The Stream, February 7: Damage from Mining Found on Great Barrier Reef

Coal-exporting ports are expanding along the coast of Queensland, Australia, leading to dredging and dumping operations that threaten the Great Barrier Reef. Dredged sea floor soil, the Guardian reported, can contain contaminants like heavy metals that reverse the progress made in mitigating agricultural-runoff pollutants’ harm to the Reef.

Chinese Dam Construction
Officials in Beijing recently decided to build new dams on rivers flowing internationally. Brahma Chellaney argues that the decision will further strain water-policy related relationships across borders.

Read Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: China series here, revealing critical dimensions of China’s water-food-energy nexus.

U.S. Water Wars
Kansas has taken Nebraska to the Supreme Court to argue that the state uses too much water from the Republican River. The river’s main reservoir, NPR reported, dropped 10 feet during the summer drought and has not yet refilled. At times in the past, one Nebraska-based water policy student said, Kansas has not gotten the water it needs, which brought them back to court this year.

Read more from Circle of Blue about how Kansas water laws helped farmers contend with the drought here.

Climate Change and Central America
A recently published paper from the University of Pittsburgh bolsters understanding of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans’ varied impacts on rainfall. Drier Central American climates, Science Daily reported, actually led to wetter conditions a few centuries ago, shedding light on drought cycles in the region.

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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