An estimated 500,000 cubic kilometers of fresh and brackish water exist as groundwater underneath the sea floor of continental shelves, according to a new study from the Adelaide-based National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training that was published in the journal Nature. Researchers say the newly discovered reserves could help relieve water stress in some areas, but will need to be managed carefully.
A government flood insurance program in the United Kingdom does not take into account the increased flood risks associated with climate change, leaving nearly half a million homes without coverage, the Guardian reported. The government does acknowledge that more homes will face flood risks in the future, but it did not include climate change predictions in the insurance program.
A new legal deadline will give Spanish environmental authorities a maximum of six months to rule on proposed industrial projects, Bloomberg News reported. The law is meant to encourage more investment, particularly in the country’s shale gas industry, and could allow for more water trading between regions.
A water sharing agreement signed by Palestine, Israel and Jordan yesterday will also help to test the viability of shipping water from the Red Sea to the shrinking Dead Sea, AlertNet reported. The salty byproduct water from a new desalination plant on Jordan’s Red Sea coast will be piped to the Dead Sea to study how the two types of water mix.