The Stream, February 27: Water Consumption of Global Food Supply Chains

Food Sustainability
A new interactive tool, developed by the nonprofit Oxfam, rates the supply chains of the ten largest global food companies on their performance in areas like water consumption and human rights, The New York Times reported. Oxfam hopes the scorecards will spur consumers to demand more from their favorite food brands.

Extreme Weather
Emissions of greenhouse gases may be causing the Arctic to warm faster than other areas of the globe – a phenomenon that could slow planetary air streams and create more extreme heat waves and floods, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Reuters reported. The study’s authors say it is the first to describe a common mechanism behind events such as the European heat wave in 2003 and the massive flooding in Pakistan in 2010.

This photo slideshow, published by Xinhua, documents a severe drought in China’s southwest Yunnan province that is continuing for the fourth year in a row, threatening the drinking water supplies for 600,000 people.

United States
Rain and snow in the Midwest has raised water levels on the Mississippi River high enough for barges to once again carry full loads, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The river nearly reached historic lows at the end of 2012.

Despite records that show water users from nearly all use sectors are taking more than their permits allow, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is not enforcing many permit limits, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The DNR says it is overwhelmed with applications for new permits at the same time the state is experiencing a drought.

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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