Thursday to study an alternate route for the Keystone XL pipeline, postponing a final verdict on the proposal until after the 2012 election, The New York Times reported. The controversial pipeline has stirred up widespread opposition in Nebraska, where it would cross the Ogallala Aquifer as it carries crude oil from […]

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A new method of hydraulic fracturing utilizes reusable liquid propane gas instead of water to release underground natural gas deposits, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The technology, which is being developed in Canada, could have dramatic implications for water use in the burgeoning natural gas industry. United States Climate-related natural disasters have incurred $14 billion […]

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Global water use is increasing at twice the rate of population growth, Reuters reported. Developing countries will account for the bulk of the increased demand, potentially using 50 percent more water by 2025, while poverty and climate change add further stress to the situation. Glaciers in China’s Qinghai Province are melting faster due to climate […]

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Less than 14 percent of Americans think that the United States is headed in the right direction on energy, according to the University of Texas at Austin’s biannual Energy Poll. Nebraska’s top senator said on Wednesday that a proposed state legislation to force TransCanada Corp to move the route of its $7 billion Keystone XL […]

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France plans to cancel shale gas exploration permits granted to Total SA and Schuepbach after it banned shale gas drilling due to environmental concerns earlier this year, Reuters reported, citing Le Figaro. Agriculture groups are up in arms over a proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to enlarge […]

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Georgia officials are smiling after Tuesday’s verdict from a federal appeals panel that overturns a lower court’s ruling that metro Atlanta does not have legal authority to use Lake Lanier for its water supply. The Associated Press reports that the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the reservoir, will re-evaluate Atlanta’s request for water under […]

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