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Water: world crisis

Research Paper No. 2 Spring 2008

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

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Photo : Nick C Carlson

"Water will be the oil of the 21st century,"
Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers.

Our planet Earth has been convulsed by tsunamis, typhoons, tornados; by hurricanes, earthquakes; floods, fires and volcanic eruptions. Less eye catching for the media are droughts and water pollution, which are linked with the present famines and food shortages. They are causes for future loss of life. . Index first researched many problems associated with water in Water: the Impending Apocolypse (November 2007).

The Current World Water Crisis

1. General (Oceans, Rivers, Central Asia, Latin America, US, Sahara)
2. Droughts (General; Afghanistan; Australia, Bolivia, Canada, China, Cypres, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Somalia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Zimbabwe)
3. Water Wars (Canada-US, Ethiopia, Spain, US)
4. Water Pollution (General, Antarctic, Danube, Afghanistan, Albania, Myanmar, Canada, China, Ghana, India, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, South Africa, Sudan, UK, USA)
5. Bottled Water
6. Corporatizing Water
7. Polar Bears
8. Oxygen
9. Good News
10. References

1. General

Worldwide Water Shortage On Horizon
03.04.08. terra daily / Carolyn Baker. A crisis is looming over water shortages worldwide. By 2025 more than half the nations in the world will face freshwater stress or shortages and by 2050 as much as 75 percent of the world's population could face freshwater scarcity.

Melting Mountains a “time bomb” for water shortages
15.04.08. Reuters. Glaciers and mountain snow are melting earlier in the year than usual, meaning the water has already gone when millions of people need it during the summer when rainfall is lower, scientists warned on Monday.

THE OCEANS

Are the Oceans Giving Up?
31.03.08. Jayalakshmi K., Deccan Herald / Truthout. Ocean deserts, which are non-productive areas, have increased by 15 per cent in the period 1998-2007, according to a study done by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US and the University of Hawaii. This translates into a total of 6.6 million sq km. On the whole, there are 51 million sq km of such desert zones. The data was collected by Nasa's orbiting SeaStar craft.

Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, Largest In Northern Hemisphere, Has Fractured Into Three Main Pieces
16.04.08. Science Daily. During their sovereignty patrol across the northernmost parts of Canada over the last two weeks, they visited a new 18 kilometre-long network of cracks running from the southern edge of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf to the Arctic Ocean. This accompanies a large central fracture that was first detected in 2002, and raises the concern that the remaining ice shelf will disintegrate within the next few years.

Oceans absorbing less CO2 may have 1,500 year impact
16.04.08. Reuters. Research from a five-year project funded by the European Union showed the North Atlantic, which along with the Antarctic is of the world's two vital ocean carbon sinks, is absorbing only half the amount of CO2 that it did in the mid-1990s.

RIVERS

Peak Water: Aquifers and Rivers Are Running Dry. How Three Regions Are Coping
21.04.08. wired. 1.1 billion people, about one-sixth of the world's population, lack access to safe drinking water. Aquifers under Beijing, Delhi, Bangkok, and dozens of other rapidly growing urban areas are drying up. The rivers Ganges, Jordan, Nile, and Yangtze — all dwindle to a trickle for much of the year. In the former Soviet Union, the Aral Sea has shrunk to a quarter of its former size, leaving behind a salt-crusted waste.

CENTRAL ASIA

CENTRAL ASIA: WATER WOES STOKE ECONOMIC WORRIES
28.04.08. Joanna Lillis, Eurasia net. After enduring extreme cold this past winter, Central Asia is bracing for what some officials say will be a dry summer. Those predictions, in turn, are stirring fears of prolonged power shortages that seriously impair economic functions.

The severe winter has already upended Central Asia’s always tenuous water balance. Central Asian states have traditionally been subject to seasonal swings in water supplies – going from inundated in the spring to scorched in the summer and fall. Due to the exigencies of winter, many reservoirs are far lower than normal. Given that the bulk of Central Asia’s power comes from hydro-electric stations, the looming water shortage could hamper the generating capacity of dams.

