The Stream, September 16: El Salvador Dispute Over Mine and Water Enters Final Arguments

An international World Bank tribunal in Washington D.C. is hearing final arguments this week in a court case between El Salvador and Australian mining company OceanaGold, which is suing the country for not permitting a gold mine that El Salvador says will pollute waterways, Inter Press Service reported. OceanaGold is asking for more than $US 300 million in lost profits, and a decision is expected by the end of the year.

China plans to cut irrigation-fed wheat production in Hebei province by 2 percent from last year in order to save water supplies, Bloomberg News reported. Researchers say it is the first time the country has deliberately reduced its grain production in response to water scarcity concerns.

Local opposition to hydropower dams within Mexico’s La Antigua River basin is just one example of the challenges facing the country as it seeks to increase its energy supply, Inter Press Service reported. Between 2014 and 2018, Mexico is planning to invest $US 46 billion to improve and expand energy infrastructure, including hydropower dams and wind, solar and geothermal power plants.

Natural Disasters
A dozen major wildfires continue to burn in drought-hit California, fueled by the water-stressed trees and high temperatures, Reuters reported. The fires have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and have burned thousands of acres of forest across the state and in neighboring Oregon.

Rivers are rising in the Balkan countries following strong rainstorms in the region, flooding large areas in Croatia and Serbia, Reuters reported. Three cities in Serbia are under an official “state of emergency”, while floodwaters also threaten energy production at the country’s Djerdap 2 hydropower plant on the Danube River.

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