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Philippines

The Global Rundown The Philippines‘ largest water company is seeking compensation after a government decision limiting prices it can charge. Fracking companies in North Dakota are trying to turn their waste into clean energy. An environmental activist abandons his Earth Day attempt to swim a toxic New York canal half-way through. “It’s like swimming into a […]

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The Global Rundown Abandoned tailings ponds are a threat to the environment and public health in Chile, nongovernmental organizations say. North Carolina found contaminated groundwater near Duke Energy coal ash dumps, a majority of states in the U.S. expect to see water shortages in the future, and Detroit is increasing financial aid to help residents […]

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The Global Rundown Vanuatu‘s access to safe water has not been fully restored one month after Cyclone Pam, and a small Philippine island’s shallow aquifer is still contaminated 17 months after Typhoon Haiyan. Single-serve brewers are reducing overall coffee demand, and fighting in Yemen is further threatening Yemenis’ food security. Celebrities and CEOs in California […]

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The Global Rundown Increasingly severe droughts in the western United States could give utilities more power to set higher prices for water. Ireland’s government is considering ways to make people pay their water bills, while making Los Angeles’ water systems resilient to earthquakes could cost billions. Dozens of people die each day in the Philippines […]

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Some communities in the Philippines still don’t have access to reliable sources of safe water, despite months of relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan, AlertNet reported. Aid agencies have been hindered by wet, stormy weather, but even the water trucks and tanks that they have been able to supply are temporary solutions to the water problem. […]

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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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Extreme Weather Some of the biggest water stories of 2013 involved extreme weather, including the “Himalayan Tsunami” in India, a record-breaking typhoon in the Philippines, and powerful floods and droughts from Canada to Brazil. This photo slideshow published by the Guardian captures some of the most intense weather of the year. Extreme weather events are […]

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Climate Change An increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius would likely result in chronic water scarcity—less than 1,000 cubic meters per person per year—for 21 percent of the global population, according to new climate models developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Climate Progress reported. An increase of just 1 degree […]

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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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Climate Change The next report released by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to contain stronger warnings about the security of the world’s food supply, The New York Times reported, citing a leaked version of the report. Previous releases from the IPCC reflected hope that the increased plant growth prompted by […]

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Philippines Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the central Philippines last Friday, are now desperately searching for limited food and water supplies, The New York Times reported. The typhoon, one of the strongest to ever hit the Philippines, created a massive storm surge that leveled buildings and may have killed tens of thousands of people. […]

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Water Contamination Work to replace and upgrade Chicago’s aging water pipelines could cause levels of lead in the city’s drinking water to spike, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing a recent study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many old pipelines connecting houses to the main water system are made out of lead, and disturbing them […]

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Water Scarcity Nine new coal mines could significantly draw down surface and groundwater supplies in Queensland, Australia, using 50 to 70 billion liters of water each year, according to a new report from anti-mining group Lock the Gate, the Guardian reported. Queensland politicians say the mines, which could double Australia’s coal exports, will need to […]

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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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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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Heavy rains and winds from Typhoon Utor displaced more than 100,000 people in the Philippines Monday before moving toward China’s Guangdong province, where the typhoon is expected to make landfall Wednesday night, BBC reported. In the past two years, two typhoons that have killed more than 1,000 people have hit the Philippines—the death toll from […]

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Natural Disasters The Philippines government is cracking down on informal settlements along rivers in Manila, with plans to relocate more than 19,000 families from the settlements to permanent housing projects, AlertNet reported. The settlements, which can impede water flow and drainage during floods along rivers, are seen as a safety risk. Nearly 6,000 people are […]

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Water Supply A new study about Andean glaciers found that the pace of ice retreat in the tropical Andes is “unprecedented,” putting the water supply for many South American communities at risk, the Guardian reported. The study, published in Cryosphere, claims that an average temperature rise of 0.7 degree Celsius over 70 years is behind […]

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Workers swarm a big water transport canal near Tilda, India undergoing repair and expansion to serve the steam production and cooling requirements of the region’s expanding number of big coal-fired power plants.

Circle of Blue’s senior editor Keith Schneider reflects on — and celebrates — this year’s body of work from our top reporters.

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At least 283 people have died in the Philippines following the landfall of Typhoon Bohpa, which triggered floods and landslides across the southern islands, AlertNet reported. Rescuers are struggling to find survivors, but efforts are being hampered by destroyed roads and downed communication systems. In Papua New Guinea, the large Ok Tedi copper mine may […]

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