The Stream, December 7: A New Route for Keystone XL?

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan near the site of the Fukushima disaster, creating a 1-meter (3.2 feet) tsunami, Reuters reported. Neither the quake nor the tsunami caused much damage.

In this Guardian blog, George Monbiot questions the United Kingdom’s trial policy of biodiversity offsetting, which allows developers to destroy habitat for at-risk species if they create new habitat elsewhere.

North America
A water expert from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has proposed a new alternate route for the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would carry crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. The route would take the line over a part of the state where groundwater is already polluted by agriculture, instead of through the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region, United Press International reported.

Religious leaders in Chicago are telling Mayor Rahm Emanuel that paying the city’s water fees will force them to close their doors to public programs, which would be expensive for the city government to replace, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Some Mennonite families in Mexico are contemplating moving back to their ancestral Russia, in large part due to land and water shortages, according to Reuters. The Mennonites are a largely agricultural community, and farm as much as 75 percent of the irrigated corn fields in Chihuahua.

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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