The Stream, August 8: Rice — A Bright Spot for Global Food

Global rice production is expected to break records, putting downward pressure on rice prices at the same time droughts cause corn and soybean prices to skyrocket, Bloomberg News reported, citing the United States Department of Agriculture. Thailand, the world’s biggest rice exporter, is also amassing its biggest stockpile of the grain in over 50 years.

Sri Lanka, however, is suffering a drought that has affected 20,000 farmers and ruined about 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) of rice, according to United Press International.

Bali’s environment is paying the price of a booming tourism industry, in which one hotel room can consume 300 liters (79 gallons) of fresh water each day, the Guardian reported.

The refining of rare earths in Inner Mongolia has left poisonous tailings ponds and saturated the soil and groundwater with toxic materials, according to the Guardian.

A group of Thai citizens has filed a lawsuit against Thailand’s state-run electricity company, which plans to buy nearly all of the power produced from Laos’ controversial Mekong River dam project, Bloomberg News reported. The group hopes the lawsuit will keep the dam from being built.

A wastewater treatment plant in Oregon is planning to use greasy restaurant wastewater to produce more of the electricity the plant requires to run, The New York Times reported. Wastewater plants are one of the most energy-intensive services that a city provides.

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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