World Bank

Energy Chile’s president has reiterated her commitment to boosting the country’s energy supplies, including the addition of 865 megawatts of generation capacity from large-scale hydropower projects in the next four years, Reuters reported. However, the permit for Chile’s largest hydropower project was recently cancelled due to environmental and societal concerns. In reaction to a large […]

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Water Scarcity Political instability and conflict between countries could develop as a result of water scarcity and competing water demands in major river basins like the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates, according to the president of the World Water Council, Bloomberg News reported. Development of the Grand Renaissance Dam in the Nile basin and crop irrigation […]

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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 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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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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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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Drought As California endures a drought that could be the worst in 500 years, federal politicians are wrangling over how best to allocate available water supplies, the San Jose Mercury News reported. You can see Circle of Blue’s reporting on California’s drought and water pollution here. Severe droughts are also threatening water supplies for communities […]

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Scientists discovered an area of meltwater the size of Ireland trapped in the snow above Greenland’s southern glaciers, raising questions about how glaciers might be moderating increases in global sea levels, Discovery News reported. The scientists, who recently published their findings in the journal Nature Geoscience, want to focus further study on how the water […]

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Climate Change More frequent bushfires in Australia appear to be the result of higher temperatures and longer dry spells, according to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the Guardian reported. The AFAC, as well as other bureaus and research institutions, previously predicted that bushfires would increase due to climate change, though Australia’s […]

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Urban Water A pilot project in the United Kingdom is testing a new way to find and automatically stop leaks in urban water pipes without digging them up, Phys.org reported. The project, called LEAKCURE, could vastly reduce the amount of water lost to leaks in Europe and elsewhere. The World Bank should not be investing […]

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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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Violence broke out between the Massai and Kikuyu tribes in Kenya over water access that left hundreds homeless and 80 dead. The Kikuyus are farmers who trade for a living, AlertNet reported, while the Maasai are pastoral herders, and water scarcity often leads to violent disputes over the two for regular access. However, encouraging signs […]

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Public Health Floods linked to climate change, along with the increased trade of certain goods, have played an important role in the expansion of dengue fever-causing mosquitoes, AlertNet reported. Dengue is now the fastest-spreading tropical disease in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Severe drought conditions in the United States last summer […]

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Oil sand mining operations in Alberta, Canada have been shown to cause increased levels of the toxic pollutants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, in nearby lakes, according to a study from a team of Canadian researchers, reported The New York Times. The research tested sediment deposits from six lakes surrounding Fort McMurray dating back about […]

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India’s climate outlook in the upcoming century is bleak, according to an analysis of eighteen different climate models reported in The Hindu. Average annual surface temperatures are expected to rise by 4-7 degrees Celsius, part of a warmer world with heat waves severe drought, and major floods, according to a World Bank-sponsored report. Read the […]

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According to the BBC the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, released today, announced that the atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide reached a record high at 391 parts per million in 2011. Other greenhouse gases, like methane, also were recorded at an all-time high. According to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin press […]

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Oxfam has urged the World Bank to stop its support of large-scale land investments, the Guardian reported. The land purchased by international investors could grow enough food for 1 billion people, but is instead being used to grow biofuels or is left idle, according to a report Oxfam released Thursday. Researchers are hoping to gain […]

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U.S. power producers are not calculating the cost of scarce water resources in coal, nuclear, natural gas and biomass energy production. That was the central finding in a study from The Civil Society Institute and the Environmental Working Group, reported in Bloomberg News. Water in a Changing Climate Pleasure boats and commercial ships in the […]

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The price of five internationally-traded staple crops rose 10 percent last month.

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Asia Twelve tons of radioactive water leaked from a pipeline and may have reached the sea at Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, Bloomberg News reported. The site has suffered repeated leaks, and 100,000 tons of wastewater are still being stored in basements. The World Bank is handing over $US 8 […]

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