U.S. Pollution

Iraq’s Mosul Dam, the largest in the country, is back under Iraqi and Kurdish control, but potential delays in maintenance during the fight over the dam have raised concerns about its structural integrity, Reuters reported. The dam has long needed almost constant maintenance due to flaws in its foundations, and a complete breach could flood […]

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India will spend $US 1 billion by 2017 to clean up waterways and make more water available for irrigation, Bloomberg News reported. Government officials say the plan will allow an additional 500,000 hectares of land to be irrigated. Climate Change Water supplies in some of Asia’s major rivers may be at risk as glaciers on […]

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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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lakeeriebloom8314

Current targets not enough to stop algal toxins.

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China A lake containing 49.6 million cubic meters of water has formed in China’s Yunnan province after an earthquake and subsequent landslides blocked rivers in the region, Reuters reported, citing Xinhua. The lake continues to grow, and 4,200 people have been evacuated to avoid a massive flood if the water breaks through the natural dam. […]

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Energy Energy production using current sources and technology, coupled with a growing global population, will likely lead to large water deficits by 2040, according to a new study from the CNA Corporation, Aljazeera America reported. Power generation is one of the largest uses of water in the world, but switching to energy sources like wind […]

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Water Scarcity Agricultural diversions, dams and climate change have led to the loss of 85 percent of the water in Lake Urmia, a lake that once covered 5,000 square kilometers, Bloomberg News reported. Iran’s president said the country is initiating efforts to restore the lake, which are expected to take 10 to 15 years to […]

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Human rights groups have sent a report to the United Nations arguing that water shutoffs by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department are violating the human right to water, the Detroit News reported. Half of the city’s water accounts are overdue, and the city has so far shut off 4,500 of the 46,000 customers that […]

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Desertification Approximately 105 million hectares, or 32 percent of India’s land, is degraded and one quarter is facing desertification, according to India’s environment minister, Reuters reported. The trend is thought to be caused by overuse of land for grazing livestock and shifting rainfall patterns. India is not alone. Globally, 2 billion hectares a year are […]

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Floods Flooding in Nepal costs the country approximately $US 232 million each year when taking into account damages to both infrastructure and health, according to a new study by Nepal’s government and the Climate Development Knowledge Network, the Guardian reported. There is evidence that the intensity and frequency of floods in Nepal are increasing, with […]

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Water Quality The water supply for approximately 680,000 was shut off in Jingjiang City, China today due to concerns about its quality, Reuters reported. Supplies, which came from the Yangtze River and were flagged because of a strange smell, were later turned back on using an alternative source, according to Bloomberg News. Proposed regulations in […]

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Extreme Weather Extreme flooding along the Madeira River in the Amazon basin, which killed 60 people and displaced 68,000 families this year, was the result of massive deforestation in Bolivia and Peru, according to a scientist who was previously the head of the Inter-American Development Bank environmental division, IPS reported. His assessment contradicts the views […]

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Pollution Oil spilled into southern Lake Michigan Monday from a BP refinery in Indiana that was updated last year to accommodate an increasing amount of crude oil coming from Canada’s tar sands, Reuters reported. Lake Michigan is currently 60 percent covered in ice, and the company has not yet said how much oil was leaked. […]

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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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Asia Water cleanup systems meant to decrease the radioactivity of wastewater at Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have malfunctioned, prompting the Tokyo Electric Power Company to suspend water cleanup operations, the Japan Times reported. One of the three systems was not sufficiently reducing levels of radioactive substances in the water, and officials stopped the […]

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Pollution Officials have found 131 dead pigs in China’s Ganjiang River near Nanchang, and are still recovering more carcasses, Bloomberg News reported. Drinking water in Nanchang has been tested and is safe, according to tests, but the incident is once again raising concerns about food and water safety a year after dead pigs were found […]

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Pollution A coal seam gas operation in Australia’s Pilliga forest contaminated groundwater supplies with arsenic, lead and uranium after the facility’s storage ponds leaked, the Guardian reported. The contamination led to a $1,500 fine and calls from environmentalists and farmers to halt the operation, though the company says the groundwater was not part of a […]

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Scientific research stations in Antarctica are contaminating the surrounding environment through wastewater discharges, and toxic chemicals have been found in the tissues of penguins and fish, sediments, and dust, National Geographic reported. Though it is unclear what effect the chemicals are having on the animals, levels in some sediment samples were as high as those […]

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Pollution A federal judge in the United States ruled that actions by lawyers representing plaintiffs in a decades-long Ecuador water pollution case were corrupt, making it less likely that Chevron—the oil company accused of pollution—will end up paying the $US 9.5 billion fine ordered last year by Ecuador’s highest court, The New York Times reported. […]

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Pollution Australian government records show that a nickel refinery illegally discharged wastewater into the Great Barrier Reef marine park, introducing hundreds of tons of nitrogen into the environment, the Guardian reported. The company was not penalized, and said the releases were necessary to prevent overflow from the refinery’s tailings ponds during heavy rains. Environmental officials […]

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