United States

Climate Change Bangladesh is likely to be one of the countries hardest hit by global climate change as rising seas, erosion and intense storms threaten its low-lying river deltas, The New York Times reported. A major problem is saltwater intrusion up freshwater rivers, which makes some farm fields unusable. Some countries, including Britain, are discounting […]

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Water Supply Impoverished neighborhoods and a refugee camp east of security barriers in Jerusalem have dealt with very little water service for the past three weeks, according to a petition submitted to the High Court by Israel’s Association for Civil Rights, the Jerusalem Post reported. Water infrastructure in these areas has been neglected, according to […]

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Asia Vast fires in Indonesia have started earlier in the season than usual and are spreading widely, in part due to a severe drought gripping Southeast Asia, the Guardian reported. The fires, which may have been started illegally to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations, are creating hazardous air pollution in cities like […]

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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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Interactive Event on California Drought – Lessons Learned from Australia Join the conversation How should California respond to its water challenges? What can it learn from Australia’s ongoing drought? March 18, 2014 Background and invitation Direct link to register Learn more CALIFORNIA and AUSTRALIA (March 11, 2014) — Circle of Blue, the team of award-winning […]

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Confusion about California’s drought stems from the failure of some scientists, bloggers, reporters, and others to distinguish among three separate questions.

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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 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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Conservationists worry that the Myitsone hydropower project on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River will resume construction after a 3-year pause initiated by Myanmar president Thein Sein, the Guardian reported. The Chinese-backed dam has already displaced communities along the river, and as much as 90 percent of the electricity it would generate would go to China. U.S. Pollution […]

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Weather It is becoming more likely that an El Niño weather pattern will form this year, potentially bringing severe drought to places like Australia and India while bringing heavy rains and floods to the Midwest United States and Brazil, Reuters reported. El Niño is caused when surface water temperatures increase in the Pacific Ocean. Hydropower […]

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Water Scarcity Food security in the Near East and North Africa region will be strained as the availability of fresh water could decline 50 percent by 2050 and the regional population continues to grow, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN News Centre reported. The UN has formed […]

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Hydropower Pakistan aims to develop hydropower dams capable of producing 13,000 megawatts of electricity, which would increase the country’s hydropower output by almost eight times, AlertNet reported, citing government officials. Pakistan currently experiences frequent power outages due to demand outstripping supply, and the country’s industrial sector has suffered as a result. A drought in Sri […]

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Agriculture A switch to solar-powered irrigation pumps could save India $US 6 billion each year in electricity and fuel subsidies, Bloomberg News reported. The government is looking to replace 200,000 old pumps with solar pumps in the next five years, but will require farmers that receive subsidies to buy the new pumps to switch to […]

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Energy A grant worth more than $US 70 million is at stake when the World Bank decides whether or not to go ahead with initial funding for the Inga 3 hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo—a decision that has now been postponed indefinitely, International Rivers reported. Nongovernmental organizations have raised concerns about the […]

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A heat wave and ongoing drought in Brazil is expected to raise energy prices and could harm crops if the weather continues, while water shortages are a risk in cities like Sao Paulo, Reuters reported. The problems could have political ramifications for Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, who is seeking reelection this year. North America An […]

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Climate change, dam construction, irrigation and groundwater use are causing water supplies in Iran to shrink rapidly, a phenomenon epitomized by the near disappearance of Lake Urmia, The New York Times reported. Lake Urmia is estimated to contain just 5 percent of the water it once held, and though it is a saltwater lake, Iran’s […]

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Approximately 100 million people living in rural China do not have access to safe drinking water, a problem driven in part by polluted groundwater, Xinhua reported. In response, some rural communities on Hainan Island are installing “ultra-filtration membranes” to filter out viruses and dissolved compounds, a technology that China believes could be used across the […]

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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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Residents and activists living near Sochi, Russia say the construction of Olympic venues has increased flood risks and may lead to the contamination of drinking water supplies, Reuters reported. One house in Sochi collapsed, allegedly due to construction activities that reduced drainage capabilities in the area. Extreme Weather California’s governor is planning to declare a […]

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South America More than $US 40 billion worth of mining projects have been blocked or delayed in Chile, creating a bottleneck for foreign investment that the country’s national mining association has asked the incoming government to address, Reuters reported. Many of the mining projects, including the Pascua-Lama gold mine, have been put on hold due […]

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