The Stream, March 25: China’s Coal Plants Face a Water Crisis

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report is the latest to predict severe water-related challenges for China’s coal-production sector. Sixty percent of China’s power plants are in the north, GigaOm reported, relying on only 20 percent of the country’s freshwater reserves. That spells trouble for power companies as they face financial losses from the Chinese government’s water-use cap. And traditional water-saving technology would lower the plants’ efficiency and increase carbon emissions.

Read Circle of Blue’s April 2011 report on China’s coal-water confrontation here.

Bangladeshi Textile Companies Investing in Conservation
A Bangladeshi textile manufacturing group halved its water consumption through equipment upgrades. It joined 17 other factories in the upgrades as part of a World Bank-related finance project, The New York Times reported, helping to mitigate dangerous groundwater depletion by a water-intensive industry.

Water Trading
Above-average rainfall in Australia helped the country’s water-rights trading market grow 6.7 percent in 2011-2012 over the previous year. Total traded value of allocations and entitlements reached $US 1.67 billion for fiscal year 2012, which ended in June.

Read Circle of Blue’s comprehensive report explaining Australia’s water-rights market here.

Pigs in Shanghai
The number of pig carcasses found in Shanghai rivers topped 16,000, a sign to the Guardian’s John Vidal that the water and sanitation crisis in China is more serious than ever, despite Chinese authorities’ assertions to the contrary.

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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