Water and Energy
Potential shale gas drilling operations are stirring up opposition in the arid Karoo region of South Africa, where some landowners and farmers fear hydraulic fracturing would deplete and pollute scarce water resources, Bloomberg News reported. The Karoo region receives as little as four inches of rain annually.
Preliminary results from a survey of Pennsylvania residents who live near hydraulic fracturing operations document 27 cases of reported health concerns, including skin rashes, infections, headaches and breathing problems, Think Progress reported. The health concerns are primarily linked to exposure to air, not water.
U.S. Water Supply
Rivers and streams in the eastern United States are becoming more alkaline, a change that can lead to algal blooms and hardened drinking water, according to a new study from the University of Maryland, EarthSky reported. The change is thought to be caused by acid rain and acid mining runoff, which can dissolve rocks that contain alkaline minerals.
Kansas’ portion of the High Plains Ogallala Aquifer could be 70 percent depleted by 2060, according to a new study, USA Today reported. The aquifer is being drawn down by extensive agricultural activities in the region.