The Stream, November 21: U.S., Mexico Sign New Colorado River Water Deal

United States
Representatives of the United States and Mexico Tuesday signed Minute 319, an agreement that forms new rules for sharing Colorado River water, the Associated Press reported. The agreement will allow Mexico to store water in Lake Mead, includes infrastructure investments to benefit both countries, and aims to revitalize the beleaguered Colorado River Delta.

Following mega-storm Sandy, U.S. cities are mulling ways to rebuild that will increase their resilience to future natural disasters. In addition to storm walls, some ideas include dune building, creation of water-retaining wetlands, and “sponge parks,” reported Bloomberg News.

Uneaten Thanksgiving turkey equal to 3.9 billion cubic meters of water (105 billion gallons) will be thrown away this year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, United Press International reported. Americans waste an estimated $US 165 billion worth of food annually, said the NRDC.

A Chinese company plans to invest $US 728 million to build a sugar industry in Western Australia’s Ord East Kimberley region, adding more fuel to Australia’s foreign investment debate, Reuters reported. The project could tap into irrigation water from the Ord River and Lake Argyle.

This special report from Euractiv highlights the consequences of agricultural trade between the European Union and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the trade can boost economic development, but also virtually exports the region’s scarce water.

Climate Change
The gap between pledged global emissions cuts and the cuts needed to avoid a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase could be 8 to 13 billion metric tons by 2020, AlertNet reported, citing a new report from the United Nations’ Environment Programme. Last year, UNEP predicted the gap would only be 6 to 11 billion metric tons.

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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