The United States spends just 2 percent of its gross domestic product on water infrastructure, while China spends 7 percent and India spends 5 percent, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bloomberg News reported. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the U.S. needs to spend $US 384 billion by 2030 to upgrade its aging drinking water infrastructure.
As Australia tries to make its Northern Territory an agricultural “food bowl”, irrigators are hurriedly requesting large licenses to draw water from aquifers, ABC reported. The Territory’s Environment Centre has expressed concern about the effect these water withdrawals might have on the region’s rivers.
Niger Delta Oil Spills
Five years after a damaged Shell Oil pipeline spilled large quantities of crude oil into the Niger Delta, local communities are still trying to recoup losses from the company, the Guardian reported. The recent settlement offer was rejected by the communities, who called it an insult.
Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier is melting at a rate of 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) each day, new research found, LiveScience reported. Warm seawater flows below the glacier are the primary cause of the melting.