The Stream, December 2: Foreign Investment in Water for Australia’s ‘Food Bowl’

Foreign investment is needed to develop dams and irrigation in Australia’s north in order to turn the region into a “food bowl” providing exports for other countries, according to economists, Bloomberg News reported. However, the Australian public is wary of large agricultural investments by foreign companies—deals that many see as giving up control of the country’s food supply.

Researchers believe coal mining and climate change could be behind a dramatic drop in water levels in China’s Hongjiannao Lake, the country’s largest desert freshwater lake, the Guardian reported. The lake has shrunk by one third since 2009, an acceleration of past shrinking rates.

As part of its plan to pursue desalination to augment water supply, China has signed a deal with British company to build the country’s first forward-osmosis desalination plant, Bloomberg News reported. The plant, which is expected to require less energy to treat contaminated water than a reverse-osmosis plant, will have the capacity to produce 500 cubic meters of water each day.

United States
The U.S. Coast Guard will only allow the transport of fracking wastewater by barge on rivers and other waterways if each shipment of wastewater is tested and analyzed first, NPR reported. The tests would allow the Coast Guard to know if hazardous material was present in the cargo.

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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