The Stream, January 14: Texas Legislators Focus on Water Issues

Texas’ state water infrastructure was a frequent topic of discussion in the legislature’s opening week. From Gov. Rick Perry’s opening-day speech to an emergency-fund creation proposal, The New York Times reported, water-related construction projects and fees were pitched primarily by the Republican leadership.

Shanghai Pollution
Residents of two Shanghai districts continue to feel the effects of a chemical-waste discharge into a river. Ten suspects have been detained related to the discharge, China Daily reported, which highlighted the country’s increasing difficulty in securing safe drinking water access for its citizens.

Great Lakes Water Levels Saga
As water levels in the Great Lakes continue to fall, several industries are already noticing the economic damage. Coal trade is down 8.2 percent compared to 2011, CNN reported, commercial fishing boats are facing navigation struggles, and tourism-related businesses fear decreased revenue from spring through fall if levels do not rebound.

A Dangerous Dam in Ethiopia
A dam under construction in Ethiopia threatens 500,000 tribal peoples in two countries and the world’s largest lake. A study released by International Rivers, reported by National Geographic, said that the dam’s destructive impacts may outweigh its electricity generation and agro-industrial benefits.

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