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Water Shortage

The Global Rundown Six people will be charged in connection with a chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in West Virginia, an announcement that comes as the United States Safe Drinking Water Act turns 40 years old. New York state is banning fracking due to health concerns. United Nations experts will help clean up an […]

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The Global Rundown Contaminated well water killed and sickened people in Somalia’s capital, while water service in the Maldives’ capital is expected to resume next week. In Lima, shrinking glaciers are taking a toll on water supply, and experts at climate talks in the city are urging action to protect mangroves. Great Lakes water levels […]

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The Global Rundown Malé, the capital of the Maldives, faces severe water shortages due to a desalination plant fire, while South Africa suffers power outages due to water and fuel shortages. California’s drought is the worst in more than a millennium, Lake Mead water levels are at record lows, and cities in the U.S. West […]

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The Global Rundown Clean water is necessary for the fight against AIDS in Africa. Waterborne diseases are on the rise in Mosul, while Sao Paulo is two months away from running out of water. Floods have killed five people in southern France, and Ireland’s water utility is spending millions on legal fees. India’s desalination business […]

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The Global Rundown The United States and China have agreed to landmark cuts in carbon emissions to fight climate change, which is warming groundwater as well as the air and surface water. The U.S. Congress is moving to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, documents suggest Shell spilled more oil in the Niger Delta than […]

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Health Africa Access to clean water is crucial for both treating Ebola patients in Africa and preventing the spread of the disease, according to the aid agency UNICEF, RT reported. One patient needs an estimated 150 liters of clean water a day, approximately 10 times the amount typically available per capita in Liberia. Water Supply […]

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Water Infrastructure Australia, Asia, Africa, Middle East Australia is planning to build more dams and invest in as many as 30 irrigation schemes to provide more water for agricultural production, Reuters reported, citing a new government paper. Per capita water availability from the country’s existing dams has declined more than 20 percent since 1980. As […]

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Water Supply As water supplies continue to decline in Tehran, Iran is spending $US 11 million to complete a new water treatment plant and mulling a plan to import water from Tajikistan, Bloomberg News reported. Officials are also considering stricter measures to get residents to reduce water consumption, which is much higher in the capital […]

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Pollution Harmful tailings waste from the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia was found to be leaking into nearby rivers on September 4, more than a month after a tailings dam at the site burst and released billions of gallons of tailings, Reuters reported. The provincial government said the company has curbed the leaks now, […]

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India Both India and Pakistan have offered to assist each other after monsoon rains caused deadly floods in the Kashmir region, Reuters reported. The two countries have long been at odds over Kashmir, but the death of at least 239 people in the floods prompted cooperation. Unlicensed bottled water plants supply just as much water […]

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Water Scarcity Water levels in the reservoir that supplies drinking water to most of Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, have fallen to just 9 percent of capacity and are below water supply pumps, Bloomberg News reported. The reservoir has been shrinking for the past two years, supplying one third of demand and prompting water rationing that cuts […]

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Extreme Weather The United States corn crop, worth $US 65 billion last year, is increasingly at risk from heatwaves and droughts, according to a new report released by Ceres, the Guardian reported. The report highlights that 87 percent of irrigated corn acres in the U.S. are suffering water shortages. There is now a 90 percent […]

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India New Delhi is experiencing its hottest temperatures in 62 years, according to Reuters. The heatwave has created blackouts, mandatory power cuts, and water shortages, prompting several members of Congress to hold the city’s chief secretary in his office until he agrees to address the problems in a meaningful way, the Times of India reported. […]

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Earlier this month Vietnam became the 35th country to ratify a United Nations treaty on rivers that cross international boundaries. Having now acquired an adequate number of signatures, the treaty will come into force on August 17, 2014. The International Water Law blog is hosting a series of essays exploring what this means for the […]

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Water Shortages A severe water shortage caused by the shutdown of two water pumping stations is threatening supplies for more than 2 million people in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Los Angeles Times reported. It is believed that the shutdown was an intentional attack by an antigovernment Islamist group, but some think government bombing […]

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Pollution Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium and nickel are some of the most common pollutants contaminating approximately 19 percent of arable land in China, according to an official report, The Wall Street Journal reported. The contaminants are deposited in the soil by water and air, and some of the most polluted areas are in […]

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Weather and Water An El Niño weather pattern, in which surface water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator warms, is likely to develop this summer, according to the World Meteorological Organization and other prominent weather agencies, AlertNet reported. El Niño conditions are known for influencing extreme weather around the globe, such as flooding in […]

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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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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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