The Stream, March 7: Antarctic Research Base Wastewater Chemicals Contaminate Penguins

Scientific research stations in Antarctica are contaminating the surrounding environment through wastewater discharges, and toxic chemicals have been found in the tissues of penguins and fish, sediments, and dust, National Geographic reported. Though it is unclear what effect the chemicals are having on the animals, levels in some sediment samples were as high as those near urban areas in the United States.

A private company in California is proposing to sell groundwater from beneath the Mojave Desert to drought-hit communities in Los Angeles, Businessweek reported. The controversial proposal would pump out more than 60.5 billion liters (16 billion gallons) of water from the aquifer annually and utilize a 69-kilometer (43-mile) pipeline to deliver the water to Los Angeles.

A drought in the Middle East is currently affecting nearly two-thirds of arable land in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, Reuters reported. Economists say poor harvests in the region will likely drive up demand for food imports, raising global food prices.

China’s giant South-North water transfer project has brought increased prosperity to towns like Danjiangkou, which sits near one of the project’s major reservoirs, but it has also forced the relocation of thousands of people nearby, Quartz reported. Though families that were relocated may have received better treatment than those in the past, problems like unemployment and landlessness are still a threat.

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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