As more and more land is converted to dairy farms, New Zealand’s waterways face increasing risk from harmful algal blooms and excessive weed growth, according to a report from the country’s parliamentary commissioner for the environment, Xinhua reported. A boom in the dairy industry has been fueled by the developing world’s growing demand for dairy products.
Water levels in the Great Lakes have rebounded, with levels in Lake Michigan-Huron increasing 20 inches from record lows reached at the beginning of 2013, The New York Times reported, citing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nonetheless, scientists caution that the gains, caused by heavy precipitation throughout the year, could be temporary.
At least one oil company in Texas is turning to recycled water to hydraulically fracture its wells, Reuters reported. The company, Apache Corp, says that recycling water should allow it to reduce costs and truck traffic as well as the amount of fresh water required by each well.
Two U.S. start-up companies are planning to prospect asteroids within the next three years, with the goal of mining water to fuel missions farther into space, Reuters reported. The missions could eventually turn to mining rare metals like platinum and gold.
Some residents in Ireland will begin paying for their water by the first quarter of 2015 as the country reverses its policy of free water use, National Geographic reported. The Irish government hopes to improve the country’s water infrastructure, which currently loses 41 percent of drinking water to leaks.