LATIN AMERICA

Latin America: Why There's a Water Crisis in the Most Water-Rich Region
01.05.08. Bart Beeson, North American Congress on Latin America / alternet. With the most annual rainfall of any region in the world, the water crisis in Latin America is particularly perplexing. / The state of the current world water crisis is well documented: 1.2 billion people are without access to safe water, 2.6 billion are without access to sanitation, and nearly 2 million children die every year because they don't have access to an adequate supply of clean water. / With the most annual rainfall of any region in the world, the water crisis in Latin America is particularly perplexing. Latin American countries face many of the same problems as countries with chronic fresh water shortages. And less than 20 percent have access to adequate sanitation systems. / why do so many people lack access to clean water, when water abounds in the region? In 2006, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported the answer clearly: "The scarcity at the heart of the global water crisis is rooted in power, poverty and inequality, not in physical availability." / The UNDP report adds, "People suffering the most from the water and sanitation crisis -- poor people in general and poor women in particular -- often lack the political voice needed to assert their claims to water." Yet the water movements brewing in Latin America are beginning to make their collective political voice heard.

Advocates of the referendums say establishing a constitutional right to water will provide a legal foundation for holding local governments accountable for water access .. / Fierce protests in Latin America -- and even wars around the world -- show water can be a frequent source of conflict.

The Right To Water: Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Uruguay.

THE UNITED STATES

The U.S. Nears the Limits of Its Water Supplies
11.04.08. Shiney Varghese, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy / Alternet. Public water systems are failing, several states are setting severe water use restrictions, and key water sources are drying up.

THE SAHARA

Lake Yoa

Once Lush Sahara Dried Up Over Millennia, Study Says
08.05.08. James Owen, National Geographic News. The grassy prehistoric Sahara turned into Earth's largest hot desert more slowly than previously thought, a new report says—and some say global warming may turn the desert green once again. / The new research is based on deposits from a unique desert lake in remote northern Chad. / Lake Yoa, sustained by prehistoric groundwater, has survived for millennia despite constant drought and searing heat.


2. Droughts

GENERAL

Tackling drought essential for food crisis solution
25.04.08. Relief web. Drought and unsustainable water management have been key contributing factors to the global food crisis. In turn, managing drought risk to prepare for the increasing drought impact of climate change, is a crucial part of addressing the food crisis long term. / The effects of drought that we are now seeing on major food exporters like Australia and Ukraine is just a taste of how climate-change could contribute to a future of ongoing global food crises. Water scarcity will contribute to food scarcity.

Water - the under-reported resource crisis
22.04.08. Fred Pearce, Telegraph. Biofuels 'could cause serious water shortages' # Yangtze River water level at 140-year low # Food shortages: how will we feed the world?

AFGHANISTAN

This satellite view shows Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains, where glaciers are melting at an
alarming rate, a U.S. researcher said Monday. Photo Jeff Schmaltz / NASA-GSFC

Kabul Conference Warns About Environmental Problems in Afghanistan
03.05.08. Red Orbit. [Eshaq Naderi in Dari] More than 80 per cent of our people live in villages. They have not access to sufficient water, grass and agricultural lands. They cut trees and use it for firewood and the consecutive years of drought have badly affected green areas all over the country.

AUSTRALIA

Farmers on drought roller coaster
06.04.08. smh.au. Drought figures in NSW have increased this month, leaving the state's farmers on a roller coaster, Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald says.

Drought tightens grip on NSW
07.04.08. ABC. Latest figures show almost 43 per cent of the state is now in drought, up 3 per cent since February.

Farmers await details of more drought aid
07.04.08. ABC. Tasmania's main farming body has welcomed a State Government pledge to provide more practical support for drought-stricken farmers.

Nelson urges extended drought aid for Bourke region
10.04.08. ABC. "People have got to restock, apart from anything else, and I think some of the city-based politicians think that just cause we've had a bit of rain that in some ways it's been fixed, well it obviously hasn't, there's got to be some money spent on the weir and I think we've got to focus on the development of tourism as an industry," he said.

