Energy and Water
Pumping water underground to produce geothermal energy or to hydraulically fracture rocks could lead to large—magnitude 4 or 5—earthquakes, according to recent studies, the Guardian reported. One study found a clear correlation between underground water injection and the frequency of earthquakes.
Australia’s government must decide whether or not to require a full environmental impact assessment for a new coal seam gas project in New South Wales that could provide one quarter of the state’s gas needs, the Guardian reported. The project could affect water resources, and therefore tests a new law that gives the federal government power to use water as a “legal trigger” for environmental impact studies.
The two Energy-Water Development appropriations bills approved by the United States Legislature—one by the House and one by the Senate—vary greatly on their funding commitments to federal energy and water-related agencies, Bloomberg News reported. The House bill would cut $US 2.9 billion from 2013 funding levels, while the Senate bill would increase funding by $US 1.2 billion.
More than 200 people have died in Chinese floods caused by heavy rains ahead of Typhoon Soulik, AlertNet reported. The Typhoon is expected to hit Taiwan Friday afternoon and the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang on Saturday.
A new report from Yale Environment 360 investigates the environmental cost of rice farming in the Mekong River Delta. The construction of irrigation infrastructure has hindered the river’s natural flood cycle, while agricultural pollution has contributed to a loss of biodiversity, the report says.