Water Conservation

Water conservation has had an unintended consequence in Berlin, where groundwater levels are rising, the Economist reported. The water table, which has risen more than a meter since 1989 in some places, now threatens to flood basements and cellars in areas where approximately 200,000 people live. Water Infrastructure Mexico is directing nearly $US 23 billion […]

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California, in the third year of its worst drought ever, faces challenges similar to those of Australia. A panel of water policy experts and Circle of Blue journalists questioned whether the nation’s most populous state has the resolve to enact similar reforms.

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Benefits go to agriculture, but won’t help cities.

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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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California’s record drought prompts water districts to increase conservation spending, drain rainy day funds, and dramatically swell water rates.

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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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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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Water Contamination Water pollution caused by natural gas and oil drilling operations may be more common than advertised, with cases confirmed in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia, according to an Associated Press review of complaints submitted to the states. The review also found that the states varied greatly in the way they reported possible […]

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Europe Problems at a water treatment facility that filters 55 percent of Dublin’s drinking water have forced the city to turn off taps each night since the middle of last week, Bloomberg News reported. Some are blaming the supply cuts on a lack of investment in Ireland’s water infrastructure, though there are mixed views on […]

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Water Conservation Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has said that it will take “national will” for Iran to conserve its scarce water supplies, urging his top ministers to create a national plan for water conservation, Bloomberg News reported. The president outlined priorities such as curbing illegal well drilling and improving the efficiency of irrigation […]

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Water Supply There will likely be a “rapid increase” in the amount of wastewater used globally for irrigation and drinking water as the costs to recycle become competitive with measures to secure scarcer fresh water, according to a study from Japan’s Totorri University and the U.N. University, Reuters reported. North America produces enough treated wastewater […]

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Pipe Schemes U.S. water utilities will need to spend $US 384 billion between 2011 and 2030 to maintain adequate drinking water service, according to an Environmental Protection Agency infrastructure report to Congress. Prepared every four years, the report is used to allocate money to the states from a federal loan program for drinking water projects. […]

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French utility Suez Environnement will charge residents in Dunkirk, France different rates for water based on their income and level of usage, Bloomberg News reported. The French government is also pursuing legislation to make essential utilities like water, natural gas and power more affordable for low-income families. Downpours and floods have forced evacuations and impeded […]

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Drinking Water Bacteria A University of Michigan study showed that bacteria found in drinking water can be traced to treatment filters instead of the original aquifers or rivers. The researchers, who studied Ann Arbor, Michigan’s tap water, said their findings could lead to more natural, sustainable water treatment processes and assist engineers in controlling microbes […]

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Floods Almost two weeks after the devastating floods in southern Russia that claimed the lives of 171 people, three Russian officials have been detained on charges of negligence in their official duties, according to The New York Times. Beijing officials are also facing criticism from citizens and the media over their handling of the heavy […]

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Food Millions of tons of grain in India are at major risk at the moment as they are lying in the open, exposed to scorching summer heat and monsoon rains, according to Reuters. This story looks at the country’s rigid regime of subsidies for grain farmers, the lack of storage facilities and the inefficient, broken […]

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Spider lilies fill the banks of the upper Flint River, near Thomaston, Georgia. Alabama and Florida also share the river basin, which the three states have quarreled over for more than two decades.

Just as it was five years ago, a record-breaking drought is evident in Georgia. But has the state become more resilient through changes to water management policies?

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Oklahoma’s governor has signed a bill that would limit freshwater consumption in 2060 to current levels, while expanding the use of marginal sources, despite a projected 28 percent increase in population and 33 percent increase in consumptive demand.

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Under a new law, mining and oil companies in Peru will be required to hold talks with local communities about the effects of natural resource extraction on the environment and water supplies, Reuters reported. The law stops short of giving communities the power to veto potential projects. Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez faces criticism from within […]

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Thailand is creating an $11 billion fund for flood water management and infrastructure, Reuters reported. Another $1.5 billion will be set aside for insurance. China invested nearly $53 billion in water conservation in 2011, Xinhua reported, citing China’s Ministry of Water Resources. The central government’s investments were a 70 percent increase over spending in 2010. […]

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