The Stream, February 11: Middle East Blue Peace?

Can the water crisis get Middle Eastern countries to cooperate? A new report for the Swiss and Swedish governments argues that Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel will have little choice but work together to solve their impending water problems. Meanwhile, Jordan plans to battle its water scarcity with seawater greenhouses, solar power plants and a slew of other new green technologies.

No such prospects for peace in the U.S. Congress, however, where Republicans proposed a 17 percent budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency as part of a series of plans that also try to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Alberta has brought charges against Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA for contravening parts of its water license and providing false or misleading information regarding water withdrawals at its facility near Conklin, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, China raised its investments in Alberta’s tar sands, one of Canada’s biggest industrial water guzzlers and polluters.

Snowfall and irrigation are mitigating China’s severe winter drought, according to the Xinhua news agency. Some of the relief comes from cloud seeding, as China prepares to spend $1 billion to battle the dry spell that is crippling eight of its main food-growing regions.

South Asia’s coastal megacities, large stretches of the U.S. Gulf and East Coast, Australia’s iron-ore and northern coal mines, and Asia’s rice-growing river deltas will be among the first to suffer from tropical cyclones that are predicted to grow stronger, as climate change is heating up the world’s oceans and atmosphere, according to climate scientists.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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