The Stream, July 22: Drought Strains Food Security in Lebanon

Rainfall has been far below average in Lebanon, leading to water shortages for farmers and a drop in fruit and vegetable production, Inter Press Service reported. As a result, food prices are rising and straining food security for Syrian refugees and border communities in the country.

China’s National Energy Administration cautioned regional developers to avoid building coal-to-gas plants with disregard to water availability and technical and financial constraints, Reuters reported. As many as 50 coal-to-gas plants, which use large quantities of water, are being proposed in China, according to Greenpeace.

Current regulations are not sufficient to protect the environment and guard against water shortages that could be caused by hydraulic fracturing operations in the United Kingdom, according to a report from two science organizations, Bloomberg News reported. The U.K. government is encouraging the development of the country’s shale gas reserves.

Hydraulic fracturing development in South Africa’s arid Karoo region will likely face legal challenges from environmental groups concerned about water scarcity and pollution, Reuters reported. One group said it will seek a preemptive injunction to stop the government from issuing permits for gas exploration in the Karoo.

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