The Stream, May 8: Finding Water for Cities

For Water, Cities Look to Farms
Conserving water on farms is the key to securing water for cities that face recurring shortages, according to a new study published in the journal Water Policy, National Geographic reported. The growth of both irrigated agriculture and cities in water-scarce regions has fueled these shortages, necessitating working relationships between municipalities and farmers.

United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II addressed several water issues in the UK during her annual Queen’s Speech, which marks the state opening of Parliament. New water legislation will make it possible for water suppliers in the UK to trade between geographical regions in order to alleviate drought, and could include provisions to keep homes insured against floods, The Telegraph reported.

Hydropower in Brazil
As Brazil prepares to host two high-profile events—the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games—the country is assessing its energy security, Bloomberg News reported. The country relies on hydropower for 81 percent of its energy, but recent droughts have called into question the reliability of this source.

Preventing Water Pollution
Japan’s Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) is experimenting with wells to pump groundwater from the areas surrounding its damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant before the water can seep into the plant and become contaminated, Xinhua reported. This water has the same level of radiation as the surrounding rivers, according to reports citing company officials.

United States Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has assured lawmakers that new regulations on hydraulic fracturing will be released in the coming weeks, and that they will not favor either environmentalists or industry groups, Reuters reported. The rules will be the second attempt by the Obama Administration to regulate fracking, a gas-drilling practice that has raised concerns about water contamination.

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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