New South Wales and the federal government of Australia have reached a new agreement about government water buybacks in the Murray-Darling River Basin, capping the buybacks at 1,500 gigaliters, the Guardian reported. The buybacks transfer water rights from farmers and other water users to the government, and are meant to keep enough water in the river for the environment.
Water pollution caused by excessive nutrients, such as phosphorus, has been declining in many European countries at the same time their economies are growing, according to data compiled by the European Environment Agency, Euractiv reported. Austria had the greatest reductions in nutrient pollution relative to its economic growth, while Belgium, Poland and Slovakia saw increased nutrient emissions despite declining economic activity.
States within the Great Lakes basin, particularly Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and the Canadian province of Ontario, should place stricter regulations on agricultural fertilizer use and application to reduce phosphorus runoff into Lake Erie, according to a new report from the International Joint Commission, The New York Times reported. The report found that phosphorus loads in Ohio’s Maumee River alone need to be cut 39 percent in order to avoid harmful algal blooms in the lake.
The industrialization of food production is contributing to climate change, which in turn threatens the security of industrialized agriculture through droughts and heat waves, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Food Safety. The report found that organic agriculture contributes fewer greenhouse gas emissions and can be more resistant to climate changes.
A proposed copper and gold mine in British Columbia has been rejected by the Canadian government for a second time due to environmental inadequacies, Reuters reported. Independent reviews of the mine plans found it would likely damage water quality and could have mine seepage.