The Stream, February 21: Toxic Waste

How is water affected by illegal waste exports from the United Kingdom to the developing world? The U.K. Environment Agency is pursuing in court 30 cases of illegal exports of electrical and household waste — as well as tyres — to West Africa and South East Asia, which have dire consequences for public health and the environment. More details from the Financial Times.

A funding bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives has angered environmentalists, the Environment News Service reports. The bill, which plans a series of spending cuts, slashes the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by one-third. While House Republicans say the measures are critical to the U.S. economy, environmentalists consider it a major blow on public health, clean air and clean water programs.

Coal might cost U.S. society $500 billion a year, according to a new Harvard Medical School study, which examines the economic, health and environmental impacts of coal, including from extraction, transportation, processing and combustion.

Meanwhile, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study says that climate change may increase water-borne diseases that originate in oceans, lakes and coastal ecosystems, and the impact could be felt within 10 years, AFP reports.

The Economist peaks into the “golf craze” in Beijing, which is enduring the driest winter in 6o years and struggling to meet the growing water demands of its burgeoning population. Despite its acute water shortages, Beijing boasts 170 golfing establishments (including driving ranges), many of which illegal, and construction continues apace.

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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