The Stream, September 30: Senegal Turns to Desalination to Solve Water Shortages

Senegal is seeking to diversify its water supply sources, and in particular looking to expand its desalination capacity by building a 100,000 cubic-meters-per-day plant by 2021, Reuters reported. Approximately 40 percent of the country’s capital city went without water for two weeks last September following a burst pipe.

Algeria’s plans to boost production of shale oil and gas could likely be restricted by water scarcity, Forbes reported. The country is looking for ways to shore up its faltering energy industry and take advantage of the world’s third largest estimated shale reserves.

Water Conflict
As more major bodies of fresh water around the world shrink or become heavily polluted, ways to resolve conflicts over shared water resources are becoming increasingly important, the executive director of the Strategic Foresight Group writes for the Guardian . A report from the group last year introduced a new tool to measure the level of cooperation between countries that share a water resource, giving a sense of whether or not conflict will arise.

Drinking Water and Health

Perchlorate, a chemical found in about four percent of public water systems in the United States, may be linked to lower IQ in children whose mothers were exposed to high levels during early pregnancy, according to a new study, Scientific American reported. While scientists do not recommend action on perchlorate based on one study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release proposed standards for the chemical in 2015.

Invasive Species

An invasive snail in the Florida Everglades has helped endangered bird populations rebound after their native snail food source declined due to drought and hurricanes, Reuters reported. However, the invasive snail is now destroying vegetation in man-made wetlands meant to filter out high levels of phosphorus before it reaches the Everglades, jeopardizing billions of dollars of restoration investments.

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