The Stream, June 30: Iran Begins Efforts to Restore Lake Urmia

Water Scarcity
Agricultural diversions, dams and climate change have led to the loss of 85 percent of the water in Lake Urmia, a lake that once covered 5,000 square kilometers, Bloomberg News reported. Iran’s president said the country is initiating efforts to restore the lake, which are expected to take 10 to 15 years to complete.

As California’s severe drought continues, farmers and other residents are responding by drilling more wells to pump groundwater, NPR reported. The wells may provide water now, but in areas of the Central Valley, water tables are 30 meters below historic lows, according to state officials.

Water Management
A lack of fuel for powering wastewater treatment plants in Gaza has resulted in nearly 100,000 cubic meters of untreated wastewater being pumped into the Mediterranean Sea each day, Reuters reported. Due to the public health threat, beaches are being closed to the public.

The Netherlands is pursuing educational initiatives that will emphasize the importance of water management for the future of the country, of which 55 percent is either below sea level or vulnerable to floods, The New York Times reported. Climate change—and the possibility of a 1.2-meter rise in sea levels by 2100—is especially worrying as fewer young people are going into water management fields.

Land and water resources capable of feeding between 190 million and 550 million people have been “grabbed” by large businesses and governments seeking to export the food grown there, according to research published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the Guardian reported. Further, the majority of land grabs are occurring in places like Africa and Southeast Asia, where some populations struggle with hunger.

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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