Business and Water Scarcity
A $US 130 million water treatment plant in Witbank, South Africa is recycling 30 million liters of water a day from a coal mine to supply drinking water for approximately 80,000 people in the city, Bloomberg News reported. The mine and treatment plant are operated by Anglo American, but other mining companies in water-scarce South Africa are looking to create their own recycled water plants.
Hong Kong’s water supply, of which 70 to 80 percent is imported from a river in China, is under increasing pressure from its growing population, Ozy.com reported. Reports suggest that low water prices are one of the reasons that the city uses more water per capita than other large metropolitan areas, like Paris and London.
Businesses are moving faster than governments to conserve water and mitigate climate change risks because water problems are increasingly affecting their bottom lines, the Guardian reported. Extreme weather events are a growing cost to businesses, like the floods in the United Kingdom this past winter that cost small businesses at least $US 1.3 billion.
Fears about water contamination from oil drilling near the Florida Everglades have pitted one small company against both state and federal government officials, the Los Angeles Times reported. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection ordered the company to cease operations at one of its wells near the Everglades until it can study the effect of its drilling techniques on aquifers.
Cameroon hopes to reduce its death rate from malaria at least 75 percent by 2018, AlertNet reported. Deaths from malaria have been increasing in the country, in part due to more common flooding.