Water Scarcity

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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Water Supply Reservoir levels outside of Tehran are at a “critical level” and approximately 500 cities across Iran are facing water shortages, according to water officials in the country, Voice of America reported. Officials said water cuts could be imposed for some of the 22 million people served by Tehran’s water supply if consumption is […]

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Only 25 percent of people in South Asia have access to piped water supplies and more than a quarter lack access to electricity due to large gaps in infrastructure, according to the World Bank, Reuters reported. The Bank has estimated that the region needs $US 2.5 trillion in investment by 2020 to provide necessary services […]

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Water Data Farmers and water managers in Nepal are lacking adequate scientific data to make informed decisions about everything from local development to crop insurance, Inter Press Service reported. Nepal’s difficult terrain and sparse monitoring networks are one reason behind the data deficiency, but scientists also say that available data is not analyzed properly. Surveyors […]

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Increased heat and water scarcity will limit food production. Farmers and food markets can adapt, but only to a point.

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Water and Energy The World Bank has approved a $US 73 million grant to continue the development of the Inga 3 hydropower project, the first in a series of large dams planned for the Congo River, Inter Press Service reported. The Grand Inga project would give the Democratic Republic of Congo the third highest hydropower […]

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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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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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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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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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Political disagreements between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials have left a new wastewater treatment plant sitting idle, the Guardian reported. The plant is meant to improve water quality in an aquifer that supplies water to Gaza, where most citizens have to buy water from vendors and can pay as much as a third […]

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Water Scarcity A worsening drought in California has left 17 mostly rural communities with just 60 to 120 days of remaining water supplies, according to the state, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Drinking water officials are looking at everything from desalination to trucking in water from other areas to sustain the communities if their […]

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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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Extreme Weather Some of the biggest water stories of 2013 involved extreme weather, including the “Himalayan Tsunami” in India, a record-breaking typhoon in the Philippines, and powerful floods and droughts from Canada to Brazil. This photo slideshow published by the Guardian captures some of the most intense weather of the year. Extreme weather events are […]

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Food Production Countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which rely heavily on food imports due to a lack of water and arable land within their borders, are shifting their agricultural investments from developing countries in Africa to developed countries in Europe and North America, Reuters reported. Political instability and a backlash over “land grabs” in […]

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Water and Energy At the binational Itaipú hydropower dam on the Paraná River between Brazil and Paraguay, environmental and social activists are working with energy companies to protect and restore the watershed for the benefit of residents and future power generation, Inter Press Service reported. Though activists are not completely satisfied with the program, they […]

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Climate Change An increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius would likely result in chronic water scarcity—less than 1,000 cubic meters per person per year—for 21 percent of the global population, according to new climate models developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Climate Progress reported. An increase of just 1 degree […]

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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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Pollution Water polluted with sewage is flowing into the Danjiangkou Reservoir, a source of water for China’s South-North water transfer project that is slated to provide water to Beijing and Tianjin as early as next year, Bloomberg News reported. The Chinese government has blamed the pollution on industries that dump untreated sewage into the five […]

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