South Africa

Mexico Two weeks after approximately 37,800 cubic meters of sulfuric acid spilled into Mexico’s Bacanuchi River from a copper mine, 88 schools have delayed the start of the academic year because of contaminated water, United Press International reported. The country’s National Water Commission said that toxicity levels in the water are declining, and could be […]

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Rainfall has been far below average in Lebanon, leading to water shortages for farmers and a drop in fruit and vegetable production, Inter Press Service reported. As a result, food prices are rising and straining food security for Syrian refugees and border communities in the country. Energy China’s National Energy Administration cautioned regional developers to […]

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Water Shortages India’s monsoon has so far delivered 36 percent less rain than average, and reservoir levels are below their 10-year averages, according to water officials, Bloomberg News reported. If the monsoon continues to perform poorly and dry conditions are compounded by an El Nino weather event, 333 million people in six states could face […]

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Climate Change Large areas of Southeast Asia used for rice production, including crop regions in Bangladesh and Vietnam, could disappear as global sea levels rise, according to a new study that takes into account the melting of the Western Antarctica ice sheet, the Guardian reported. Studies recently found that the ice sheet has been destabilized […]

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Business and Water Scarcity A $US 130 million water treatment plant in Witbank, South Africa is recycling 30 million liters of water a day from a coal mine to supply drinking water for approximately 80,000 people in the city, Bloomberg News reported. The mine and treatment plant are operated by Anglo American, but other mining […]

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Water Pollution Water utility officials in Lanzhou, China, found the carcinogenic substance benzene present at levels 20 times the national limit in the city’s water supply, Xinhua reported. Approximately 2.4 million residents of the city were told to stop drinking their tap water while authorities search for the source of the benzene, which they say […]

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Scientists have called into question the viability of wetland ecosystems recreated on land used for oil sands mining in Canada, saying they do not function as well as before, Yale Environment 360 reported. None of the areas reclaimed by oil companies have yet been certified as meeting government standards, and reclamation efforts can cost as […]

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A small diamond found in Brazil contains a form of mineral that could tell scientists more about the amount of water deep in Earth’s mantle, and if that water was part of the planet’s original composition, according to a new study published in Nature. The mineral suggests that the diamond formed in a water-rich area […]

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Leaks of contaminated water from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami three years ago, are still the biggest problem facing the site’s cleanup, the Associated Press reported. Without improved water management that can keep the leaks out of the soil, groundwater and ocean, residents who evacuated the […]

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United States Pollution Alpha Natural Resources, a United States coal company, has been leveled with a $US 27.5 million penalty for violating the federal Clean Water Act and has agreed to spend an additional $US 200 million to clean up water pollution from its mines in Appalachia, The New York Times reported. The cleanup is […]

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Pollution Protesters have been demonstrating and signing petitions against coal ash ponds in front of the corporate headquarters of Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based company responsible for spilling millions of gallons of coal ash into the state’s Dan River, CNN Reported. The United States federal government is conducting a criminal investigation of the spill, and […]

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Little more than a month after a chemical spill shut off drinking water for West Virginia’s state capital, approximately 100,000 gallons of coal slurry has spilled into a creek and another of the city’s rivers, the Charleston Gazette reported. The spill is downstream of drinking water intakes, but it could severely damage the creek and, […]

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Gold mining operations in South Africa have left rivers and soil near Johannesburg with elevated levels of uranium, raising concerns about the long-term health effects for approximately 400,000 residents in the area, Bloomberg News reported. Water samples taken from rivers west of the city showed uranium levels that could reach 4,000 times natural levels, and […]

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Water Supplies China has lost 9 percent of its wetlands in the past decade even after setting aside several billion dollars to protect wetland areas, Reuters reported. There is some concern that the decline in wetlands, which are being destroyed by agricultural expansion, infrastructure projects and climate change, could lead to a decline in water […]

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Analyzing two reports about future water stress in the United States, the Huffington Post created a list of the top 11 cities that could face water shortages due to factors like population growth, increasing water demand from industries, and climate change. Los Angeles, which imports much of its fresh water, tops the list. Water Pollution […]

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South Africa South Africa needs better cooperation between national and municipal water managers to ensure adequate supply and pollution control, according to an environmental performance review by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bloomberg News reported. South Africa’s water supplies, already scarce, are further reduced by acid mine drainage from closed gold mines. The […]

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Water Pollution Volunteers in Puerto Rico spent the weekend pulling trash from San Juan’s estuary system, which has been degraded by littering and sewer and storm water runoff, Reuters reported. Conservationists hope that the government will undertake a more than $500 million dredging project to improve water quality in the estuary. The Worth of Groundwater […]

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Water Scarcity Water demand fueled by a booming tourism industry in Dunhuang, China, is outstripping both surface and groundwater supplies in the arid city, which was once an important stop along the Silk Road trading route, Xinhua reported. Efforts are underway to restore forests upstream of the city’s reservoir and divert water from a nearby […]

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Water Contamination The Lock the Gate alliance in Australia finds that of 43 coal and gas developments that would potentially affect water supplies in the country, only four have had the government’s “water-trigger” assessment applied to them, The Guardian reported. “The states have really let the side down badly on water quality,” said Carmel Flint, campaign coordinator with Lock […]

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City Water A ruptured water main in a residential neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro caused the death of a 3-year-old girl and injuries to 16 others, NBC News reported. The pipe exploded and flooded the neighborhood, destroying houses, but the cause is unknown. South Africa plans to pump acid mine drainage from old gold mines […]

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