The Stream, December 11: Australia’s Government Removes Murray-Darling From Threatened Ecosystem List

Australia’s federal environment minister will no longer need to evaluate the ecological implications of large development projects for the Murray-Darling River’s floodplains, wetlands and groundwater, the Guardian reported. The federal government’s lower house voted to remove the ecosystem from a list of threatened environments, a status that some members said created unnecessary red tape.

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River will be assessed by a regional committee that includes representatives from Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, Bloomberg News reported. The committee will look at the dam’s potential effects on regional water supplies and economic activity, submitting a final report to the governments of the involved countries.

Turkey is spending $US 1.6 billion on water projects aimed at fighting drought, improving water storage and irrigation facilities for farmers, and improving drinking water, Bloomberg News reported. The country unveiled 36 dams Wednesday that were funded by the spending program.

Water Diversions
A public comment period will begin Friday on a draft of California’s final environmental impact statement for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, a massive project that would divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, The Wall Street Journal reported. The project is meant to improve the supply of drinking and irrigation water to communities in California’s southern and Central Valley regions.

The first phase of China’s South-North Water Diversion project is now delivering water to Shandong province along the project’s eastern route, Bloomberg News reported. The diversion project is the largest in the world.

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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