There will likely be a “rapid increase” in the amount of wastewater used globally for irrigation and drinking water as the costs to recycle become competitive with measures to secure scarcer fresh water, according to a study from Japan’s Totorri University and the U.N. University, Reuters reported. North America produces enough treated wastewater each year to equal the amount of water flowing over Niagara Falls, but only reuses four percent.
A new technology-based system in Kenya allows residents to text their water companies to report water-related problems, helping to improve infrastructure maintenance, AlertNet reported. Programs like this can be used in communities globally to improve data availability and transparency in the water sector, said experts at World Water Week in Stockholm.
A Chinese program that pays farmers near Beijing’s upstream water reservoirs to switch from rice to corn crops has improved water quality and conservation, a Stanford University study found. Corn uses less water and produces less fertilizer runoff than flooded rice fields.
Thirteen Pacific island nations plagued by sea level rise, along with Australia and New Zealand, have signed a document that requests “urgent action” on climate change and requires countries to offer specific pledges to reduce emissions, the Guardian reported. The countries will present the declaration to the United Nations later this month.