The Stream, May 11: Damming Patagonia

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan has announced a major overhaul of its energy policy. The country will cancel all its planned nuclear plants in favor of renewable energy and power conservation, The New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, the director of the Energy Research Institute (ERI) at China’s National Development and Reform Commission told Chinadialogue that nuclear power is still “the safest option” for China.

A Duke University study finds a link between hydraulic fracking and methane contamination in water wells located near gas drilling sites. The United States does not regulate methane concentrations in its drinking water.

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the shale gas industry, the University of Texas will conduct its own study of the environmental impacts of natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, Business Week reports.

Despite passing the official environmental tests, a $7 billion project to build five dams in Chile’s Patagonia is not without severe opposition.

Meanwhile, China will build a dam on Cameroon’s Sanaga River as part of a major effort to increase the African country’s electricity supply, according to Reuters.

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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