Drought a factor in food aid shortage: UN
11.04.08. Australian news. THE UN World Food Program has singled out the drought in Australia as a major factor behind its difficulty in finding food aid for 80 million of the world's hungry.

A Drought in Australia, a Global Shortage of Rice
17.04.08. Keith Bradsher, NY Times. The Deniliquin mill, the largest rice mill in the Southern Hemisphere, once processed enough grain to meet the needs of 20 million people around the world. But six long years of drought have taken a toll, reducing Australia’s rice crop by 98 percent and leading to the mothballing of the mill last December.

Sydney Water asks for another price increase
23.04.08. smh. HOUSEHOLDERS could be charged an extra $20 on their annual water bills on top of the $233 increase Sydney Water has already been granted.

Drought 'killing Anzac trees'
24.04.08. news.com.au. DROUGHT, water restrictions and failing memories are undermining an Anzac legacy - the loss of thousands of trees planted across Australia to honour those who served their country.

Australian drought has global impact
24.04.08. news.com.au. THE effects of Australia's drought are being felt around the world as a global food shortage is partly blamed on low crop yields.

Drought tightens grip on central west, far west
12.05.08. ABC. Parts of central and far west new South Wales have slipped further into drought over the past month.VIDEO.

Politicians on peak oil
17.05.08. energy bulletin. Australian drivers face fuel ration shock … / ... "We face the need for a whole new economy, from the way we generate power, to how we deliver water, to how we live," he [Andrew McNamara] said.

VIDEO
Australia's drought-stricken rice fields (23.04.08)

BOLIVIA

The Chacacltaya Glacier in May 2005 Photo by Thomas Wilken

Melting Andean Glaciers Could Leave 30 Million High and Dry
28.04.08. ENS. About 99 percent of the Chacaltaya glacier in Bolivia has disappeared since 1940, says World Bank engineer Walter Vergara, in his new report, "The Impacts of Climate Change in Latin America." / One of the highest glaciers in South America, Chacaltaya is one of the first glaciers to melt due to climate change. Although the glacier is over 18,000 years old, it is expected to vanish this year. / Loss of glaciers in the Andes mountain range is threatening the water supply of 30 million people, and scientists say the lower altitude glaciers could disappear in 10 years.

CANADA

Alberta courting water crisis, report warns
22.04.08. globe and mail. Province could face shortage if water rights are sold to non-agricultural users, environmental groups say

CHINA

A frozen lake can be seen next to a small village in a drought-effected farming area near the the northern Chinese city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province April 4, 2008. REUTERS/David Gray

NE China province braces for drought
13.04.08. Xinhuanet. Different localities in northeast China's Liaoning Province have been taking pains to combat a drought that has forced 670,000 residents, plus 230,000 head of livestock, out of drinking water.

Drought leaves 840,000 people short of water in NE China
18.04.08. Xinhuanet.

CYPRUS

A goat walks along the sun-baked bed of Cyprus' largest reservoir at Kouris,
March 20, 2008. REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

Drought-hit Cyprus signs deal to ferry water from Greece
21.04.08. AFP.

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia: The Grim Face of Drought
07.04.08. T. Waldyes, allafrica. What he saw was an alarmingly escalating drought that caused a rising death toll of cattle and insufficient humanitarian responses by local authorities. Local people felt neglected. Experts warn that should the rains fail to fall in the coming season, the consequences will be too horrific to contemplate…. / According to reports from rapid assessment conducted by experts from zonal offices and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the area, such as SOS Sahel and GOAL Borena, the drought situation in Borena has undoubtedly increased in its size and scale since January 2008. For instance, the number of needy population increased from 88,000 people then to 314,907 now, according to their findings.

Ethiopia: Nearly $68 Million Sought to Aid Drought Victims – UN
11.04.08. UN News service / allafrica.

