The Stream, February 15: Budget Cuts

Greenwire gives details on the highs and lows of President Barack Obama’s EPA budget proposal. Under the plan, EPA would take a 12.6 percent funding cut, or $1 billion less, than fiscal year 2011, including a slash in money for local and state water projects. Deep cuts are also planned for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but there will be more focus on enforcement and new air pollution rules. NPR breaks down the overall FY2012 budget proposal, from Homeland Security to space exploration.

The bean counters in Greece have to make hard choices, too. Faced with a debt crisis, the European country might consider selling stakes in railways, attractive water utilities, as well as real estate, to raise 50 million euros over the next five years.

Call it simple economics, but if water demand outstrips water supply over a period of time, then you are in for a water crisis. So goes the story in South Africa, where experts are warning that the country might face critical water shortages as early as 2020.

Ecuador vs. Chevron: the landmark Amazon pollution case that started 17 years ago is still dragging on, even though an Ecuador court ruled Monday that the U.S. oil company should pay more than $8 billion in damages. Chevron is determined to appeal, and the case is far from being over, a Reuters analysis says.

Australia plans to drain more than 76 billion gallons over nine days from the Wivenhoe Dam in southeastern Queensland to prevent Brisbane from being flooded again when more cyclones hit the area in the next few months.

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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