Water - Mar 20
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Pollution, dams, climate change threatening world's greatest rivers, WWF says
Eliane Engler, Associated Press via Seattle Times
GENEVA -- The Yangtze River gets more than half of China's industrial waste and sewage. Europe's Danube has lost most of its surrounding wetlands. And the Rio Grande has become so shallow that salt water is seeping in, bringing ocean fish that threaten freshwater species.
Pollution, global warming and rampant development could destroy some of the world's most iconic rivers in the coming decades, threatening to wipe out thousands of fish species and cause severe water shortages, the World Wide Fund for Nature said in a report Tuesday.
Only 21 of the planet's 177 longest rivers run freely from source to sea, with dams and other construction destroying the habitats for migratory fish and other species by altering the water's natural ebb and flow, the WWF said. ..
(20 Mar 2007)
Activists Promise No-Holds-Barred Fight over Brazil River Project
Vivian Sequera, Associated Press via ENN
BRASILIA, Brazil -- Activists on Wednesday vowed to fight to stop a huge river-diversion project meant to benefit millions by irrigating large sections of Brazil's arid northeast.
The US$2 billion (euro1.5 billion) project will create a new channel for the 1,600-mile (2,700 kilometer) Sao Francisco River, Brazil's fourth-largest, to irrigate the arid Sertao region. The government says that changing river's course will benefit some 12 million poor people.
But the project, which was first proposed in 1886, has been criticized as too costly and as damaging to the environment. Critics say the diversion would speed the river's flow toward the ocean and could cause it to dry up during parts of the year. ..
(15 Mar 2007)
Recycled water fight begins
Chris Griffith, Courier Mail Australia
A TOOWOOMBA councillor has organised the distribution of 400,000 28-page booklets to southeast Queensland which claims that recycled water will cause cancers, infertility, and change the sex of male fish.
The booklet claims that recycled water has a 'gender bender' quality and that a third of male fish in the UK were changing to female and producing eggs as a result of swimming in water expunged by sewage treatment plants.
However the State Goverment and academics already has branded the booklet as unscientific and containing dishonest misinformation and recommended they be thrown in the recycling bin.
"Can I say that this material is dishonest in a number of respects, it is not based on sound and comprehensive science and it certainly does not put into the arena all of the facts,'' said Deputy [Queensland] Premier Anna Bligh. ..
(20 Mar 2007)
Water prophecy may sink Baillieu
Rick Wallace, The Australian
THE Bracks Government challenged Liberal leader Ted Baillieu to resign if his prediction that one of Melbourne's major dams will run out of usable water in 60 days is wrong.
Mr Baillieu stuck by his prediction and said one of the Government's main contingency plans, the recommissioning of an old weir, would fail. The debate comes as the Essential Services Commission prepares to adjust water prices, with the Government predicting a substantial rise.
Water Minister John Thwaites said the Thomson Dam, Melbourne's main reservoir, had enough water to last until January without pumping, because irrigation and environmental demands were dropping. ..
(21 Mar 2007)
I’ve realised what the Easter Islander was thinking as he cut down the last tree: “And they said trees would run out years ago!”. -LJ
Officials find invasive mussels in SoCal water supply
Staff, Associated Press
Authorities have found hundreds of tiny invaders from Ukraine they say could create havoc on Southern California's water supply.
Officials say crews inspecting the aqueduct that brings Colorado River water to millions of people have found almost 800 quagga mussels since March tenth. It's the largest discovery so far of the thumbnail-sized molluscs in the West.
The invasive mussels from Ukraine have created a (b) billion-dollar problem in the Great Lakes area by clogging water pipelines and altering ecosystems. ..
(20 Mar 2007)