The Stream, November 6: U.S. Water Withdrawals Reach Lowest Level In 40 Years

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Water withdrawals in the United States are leveling off even as the economy continues to grow. Businesses say water risks are growing. California voters are spending more money to combat drought, as will the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States. Thailand faces water shortages, late rains are exacerbating food insecurity in Africa’s Sahel, and groundwater levels are dropping in Zambia. New Zealand races to build a major irrigation project, and Peru cuts environmental red tape to boost investment.

“The assumption that demand for water must inevitably grow is false.”—Peter H. Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, on government numbers showing that water withdrawals in the United States hit their lowest levels since 1970. (Huffington Post)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

25 million People who face food insecurity in Africa’s Sahel region due to conflict and late rains. IRIN

$7.5 billion Water bond approved by California voters to fund water infrastructure projects in the drought-hit state. Reuters

1 kilometer per day Rate at which New Zealand’s Central Plains Water irrigation project—covering 60,000 hectares—is being built.


Science, Studies, And Reports

Two-thirds of the world’s largest companies say they are exposed to water risk that could “generate a substantive change in their business, operations or revenue”, especially in emerging markets, according to the newest annual global water report from sustainability organization CDP. CDP

Drought and stricter environmental regulations could push the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States to triple its spending on wastewater treatment by 2020, while doubling the amount of water that is reused, Bluefield Research found. Bloomberg News

On the Radar

On The Radar

Falling groundwater levels will create “serious erratic” water supplies in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, where demand for water far outstrips supplies. Bloomberg News

A drought in Thailand is creating water shortages throughout the country and has prompted the Royal Irrigation Department to cut water flow to farmers. National News Bureau of Thailand

Peru has approved measures to cut waiting times for environmental approvals for development projects by 3.5 years in an effort to boost falling investment. Bloomberg News

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