The Stream, March 17: California’s Nitrate Contamination

A new report led by the Pacific Institute reveals that nitrate contamination in California’s groundwater is having a real impact on the state’s health, economy and environment, primarily in the San Joaquin Valley and other agricultural areas that use big amounts of fertilizers for irrigation.

Nuclear Debate
In an apparent contradiction to earlier statements, China has halted approval for new nuclear power plants until safety standards are revised following Japan’s nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, the Guardian‘s George Monibot argues that despite the Fukushima accident, nuclear power is still lesser evil than coal.

Tar sands pipeline
A $7 billion pipeline project to pump millions of tons of crude oil a day from the Alberta tar sands to Texas has been delayed after the Obama administration ordered additional environmental reviews, the Guardian reports. The final decision is due by the end of the year.

Desalinated water
Bloomberg reports that Saudi Arabia has awarded $267 million in water contracts to Indian and Turkish companies to pump and transfer desalinated water from the coastal city of Ras Al Zour to the dry city of Hafr Al Batin in the northeastern part of the country.

Coal exports
A proposed export terminal to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to Asia has ground to a halt after the coal company in charge of the project announced it withdrew its permit application in response to protests by citizens and environmental groups. This is just one of several proposed coal-exporting terminal projects in North America’s Pacific coast that seek to meet the surging demand for U.S. coal in China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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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