The Stream, November 20: Debate Over Bottled Water Safety

Bottled Water
With sales of bottled water in China expected to reach $US 16 billion by 2017, some economists worry that government involvement in the industry may encourage lower safety standards as local authorities compete to attract investment, Business Insider reported. China recently announced reforms aimed at cleaning up its food and water supplies.

An article published by Upwave compares the safety of bottled water and tap water in the United States, and concludes that neither is inherently safer than the other. Both forms of water must meet safe drinking water standards, though water from private wells may need to be tested since it does not go through a public water supply system.

An agritech startup in Israel is searching for ways to improve crop yields by making plants more resistant to drought and other climate factors, Bloomberg News reported. Tests performed by the company, Kaiima Bio-Agritech, have shown increases in crop production ranging between 15 and 50 percent.

A vote by Texas’ Lower Colorado River Authority could mean that the state’s rice farmers do not get irrigation water for the third year in a row, the Associated Press reported. The Authority wants the state to approve a measure that would require two reservoirs, currently at 36 percent capacity, to reach 55 percent capacity before releasing water for agriculture.

A severe drought in Namibia could create water shortages for uranium mines owned by Rio Tinto and Paladin Energy, Bloomberg News reported. Aquifer levels have declined significantly, and water from a lone desalination plant is not enough to support the mines.

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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