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The World Health Organization is expected this week to confirm more cases of the polio disease in Syria, where it is being transmitted through contaminated food and water, Reuters reported. The disease, which is incurable and causes paralysis, has already been confirmed in 13 children. Climate Change Residents of some atolls in the Solomon Islands […]

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Climate Change More frequent bushfires in Australia appear to be the result of higher temperatures and longer dry spells, according to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the Guardian reported. The AFAC, as well as other bureaus and research institutions, previously predicted that bushfires would increase due to climate change, though Australia’s […]

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Water Conflict Small-scale farmers and livestock herders are increasingly competing for water in Tanzania’s Pangani River Basin, IPS News reported. Rapidly declining rainfall levels in the basin, as well as a growing population, are exacerbating the problem. Curbing Food Waste Efforts to cut down on the amount of food thrown away, which wastes an amount […]

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Drought Frequent droughts and unsteady rainfall are pushing families out of the Sahel, a new report from Refugees International says. Most of the region’s 100 million inhabitants rely on seasonal rainfall to rejuvenate farmland and produce feed for their herds, however in recent years an acute shortage of water has drained savings and forced families to move […]

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Farmers in the United Arab Emirates face a unique challenge when it comes to saving water, The New York Times reported. The hostile natural conditions of little rainfall and tremendous heat means a desperate need for irrigation despite short and declining supplies. The government is working with farmers to reduce agricultural water use in half by 2014. […]

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Drought Relief Farm fields across the Midwestern United States were quenched this week as heavy rainstorms over the central part of the country continued to relieve one of the worst droughts in U.S. history, Reuters reported. Grain prices, which were pushed up to record highs last summer due to the drought-damaged U.S. corn crop, could […]

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Asia and the Pacific Lack of access to safe water in Pacific countries and stressed rivers in Asia are threats to the regions’ water security, according to a new study from the Asian Development Bank and the Asia-Pacific Water Forum. The study found that 75 percent of countries in Asia and the Pacific currently lack […]

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Oxfam has urged the World Bank to stop its support of large-scale land investments, the Guardian reported. The land purchased by international investors could grow enough food for 1 billion people, but is instead being used to grow biofuels or is left idle, according to a report Oxfam released Thursday. Researchers are hoping to gain […]

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Environmental officials from the U.S. and Canada announced that they are about to sign a negotiated update to the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The document “addresses critical health issues in the Great Lakes region,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a news release. Infrastructure Investment The Egyptian government will spend $US 1.3 […]

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monsoon

Monsoon rainfall is 14 percent below average in India, which depends on rainwater to feed more than 50 percent of its agricultural land.

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Technology Desalination technologies are expanding as freshwater scarcity rivals carbon emissions as a major environmental hazard, and the industry is expected to be a $US 17 billion business within the next five years, according to Bloomberg. A report by the International Water Management Institute has proposed low-cost, small-scale irrigation strategies for farms in South Asia and sub-Saharan […]

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Food prices This summer’s drought in the United States will cause corn yields to drop 17 percent compared to 2011, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Consequently, the USDA expects corn prices to rise 39 percent to $8.90 per bushel. Soybean supplies and prices will face similar consequences, The Wall Street […]

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beijing

Having recently returned from China, reporter Nadya Ivanova just missed flooding in the nation’s capital that killed 37 people and closed airports.

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A study by European scientists warns that large geoengineering projects, which have been contemplated as a solution to global warming, could create a 20 percent reduction in rainfall over the Amazon and a 15 percent reduction over large areas of North America and northern Eurasia, AlertNet reported. Reports: Unsustainable Resource Use A new study published […]

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Drinking water is safe to consume in the small Pennsylvania town of Dimock, where residents complained about hydraulic fracturing, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Meanwhile, this Reuters analysis shows that insurers find it tough to price the risk from hydraulic fracturing. A NASA scientist has for the first time tied specific weather events, […]

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Water Shortage Years of uncontrolled digging of wells in Yemen has almost sucked the Arabian Peninsula country dry, according to Reuters. Can new projects stave off a looming water catastrophe? With no major natural freshwater sources, Cuba relies primarily on the whims of weather to supply itself with water. But experts warn that climate change […]

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Climate Change Australia should brace itself for higher temperatures and more weather extremes, such as intense rainfalls and droughts, according to a government report. The more chaotic weather will be an especially big challenge to miners and farmers, who are already building bigger holding dams for flood waters and altering cropping practices. About 3.7 million […]

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Energy South Africa may invest $78 billion in new nuclear power plants, a hydropower project and a coal-fired power plant in order to keep up with energy demand, Business Week reported. A European Union expert committee failed to reach a decision on a proposal that would label fuel from tar sands as highly polluting, pushing […]

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The United States is the world’s largest exporter, and one of the biggest importers, of virtual water, a measure of the water used to create products that are shipped abroad, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, which outlines the flow of water around the […]

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NASA Satellite image of Lake Poyang

Urban waste and falling water levels signaled a rough start to 2012 for some of the world’s largest and most iconic freshwater lakes.

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