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The Global Rundown Negotiators reached a climate deal in Lima, requiring all countries to create plans to reduce their emissions. Meanwhile, major droughts continued to plague California and Sao Paulo, and China documented its shrinking glaciers. Morocco received more money for water infrastructure projects, while Australia cut funding for infrastructure in the Murray-Darling Basin. Access […]

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The Global Rundown New Zealand is proactively curbing irrigation water in preparation for a drought, and Ghana is cutting electricity to factories due in part to low water levels. Brazil could face a recession if it doesn’t get enough rain, and California could lose its southernmost population of coho salmon. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is […]

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The Global Rundown Mumbai still faces extreme flood risks 10 years after a 2005 disaster, and a new report urges governments to do more to address extreme weather risk. Deteriorating water systems are contributing to disease in Syria. France must defend its Sivens dam project, while hydropower helped push Scotland’s renewable energy production to new […]

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Water Supply A new program will allow residents of Angola’s capital, Luanda, to use their mobile phones to locate community water taps that sell water much cheaper than private vendors, Bloomberg News reported. The city is the fastest growing in sub-Saharan Africa, but many of its residents lack access to a piped water supply within […]

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Water Pricing The more water you use, the more you should pay for it, says Nestle’s Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Bloomberg News reported. Brabeck-Letmathe spoke at a Nestle corporate sustainability meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday. “For rare resources, the economy of scale is the biggest mistake you can have,” he asserted, referring to the common practice […]

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United States At least 182 households in California’s San Joaquin valley no longer have running water in their homes due to the ongoing drought, prompting bottled water distributions by emergency services, the Associated Press reported. Circle of Blue’s latest story about the drought explains how a well-drilling “free-for-all” by the agriculture industry is behind the […]

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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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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 Scarcity Water supplies are increasingly being used as a weapon in conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa, Inter Press Service reported. The United Nations has recently expressed concerns about forces in Syria deliberately cutting off supplies to civilians, which it called a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. Water shortages […]

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Africa Ethiopia decided not to accept financial help from Egypt for funding the Grand Renaissance dam on the Nile River, Reuters reported. The decision gives Ethiopia complete control over the controversial hydropower project, which Egypt has opposed due to concerns about water availability downstream. Seismic testing for oil is slated to begin April 26 in […]

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A drought in Malaysia has drawn down reservoir levels in the state of Selangor, putting water supplies in “critical condition” and forcing water rationing near the nation’s capital, Bloomberg News reported. Extended drought conditions could have negative consequences for oil palm plantations in the region, but the current dry spell began in early February. South […]

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Natural Disasters The annual economic cost of natural disasters in China nearly doubled in 2013, costing the country $US 69 billion, Reuters reported. The most expensive disasters were floods and mudslides, followed by earthquakes and droughts. An extended period of heavy rainstorms and floods in the United Kingdom has taken a toll on the country’s […]

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Europe The United Kingdom has been suffering a deluge of heavy rainstorms for months, leading to record-breaking floods that have inundated thousands of homes and businesses. In this comprehensive summary report of the floods, the Guardian examines how they might affect the country’s water management and the implementation of climate change adaptation measures. Exploration projects […]

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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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In an effort to cut red tape for businesses, 73 percent of the United Kingdom’s environmental rules are being changed or removed, the Guardian reported. The overhaul is expected to save businesses $US 1.6 billion over five years. China After achieving record grain production in 2013, China aims to become completely self-sufficient for its grain […]

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For the first time since 2008, Australia’s government will sell some of its water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin, making as much as 10 gigaliters available to irrigators, the Guardian reported. The decision has been applauded by drought-hit farmers, but members of the Greens political party worry that the sell-off could damage communities and environments […]

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While both federal and local government budgets for flood defenses dwindle, the United Kingdom’s government is spending large amounts of money on policies that are counterproductive to flood control, the Guardian reported. Agricultural subsidies that require farmers to keep their land bare of trees, increasing runoff, are just one example of such policies. Africa Improving […]

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Water Pollution A chemical foaming agent used to process coal spilled into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia Friday, prompting a tap water ban for approximately 300,000 people and the declaration of a state and federal disaster, CBS News reported. Stores in the area quickly sold out of bottled water, and the National Guard […]

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Climate Change Introducing large quantities of sulfate particles into Earth’s atmosphere in an effort to simulate large volcanic eruptions and keep global temperatures from rising could have the unintended consequence of greatly reducing rainfall in parts of the world, the Guardian reported, citing a new study published in Environmental Research Letters. The study showed that […]

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United Kingdom More plastic than was previously thought is likely flowing down the River Thames and into the North Sea, creating hazards for wildlife, according to a new report from scientists in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported. Recent studies around the world have suggested that plastic pollution is just as prevalent and harmful in […]

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