Volunteers in Puerto Rico spent the weekend pulling trash from San Juan’s estuary system, which has been degraded by littering and sewer and storm water runoff, Reuters reported. Conservationists hope that the government will undertake a more than $500 million dredging project to improve water quality in the estuary.
The Worth of Groundwater
Australia’s groundwater supplies support industries worth $34 billion per year, and have a direct economic value of $7 billion, according to a new study from the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, Phys.org reported. The director of the NCGRT predicts that these numbers will increase as demand grows and climate change stresses surface water supplies.
Romanian farming communities wary of water pollution are standing against shale gas companies that want to drill hydraulic fracturing wells in the region, Reuters reported. The companies hold exploration permits, but work has been stalled by local opposition.
In South Africa, an interesting coalition of anti-fracking campaigners—including the country’s richest man—could make natural gas exploration in the arid and ecologically sensitive Karoo a long legal battle, Reuters reported. Exploiting gas reserves in the region could add 0.5 percent to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) per year for 25 years, according to a study commissioned by Shell.