INDIA

Drought a major cause for food crisis: UN agency
26.04.08. hindu.com. Addressing the problem of drought is essential in resolving food crisis that is being faced by several countries, the United Nations agency, tasked with minimizing the threat posed by natural disasters, said on Saturday. / Both drought and unsustainable water management have played a key role in the current problem, and managing drought risk is essential in finding a long-term solution to the crisis, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) said.

India on brink of water crisis, says climate panel
27.04.08. times of India. The per capita water availability in India is projected to decline to about 1,140 cubic metres per year in 2050 from 1,820 cubic metres per year recorded in 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated in a report released recently.

Drought in Uttarakhand; State seeks Central assistance
04.05.08. Hindu.com. Dehra Dun (PTI): The long-dry spell of the past six months has badly affected wheat and other rabi crops in Uttarakhand, forcing the state government to seek a special compensation package from the Centre. More than 60 per cent of the hill state of Uttarakhand is facing drought conditions, adding to the woes of the people already reeling under the effect of spiraling prices.

IRAN

Majlis to discuss drought in Iran
12.05.08. iran mania.

Iran allocates $163m emergency fund for drought
14.05.08. Tehran Times. Rasoul Zargar added, “According to statistics, the country faces a 10 percent shortage in water supplies. We will be able to overcome the problem through proper tapping of water resources,” he noted. / Coping with drought requires $1.125 billion

IRAQ

Iraq's Top Reconstruction Project Failing, Audit Says (Update1)
30.04.08. Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg. raq's Nassriya Water Treatment Plant, the country's largest reconstruction project, is a failure so far because it isn't delivering sufficient water to enough people, a new audit says. … / Potable water is only reaching a fraction of the Iraqi people for which it was designed and intended,'' Inspector General Stuart Bowen said. Two of the intended five cities, Ad Diwayah and Suq Al Shoyokh, weren't receiving water, he wrote.

Attache: Serious Drought Trims Iraq Grain Production
01.05.08. agweb. he attache says wheat production for all 18 provinces in 2008/09 is forecast at 1.5 MMT, down 36 percent from last year’s estimated harvest of 2.3 MMT.

Unicef warns of Iraqis 'at risk'
06.05.08. Clive Myrie, BBC. The UN children's agency says over 150,000 people there are having difficulty accessing clean water, food and other essential services. / The Iraqi government says almost 1,000 people have died in recent fighting. / Most of those have been civilians, and aid agencies say around 60% of them are women and children.

IRAQ: Running Out of Water in Rising Heat
09.05.08. Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail, uruknet. Water supply is drying out in what was once the agriculturally rich Diyala province north of Baghdad. Baquba, the capital city of Diyala, is now running out of water both for drinking and for irrigation. / Water supply has been hit by power failures. The central pumping station has been running short of electricity supply over the last two years.

IRAQ: Nature Adds to Occupation Blows
15.05.08. Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail, IPS. Farmers in the Diyala province in Iraq have been hit by just about every crisis possible. First the security disaster dried up supplies and markets, then lack of electricity cut irrigation, and now comes a drying up of water resources. Nothing now seems more difficult in Iraq than the business of farming. / "The shortage of water is the biggest threat that Iraqi agriculture has ever faced," an employee in the directorate-general of irrigation for Diyala province, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "It threatens not only food but also employment in this city (Baquba, capital of the province).

Iraq: Mosul Residents Suffer Shortage of Piped Water
13.05.08. red orbit. Mosul, capital of the Ninawa Governorate, especially the right side of the city [preceding five words as heard], is suffering from a shortage of piped water, because the purification stations stopped working due to the fact that pumps cannot pump water from the Tigris River, as its water level has dropped.

Iraq to increase grain imports due to drop in local produce
16.05.08. Ali Shatab, Azzaman/uruknet. This year’s severe drought is forecast to lower wheat and barely yields in Iraq by up to 35 percent, th
e Ministry of Planning said. / The ministry, in a statement, added that Iraq has been subjected to one of its worst droughts in recent history this year. / Wheat and barley yields may not exceed one million tons, the ministry added. / Iraq needs up to four million tons of wheat to meet domestic produce and at least two million tons of barley used mainly as animal feed.

