Water Quality

What Should We Do? Continuing to flesh out a plan he outlined in June, President Barack Obama issued an executive order creating two climate change advisory bodies. The Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience is a federal conglomeration, comprising senior officials from at least 30 agencies. The other is a task force of prominent state, […]

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Drought Zambia and Angola have both lowered their forecasts for economic growth this year due in part to a severe drought, AlertNet reported. The drought has affected the countries’ agricultural industries, which still make up a large share of their gross domestic product (GDP). As drought continues to be a persistent problem in Africa, there […]

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Water Quality Large blooms of algae in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon have destroyed sea grass beds and forced manatees to eat poisonous macro algae that can kill them, NPR reported. The algal blooms are thought to be the result of nutrient-rich water releases from Lake Okeechobee and seeping septic systems. Australia’s government is requiring environmental […]

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Water Quality London’s Thames Tideway Tunnel—a proposed, $US 6.7 billion sewer meant to stop sewage overflows into the Thames River—is not the right solution to the water quality problem, according to a former chief water regulator in the United Kingdom, the Guardian reported. He argues that water utilities should instead be looking at smaller, more […]

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Africa Libya, Chad, Sudan and Egypt have agreed to work together to manage and share the water in the Nubian Aquifer, an ancient water source than runs beneath the four countries, AllAfrica reported. The agreement is meant to improve transboundary water cooperation, protect water quality and biodiversity, and prevent conflict. Colorado Water Quality Concerns Recent […]

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Circle of Blue reporter Codi Kozacek talks with scientists who are uncovering millions of microscopic plastic beads in the Great Lakes.

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Pharmaceuticals in the Water Systems Infographic

Though there still is no continuous national program to properly dispose of the 10 to 40 percent of prescription and over-the-counter medications that go unused, a few local governments in California and Washington are leading the charge to find sustainable funding sources.

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A Little Clarity After years of talk, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released six amendments to the water quality standards that guide how the Clean Water Act is implemented. The amendments do not set numeric water quality targets; they deal with definitions and procedures, such as how to set designated uses for water bodies, […]

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A new document released by the United Nations inventories shared water resources in the Middle East, providing detailed data to encourage cooperative water management, AlertNet reported. The inventory also notes that the region’s water quality is declining. Water Quality A toxic spill in China’s Fu River caused spiking ammonia levels and resulted in thousands of […]

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Despite growing protests to protect the environment and drinking water quality, British Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing for more fracking, promising compensation to communities and lower gas prices, The Guardian reported. “If you look at what’s happening in America with the advent of shale gas and fracking, their energy costs in business and their gas […]

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Government Action Nearly 100,000 citizens in Prince George’s County expressed disbelief after the call off of a potential water crisis, The Washington Post reported. Utility workers were able to fix the problem, a 48-year-old broken water valve, on Tuesday, but government officials waited until Wednesday to announce the resolved crisis, after many people had already […]

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Energy and Water Pumping water underground to produce geothermal energy or to hydraulically fracture rocks could lead to large—magnitude 4 or 5—earthquakes, according to recent studies, the Guardian reported. One study found a clear correlation between underground water injection and the frequency of earthquakes. Australia’s government must decide whether or not to require a full […]

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Severe flooding will likely increase in many of the world’s major river basins due to climate change, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, AlertNet reported. The study reviewed 29 rivers and found that the Mekong, Nile, and Amazon rivers, among others, will become more prone to severe floods, while […]

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CG0015_grain freighter

Political action and technological advances are cutting down on the transfer of invasive species via ballast water.

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Farmers in regions of the U.S. facing a higher risk of drought are more likely to enroll in federal land and water conservation programs, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study. The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers not to plant on land that is easily eroded, and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program promotes farming […]

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Mining companies are being forced to turn to costly recycling and desalination systems to secure enough water for their operations as rivers and other traditional sources run dry, Reuters reported. Water infrastructure now makes up about 10 percent of mining capital costs. Jordan’s water supply and distribution system is struggling to keep up with the […]

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The Bureau of Land Management’s revised regulations for hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, on federal lands pleased almost no one outside of Congress. The proposal has three prongs: disclosure of chemicals in the fracking fluid, quality-control for well construction, and wastewater disposal. The BLM’s goal is to streamline the reporting process “without introducing unnecessary new procedures […]

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The salinity of Bangladesh’s water supply is increasing, especially in coastal areas, due to sea level rise and natural disasters like floods and cyclones, according to a World Bank study, AlertNet reported. Families in remote areas sometimes have to walk miles to get safe drinking water. U.S. Water Supply The final measure of California snowpack […]

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Flooding Kenya is struggling to help the 90,000 people displaced by spring floods, which have also destroyed crops, AlertNet reported. The country’s cycle of floods and droughts have spurred calls for better disaster management at the national level. Months after monsoon floods hit southern Pakistan, displaced residents face a difficult road to recovery in 2013, […]

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South America A new billboard in Peru is creating fresh water from the air, helping to supply local communities, according to the Global Post. Though the area typically receives very little rainfall, the billboard takes advantage of the region’s high humidity. In an effort to clean up oil projects in the Amazon, Peru has declared […]

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