New research has quantified the amount of water being virtually exported from and imported to Chinese provinces, confirming that arid regions are sending huge amounts of water to more water-rich areas in the form of agricultural products, Reuters reported. The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that this imbalance is effectively outsourcing environmental problems to the arid regions, while much of the benefit is being felt in wetter, industrialized areas that export the final products.
Growing water scarcity in Texas is placing pressure on water users in the Brazos River basin, including major manufacturing plants for Dow Chemical, The Texas Tribune reported. Dow is the most senior water rights holder in the basin, meaning it could force agricultural and municipal users to cut back on their water use if river management is not improved.
Distrust of the government is at the heart of a water conflict outside of Mexico City, the Los Angeles Times reported. A violent protest in May over a proposed water pipeline centered on one community’s belief that the government was planning to steal their water and give it to a more affluent city nearby—a claim that the government disputes.
Soil erosion and particulate air pollution are creating dust that is darkening snow on the world’s ice caps and glaciers, speeding their melting, the Guardian reported. The dust creates a darker surface that causes the snow to absorb more heat from the sun, and as glaciers and ice caps retreat, more soil is exposed to erosion, fueling the process.