The Stream, February 18: Caribbean Islands Increasingly Rely on Desalinated Water

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Desalination is increasingly common and important in the Caribbean, while in Israel it is is expected to account for half of the country’s water supply by next year. Snowpack in the western United States is well below normal, environmental groups worry dams in Mongolia could further deplete a shrinking Lake Baikal, and fishing communities in India’s Goa state are concerned about the return of iron mining. Fiji Water is spending millions on an ad campaign for its bottled water.

“A lot of these islands could not survive without desalination. Their overall economies would collapse.”–Paul Choules, senior vice president of water treatment company Water Standard, on the growing use of desalination to provide consistent water supplies for islands in the Caribbean that are facing climate change and water scarcity. The region has built 68 new desalination plants since 2007. (Guardian)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

60 years Length of time since water levels in Russia’s Lake Baikal were as low as they are now. International environmental groups are protesting planned dams on tributary rivers in Mongolia that they say could put further pressure on the shrinking lake. The Siberian Times

50 percent Amount of Israel’s water supplies that are expected to come from desalination by 2016. The country is already home to the world’s largest desalination plant, which can produce 627,000 cubic meters of water each day. MIT Technology Review

$30 million Cost of a new marketing campaign for bottled water brand Fiji Water, reflecting growing competition in the bottled water market. Forbes


Science, Studies, And Reports

This map published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that the amount of water contained in the western United States’ snowpack is currently well below normal levels. Snowpack in Washington state, Oregon, and Nevada, has the largest water deficits. USDA NRCS

On the Radar

On The Radar

Iron mining could return to India’s Goa state as early as March following the reversal of a 2012 ban on mining. Fishermen in the region worry that the mining could once again pollute the Mandovi River, the largest in the state, and make fishing difficult. The Los Angeles Times

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