Water and Energy
The World Bank has approved a $US 73 million grant to continue the development of the Inga 3 hydropower project, the first in a series of large dams planned for the Congo River, Inter Press Service reported. The Grand Inga project would give the Democratic Republic of Congo the third highest hydropower potential in the world, but nongovernmental groups have warned that the controversial project could serve industries to the detriment of communities and the environment.
The production of oil, natural gas, biofuels and other forms of energy will likely put increasing stress on the planet’s water resources and intensify competition between water users, the United Nations said in a new report on water and energy, Bloomberg News reported. The vast majority of water used by the industrial sector goes to power generation, and both electricity demand and the amount of water needed to supply it are expected to grow in the coming decades.
More than 60 million gallons of coal ash wastewater pumped from Duke Energy power plants into a North Carolina river exceeded routine maintenance and were instead violations of the plants’ permits, according to state regulators, The New York Times reported. Both the company and the state’s regulatory process are being scrutinized following a spill of coal ash from one of Duke’s plants earlier this year.
A drought in the Middle East is compounding water scarcity problems in Jordan, where demand has risen due to a growing population of refugees, and supplies are shrinking due to overuse and waste, the Guardian reported. Supplies may be augmented by a desalination and water transfer project scheduled for 2018 that would desalinate water from the Red Sea for drinking and pump the leftover brine to restore the Dead Sea.