The Stream, December 4: China’s Shanxi Province Caps Water Use in Steel, Cement, and Aluminum Industries

The Global Rundown

Several countries, including the United States, Russia, and China, agree to refrain from commercial fishing in the high Arctic seas until research is done on the practice’s sustainability. China’s Shanxi province enacts a law that caps water use in steel, cement, and aluminum production. Hundreds of residents in southern Albania evacuate their homes as persistent rains cause riverbanks to burst. Scientists discover a group of plant genes that enable the production of drought-resistant crops. Residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota are encouraged to conserve water after a large water main break opens a sinkhole along Interstate 694.

“This is one of the rare times when a group of governments actually solved a problem before it happened.” –David Balton, the U.S. ambassador for oceans and fisheries, in reference to an agreement to protect the high Arctic seas from commercial fishing. The United States, China, Russia, and several other countries agreed to delay fishing until scientists determine what fish are in the seas and if they can be harvested sustainably. Reuters

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By The Numbers

3,334 Households in southern Albania that are underwater following days of persistent rain. Several more families were evacuated overnight after riverbanks burst, causing more flooding. ABC News

2 miles Length of a shutdown on Interstate 694, which runs between Minnesota’s twin cities, after a large water main break opened a giant sinkhole across the highway. The interstate is expected to be closed for several days, and residents are being encouraged to conserve water. Star Tribune

Science, Studies, And Reports

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovered a group of genes that allow drought-resistant plants to thrive in semi-arid conditions. The findings could play a role in developing crops that are tolerant to water shortages. Science Daily

On The Radar

China recently introduced rules to curb water use in Shanxi province’s steel, cement, and aluminum industries. Under the policy, producers who exceed water-use targets will be fined, up to five times the cost of the water. Reuters