The Stream, December 12: Improving Agricultural Infrastructure

Upgrades to the world’s agricultural export infrastructure, such as roads, waterways and ports, needs to become a priority in order to feed a growing planet, according to the CEO of global agribusiness company Bunge, Reuters reported. Low water levels and a back-up of barge traffic on the Mississippi River have put renewed focus on grain transport systems.

In Nebraska, the same drought that has stressed the Mississippi River has drawn down levels on the Republican River, prompting a meeting of the Republican River Compact states. Nebraska may need to impose further water restrictions and pursue augmentation projects in 2013 to ensure that Kansas receives its share of the river’s water, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

Countries should focus on adapting agricultural practices to changing weather patterns in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to Bruce Campbell, director of the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security at CGIAR. In this New York Times opinion piece, Campbell argues that agricultural adaptation has been largely left out of global conversations on climate change.

A cold winter in Europe could lead to power shortages and a “critical situation,” EurActiv reported. Energy supplies are especially tight in Europe after Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power and depend more heavily on renewable sources.

Environmental officials in China say that wastewater discharged from two treatment plants complied with national standards, despite allegations by Greenpeace that toxic pollution was making its way into a nearby river from the plants, Xinhua reported. Local residents still worry that the water is unsafe.

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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