The Stream, April 19: Australia’s Water Market

New photos published on the Guardian reveal that early construction work for the controversial Belo Monte dam has already started in the Amazon, despite ongoing legal battles over environmental licenses. And there are already signs of deforestation.

Australia’s water market has helped farmers and irrigators in the ailing Murray-Darling River Basin to weather drought and chronic water shortages, according to a new report by the country’s National Water Commission. Active water trading during Australia’s 12-year drought allowed water to be reallocated to the higher-value users and thus helped maintain food production even as water allocations decreased.

As droughts are worsening around the world, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have made breakthroughs in understanding which plants will survive dry weather and climate change, according to Environmental Research Letters.

The director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars talked with the Green Prophet blog about the recently released U.S. intelligence assessment on global water security and what it says about the Middle East. Read Circle of Blue’s in-depth analysis of the report.

Meanwhile, a prominent water and sanitation expert has warned that water scarcity may contribute to political instability in sub-Saharan Africa, Bloomberg reported.

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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