The Stream, February 8: In Texas, Recycling Wastewater for Drinking

Water Supply
Wichita Falls, Texas is moving forward with plans to recycle its wastewater into tap water, with hopes to produce 5 million gallons per day next year to augment the city’s drought-ravaged water supply, The Texas Tribune reported. As the drought drags on, more communities in Texas are turning to potable-reuse technology; Big Spring’s new water recycling plant is expected to go online this spring.

Australia’s groundwater monitoring system, which relies largely on 23,000 monitoring bores, is falling into disrepair as 15,000 bores are “collapsing,” according to the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. Replacing the bores could cost between $318 million and $500 million.

New rules governing hydraulic fracturing in Germany should allow the practice outside of water protection areas and after the completion of environmental impact assessments, according to a government working paper, Bloomberg News reported. Hydraulic fracturing uses large quantities of pressurized water mixed with chemicals to break apart underground rock formations and release oil and gas.

Wheat farmers in Pakistan are finding it difficult to plan their crops due to erratic rain patterns, leading to economic losses, AlertNet reported. Years of drought have prompted some farmers to give up and turn to other professions.

Mercury Pollution
A report from Yale Environment 360 looks at how wildlife is affected by mercury contamination, which can be created by mining and coal burning and can find its way into air and water. A new international treaty finalized in January aims to reduce mercury emissions to protect human health, but scientists say even low levels can harm animals, according to the report.

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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