The Stream, December 12: Energy Projects Search for Water

An Australian company found a water supply for one of the largest unmined coal deposits in South Africa. Resource Generation will build and operate a wastewater treatment plant in a nearby community, Mining Weekly reports. In return, the company will receive rights to the treated effluent, which will be sent through a pipeline to the mine.

The Guardian takes a look at the Desertec project, a bi-continental energy grid that would turn Saharan sunshine into electricity for Europe. The first phase will begin construction next year with a 500 megawatt solar plant in Morocco. One obstacle to scaling it up: water.

According to a draft analysis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found methane and other chemicals associated with gas drilling in monitoring wells in Pavilion, Wyo. The chemical concentrations were below federal health standards and similar to those found in testing last year. The Wyoming study, which is being peer-reviewed after a 45-day public comment period, is separate from the agency’s broader investigation into the effects of natural gas drilling on water resources.

The United Kingdom’s Department for Environmental, Food, and Rural Affairs has published a white paper that lays out a “vision of future water management” for Britain. Parliament is expected to consider a water bill in 2012. Among the paper’s suggestions: reducing water withdrawals, using watersheds as management units, and incentivizing water efficiency.

Researchers from Resources for the Future, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, have published a report on how to select the best land for green infrastructure projects. The report uses the Lower Fox River Basin in Wisconsin as a case study.

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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