Weather and Water
An El Niño weather pattern, in which surface water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator warms, is likely to develop this summer, according to the World Meteorological Organization and other prominent weather agencies, AlertNet reported. El Niño conditions are known for influencing extreme weather around the globe, such as flooding in China and drought in Australia.
Seventy-three percent of British beaches were ranked at the highest water quality level in 2013, according to an annual beach guide created by the Marine Conservation Society, the Guardian reported. Representatives of MCS said that the high rankings were in large part due to a dry summer that reduced runoff of agricultural pollutants and the amount of sewage overflows.
A $US 1.1 billion reverse osmosis desalination plant being constructed in Beijing is expected to provide one-third of the city’s tap water within five years, Bloomberg News reported. The plant is meant to help guard Beijing against drought.
Water shortages and rationing in Selangor, Malaysia are increasing the cost of water deliveries up to 10 times the normal rate for some factories, Bloomberg News reported. Two of the world’s largest rubber glove manufacturers have announced that water rationing could disrupt their production in the state.
Two major pension funds, one in California and one in New York City, have asked shareholders to vote against the reelection of Duke Energy directors that they say are responsible for a coal ash spill into a North Carolina river, Reuters reported. Duke Energy is the largest electric power company in the United States.