The Stream, February 6: Decision on Africa’s Inga 3 Dam Postponed

A grant worth more than $US 70 million is at stake when the World Bank decides whether or not to go ahead with initial funding for the Inga 3 hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo—a decision that has now been postponed indefinitely, International Rivers reported. Nongovernmental organizations have raised concerns about the project’s benefit to local communities, and the cumulative effect of large hydropower projects on the Congo River.

A record-breaking drought in the western United States is raising questions about energy production from hydraulically fractured oil and natural gas wells. According to a report released by the nonprofit Ceres, hydraulic fracturing operations are contributing to highly localized water depletion, but still make up a small share of overall water usage in the West, National Geographic reported.

Climate Change
Arctic lakes are freezing approximately six days later and thawing 18 days earlier, according to a study that analyzed ice cover in Alaskan lakes between 1950 and 2011, Live Science reported. Less lake ice cover could lead to more evaporation and localized warming, the study authors say.

The United States is creating a network of “climate hubs” across the country to study how climate change will affect local agriculture and help farmers prepare for climate shifts, National Geographic reported. The hubs will be funded and staffed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is not receiving additional funding from the government.

More than 150,000 people have been affected by recent flooding and landslides in Bolivia, though heavy rains have continued for months, AlertNet reported. The rain has caused damage to roads and infrastructure, destroyed crops, and increased the risk of waterborne diseases.

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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