The Stream, March 2: Shale Uncovered

In the next chapter of its gas drilling series, The New York Times digs even deeper into the murky side of the U.S. shale gas boom. Even when companies treat their drilling wastewater, environmental and health risks remain, in the form of salts or sludge that are highly concentrated with radioactive material and other contaminants.

Much less is known about the exploratory drilling for shale gas in the United Kingdom, where the first prospective shale gas producer — which will begin this month to fracture the rocks in a reservoir near Blackpool — does not have to declare how much gas it thinks it can produce from the sites until 2015, according to its license agreement.

Speaking of energy production, Arch Coal Inc., the second biggest coal supplier in the United States, will have to pay $4 million for clean water violations at its mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky, Reuters reports. The company was charged with releasing too much iron, manganese, suspended solids and other pollutants into streams from some of its mining facilities in the three states.

Water conservation is emerging as an important area for Indo-U.S. partnership, according to U.S. Ambassador in India Timothy J. Roemer. He drew parallels between the water challenges in India and the United States at a seminar on the issue.

This commentary in The Mail & Guardian Online peeks into the water-energy-climate nexus in South Africa, arguing that water, not energy, shortages will constrain the country’s growth.

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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