The Stream, October 1: Ireland Protests as It Starts Paying for Water

Protesters in Ireland tried to stop officials from installing water meters as the country began charging residents for water for the first time since 1997, Bloomberg News reported. Customers are expected to pay an average of $US 299 for water each year, but bills will not start until January 2015.

The construction of a major shipping canal through Nicaragua will displace indigenous communities and cause environmental destruction, according to the Denmark-based environmental group Forests of the World, the Guardian reported. The canal, proposed as an alternative to the Panama Canal, will go through Lake Nicaragua and could pollute freshwater ecosystems as well as drinking water, the group said.

Approximately 90 percent of farm activity in Mexico’s Sonora region has been stopped after two toxic spills into the Sonora River from a copper mine, Bloomberg News reported. Many crops had to be abandoned after flooding along the river transported the contaminated water onto fields.

The eastern basin of the Aral Sea, once the fourth largest inland sea in the world, dried up completely in August for the first time in 600 years, the Guardian reported. River diversions and declining snow and rainfall in the region have contributed to the sea’s drying.

A drought in the northeastern United States could increase heating costs for residents heading into winter, Bloomberg News reported. Boston is currently experiencing a moderate drought, according to the national Drought Monitor, and received nearly seven fewer centimeters of rain than normal in September.

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