The Stream, March 18: Clean Energy Increases California’s Water Footprint

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

An increase in biofuel use is driving up California’s water footprint for energy, and household leaks in the United States lose billions of cubic meters of water each year. Contaminated water and juices are spreading typhoid fever in Uganda, and residents of Vanuatu are running out of food and water. Water managers are looking to manmade wetlands to remove pharmaceuticals from wastewater.

“We are running short of food, water, shelter and electricity. We have no communications, we are still waiting for the people from parliament, the chief and the president, but still nobody is coming.”–Ropate Vuso, resident of Tanna township in Vanuatu, on conditions following Cyclone Pam. Aid agencies are increasing their appeals for the Pacific island nation. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

1,940 Number of suspected typhoid fever cases recorded in Uganda so far this year. The outbreak is linked to contaminated drinking water and juices. WHO

3.7 billion cubic meters Water wasted through household leaks in the United States each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Washington Post


Science, Studies, And Reports

The water footprint for California’s energy production grew from 2.1 cubic kilometers in 1990 to 7.7 cubic kilometers in 2012, according to a new report released by researchers at the Pacific Institute and the University of California, Berkeley. Much of the increase came from the state’s switch to cleaner energy sources, like biofuels. Bloomberg

On the Radar

On The Radar

Water managers in the United States and Europe are building wetlands to filter out pharmaceuticals and other manmade compounds released in wastewater effluent. They hope the wetlands will reduce the substances before they cause harm to the environment or drinking water. Yale Environment 360

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