The Stream, December 11: UK Urges More Water Trading Between Utilities

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The agency that regulates water utilities in the United Kingdom is asking water companies to consider more water trading to improve efficiency. Jamaica’s water infrastructure is failing, leading to shortages and affecting the island’s productivity. Erosion and rising sea levels pose risks to homes and businesses from Chesapeake Bay to the coast of Senegal. Researchers found that natural climate variations affect water supplies in the Colorado River Basin more than human use. A new method to clean wastewater from phosphate mines aims to recycle more water, faster.

“If we hadn’t built the wall, the ocean would have been in the restaurant.”–Ousmane Diop, head of environment and client relations at the Filaos Hotel in Senegal, where coastal erosion is becoming a major problem for the tourism industry. Beaches are washing away, but development too close to the shoreline is also a problem. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

60 percent Water infrastructure in Jamaica that is too old to be effective, according to the government. Water shortages are common, affecting productivity, schooling, and health. City Lab

50 years Amount of time before rising sea levels make the main town on Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay uninhabitable. The western part of the island is losing 4.2 meters of land each year due to erosion. Guardian


Science, Studies, And Reports

The amount of water stored in the Colorado River Basin is heavily influenced by soil moisture and climate in the upper portion of the basin, according to a study published in the Water Resources Research Journal. Cycles of dry and wet years drive the fluctuations in water supply more than human use, the study found. UT News

Researchers at the University of Florida are developing a technology to quickly clean wastewater from phosphate mines so that the mines can reuse it in their operations. The process is currently carried out through settling ponds, and it can take years to clean the water to a usable quality. EurekAlert

On the Radar

On The Radar

Water companies in the United Kingdom should increase water trading between different regions and develop ways to capture energy from wastewater in order to make their operations more efficient, according to Ofwat, the UK’s water utility regulator. Ofwat said the practices could save more than $US 1.5 billion. Reuters

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