The Stream, February 16: Asia’s Greenest Cities

Singapore is the green champion among Asia’s cities, according to the Asian Green City Index. Singapore scored highest in wastewater treatment, mainly thanks to its NEWater project, which turns dirty water into a clean resource for drinking and industry through micro-filtration, reverse osmosis and ultra-violet technology. Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo and Yokohama trail right behind, while Karachi occupies the bottom of the chart. And here’s a break-down of the results.

Speaking of greening big cities, Moscow is prepping up a new environmental program to increase the area of its parks and public gardens, as well as clean the water in city rivers and ponds, the Ria Novosti news agency reports.

Despite being one of the driest countries in its neighborhood, Jordan recycles just 10 percent of its water. But a new joint project by NGOs and two German universities aims to double the amount of the wastewater treated in the country. It’s a necessary measure in the arid Middle Eastern state, where even a moderate decrease in rainfall might lead to sharp drops in groundwater levels, according to Deutsche Welle.

A prolonged dry spell in Brazil’s coffee-growing regions is crippling the coffee crops, and might cause more harm than the previously predicted 30-percent drop in output, Bloomberg says.

And here’s a place that is always dry. China’s far western region of Xinjiang plans to build the country’s first desert airport. According to China Daily, the airport in the Taklimakan Desert will be constructed within the next five years to serve the oil exploration in one of China’s most energy-rich but water-scarce areas.

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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