The Stream, February 21: El Niño Becoming More Likely in 2014, Bringing Drought and Floods

It is becoming more likely that an El Niño weather pattern will form this year, potentially bringing severe drought to places like Australia and India while bringing heavy rains and floods to the Midwest United States and Brazil, Reuters reported. El Niño is caused when surface water temperatures increase in the Pacific Ocean.

A report from Yale Environment 360 looks at the effect hydropower development along the Mekong River is having on the region’s people. Eleven major dams are proposed or under construction on the river, raising concerns about a loss of natural floods that sustain local agriculture and fisheries.

Water Scarcity
Water shortages in Ghana’s capital of Accra are the result of damaged infrastructure and leaky pipes, which contribute to a loss of 55 percent of the water produced by the Ghana Water company, Bloomberg News reported. The company was recently planning to shut down one of its water plants to complete maintenance, but was ordered by the government to keep the plant running.

A number of free apps have appeared to help people conserve water, ranging from those that turn water conservation into a family competition or measure leaks to one that helps users report water wasters to local authorities, reported. The apps are gaining users in California, which is beset by a severe drought.

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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