The Stream, October 4: Tourism Exacts Toll on Water in a Silk Road City

Water Scarcity
Water demand fueled by a booming tourism industry in Dunhuang, China, is outstripping both surface and groundwater supplies in the arid city, which was once an important stop along the Silk Road trading route, Xinhua reported. Efforts are underway to restore forests upstream of the city’s reservoir and divert water from a nearby lake to keep up with the growth, while tourists continue to flock to the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Mogao Caves.

Water Supply Cuts
Officials in one of South Africa’s richest platinum mining regions are asking mining companies to significantly reduce their water use as the region continues to suffer from drought, Bloomberg News reported. Summer water shortages are a recurring problem for the mines.

A drought in Central Texas may soon be the worst in recorded history, prompting water usage restrictions in cities like Austin, the Associated Press reported. The director of Austin Water Utility says the current drought is even worse than the historic 1950s drought that lasted 10 years.

Fracking Wastewater
The amount of wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States would flood Washington, D.C. 6.7 meters deep, according to a new report from Environment America, the Guardian reported. The report raises concerns about how this wastewater is being disposed.

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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