The Stream, December 5: 11 U.S. Cities Face Water-Scarcity Risks

Analyzing two reports about future water stress in the United States, the Huffington Post created a list of the top 11 cities that could face water shortages due to factors like population growth, increasing water demand from industries, and climate change. Los Angeles, which imports much of its fresh water, tops the list.

Water Pollution
New regulations on ship ballast water coming into effect next year are expected to drive massive growth in the ballast water treatment industry, taking it from a current worth of $US 466.6 million to a projected $US 3.14 billion by 2023, Bloomberg News reported, citing Frost & Sullivan. Ballast water treatment systems are meant to keep invasive species and other pollutants from being transported from port to port.

South African gold mining company Harmony has been court ordered to clean up water pollution in the West Rand where their mining activities contributed to acid rock drainage, Bloomberg News reported. Pollution from old gold mines has been identified as a significant threat to drinking water supplies in South Africa.

Strong storms off the eastern coast of England and Scotland are pushing up sea levels and creating major flooding threats, the Guardian reported. The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency warned that some areas could see water levels as high as those in the 1953 North Sea floods.

The discovery of water in the atmosphere of five distant, gas giant planets is the first step in determining if water exists on more habitable, rocky planets, the Los Angeles Times reported. Scientists made the discovery using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which is only able to detect water on gas giant planets, but plan to launch a new telescope to look for water on smaller planets.

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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