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Water - Mar 4

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Shallow Water Ahead for Panama Canal
(Audio)
Jon Hamilton, NPR
The Panama Canal is the shortcut between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. As the Earth's climate changes, the canal will face changes, too. It depends on rain, not seawater, to fill its locks, and changes in rainfall might mean the canal could run out of water.
(3 March 2008)


Booming growth raises idea of dams

Nicholas K. Geranios, Associated Press
The era of massive dam construction in the West - which tamed rivers, swallowed towns and created irrigated agriculture, cheap hydropower and persistent environmental problems - effectively ended in 1966 with the completion of Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona.

But a booming population and growing fears about climate change have governments once again studying dams, this time to create huge reservoirs to capture more winter rain and spring snowmelt for use in dry summer months.

New dams are being studied in Washington, California, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and other states, even as dams are being torn down across the country over environmental concerns - worries that will likely pose big obstacles to new dams.
(2 March 2008)


Water to be the next commoditised resource

Danny Fortson, Independent
The right to use water will soon follow in the footsteps of carbon emissions and become a commodity, like the right to pollute, that industry will have to pay for, executives have warned.

"In the not too distant future, we will see a price on water just like there is now for carbon and carbon emissions," said Ditlev Engel, chief executive of Vestas Wind Systems. "It will have to be factored in as a cost."

Mr Engel is not alone in his prediction. Whether it is Arizona or Darfur, water rights have become an increasingly contentious issue - the United Nations has warned water will become the primary cause of conflict in Africa unless agreements are struck or a regulatory system is established.
(3 March 2008)


Yemen Sleepwalks into Water Nightmare

Reuters
... These women are at the sharp end of what Yemen 's water and environment minister describes as a collapse of national water resources so severe it cannot be reversed, only delayed at best.

"This is almost inevitable because of the geography and climate of Yemen, coupled with uncontrolled population growth and very low capacity for managing resources," the minister, Abdul-Rahman al-Iryani, told Reuters in an interview.

Yemen relies on groundwater, which nature cannot recharge fast enough to keep pace with a population of 22.4 million expanding by more than 3 percent a year.
(2 March 2008)

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