The Stream, July 1: Desalination Brings More Water to Mecca

Water Supply
Mecca’s production of drinking water from desalination plants is set to increase 29 percent to 670,000 cubic meters per day, al-Madina and Bloomberg News reported. Saudi Arabia continues to expand its desalination facilities to meet growing demand for water.

A pilot project in the Texas Panhandle is testing water conservation practices on farms in an effort to curb withdrawals from the Ogallala Aquifer, the Texas Tribune reported. The project began in 2010 and focuses on practices that farmers can implement immediately at little or no cost.

Government water buybacks from irrigators in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin outscored irrigation infrastructure upgrades in a new study that compared the cost effectiveness of the two water conservation strategies, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The study’s authors, however, suggested that infrastructure upgrades are still important for the Basin.

Opposition to the Conga gold mine in Peru has spurred the creation of citizen groups, known as “ronderos”, that plan to stop the mine’s progression even if the central government backs it, Reuters reported. Some of the ronderos are calling themselves the “guardians of the lakes” because they aim to protect the high Andean lakes that the mine would replace with reservoirs.

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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