There are likely huge amounts of water—as much as three times the amount in the oceans—contained in a layer of minerals within the Earth’s mantle, nearly 400 miles underground, according to a new study published in the journal Science, NPR reported. The water is in a mineral form called ringwoodite, and could tell researchers about the origin of Earth’s water.
Damage to pipeline and pumping infrastructure due to fighting in eastern Ukraine could shut off the water supply to 4 million people, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Reuters reported. If the damage is not fixed, water supplies could be lost in the city of Donetsk and the surrounding area.
Oil and Gas
Canada’s government will likely approve the $US 6 billion Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to ports in British Columbia, Bloomberg News reported. The deadline for a decision on the project is tomorrow. The pipeline has been opposed due to worries about water pollution from oil spills, among other environmental concerns.
Inspections of new oil and gas wells in the United States are highly variable among states, and four in 10 wells near areas at high risk from pollution are not inspected by the federal government, the Associated Press reported. High-risk areas include watersheds that could be especially vulnerable to contamination from the wells, many of which are being hydraulically fractured.
The rainy season in Mali is becoming increasingly erratic, making it difficult for farmers to know when to plant their crops, AlertNet reported. This year, the rains came a month earlier than normal and many farmers were unprepared, but regional efforts are underway to create comprehensive forecasts that farmers can use to plan.