IRELAND

Climate threatens water supply - expert
18.04.08. Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Ireland.com. A leading climate expert has warned of “severe implications” for the Irish economy if the effects of climate change on the water supply is not addressed. / Hydrologist Dr Conor Murphy says there is little doubt climate change is now having a major impact on Irish water resources and it can no longer be assumed that the availability will meet future demand.

ISRAEL

As drought nears, Southern landscape browns
06.04.08. haaretz.

Water Authority: Drought years threaten drinking water supplies
21.04.08. Haaretz. Israel stands to lose large amounts of drinking water due to poor quality and problems associated with drought years, according to the Water Authority. Among the threats to water quality, cowsheds in the south have been found to cause groundwater pollution, and sewage could soon pollute drilled wells in the Western Galilee.

KENYA

UN funding appeal for Kenya boosted by $150 million due to drought
04.08. UN.org (no date)

NEW ZEALAND

Waikato drought woes continue
08.04.08. tvnz. The impact of the dry conditions on animal welfare, stress levels and farming practices were high on the agenda. Everyone is pedicting the conditions are set to continue.

N.Z. Lamb Flock May Drop to 50-Year Low on Drought (Update1)
14.05.08. Gavin Evans, bloomberg.

PAKISTAN

Acute water shortage in cantonment areas
27.04.08. Daily Times.com.pk. he residents of Rawalpindi cantonment areas are facing acute water shortage but the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) is paying little attention to solve the problem. / The worst affected areas are Tench Bhata, Bakra Mandi, Allahabad, Gulshan-e-Nayyab, Chak Madad Khan, Habib Colony, Sultanabad, Dhoke Banaras, Gulistan Colony, Chur Harpal and Siham. Tubewells in these thickly populated localities are not enough to meet water requirements.

Sindh, Punjab provinces face water shortage
14.05.08. Zafar Bhutta, daily times.pk.

PORTUGAL

Half the country in moderate drought
19.04.08. the-news. .. half of Portugal was in a moderate drought situation, 13 percent in severe drought and 37 percent in mild drought.

SOMALIA

Somalia: Villages Abandoned As Drought Bakes Puntland
10.04.08. allafrica. Like most of Puntland, Hamure village is experiencing what locals describe as one of the worst droughts in decades. The last rains fell three years ago.

War, Drought Push Somalis to Breaking Point
01.05.08. Lisa Schlein, VOA. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is deeply concerned about the plight of civilians caught up in Somalia's endless war. It says problems caused by fighting are compounded by a series of natural disasters, which are pushing people to the breaking point. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from ICRC headquarters in Geneva. Includes report and audio.

SPAIN

Barcelona to import water for drought
05.04.08. Presstv.ir. The second largest city in Spain is trying to deal with the region's worst drought in decades by bringing enough water to meet Barcelona's consumption needs for five days at a cost of 22 million euros ($34.4 million), Terra Daily reports. / Water reserves across Spain have dropped to 46.6 percent of capacity, a 20-percentage point drop compared to a decade ago.

Spain Suffering Worst Drought Since 1912
08.04.08. geology.com.

World Expo in Spain Has Water as Its Theme
20.04.08. NY Times.

The dry Catalonia river reflects the lack of rain in Spain over the last few weeks EPA

Barcelona forced to import emergency water
14.05.08. Guardian.

VIDEOS

Barcelona forced to ship in water (14 May 08)

Spanish Drought Reveals Sunken Ghost Town

THAILAND

Drought hits millions in Thai rice region: government
21.04.08. AFP. More than 10 million people in parts of Thailand's rice bowl region have been hit by drought, the government said Monday, causing further concerns as prices of the staple grain soar.

TURKEY

Figs hit by drought, not fewer wasps
26.04.08. Turkish daily news. Despite reports in the British press claiming that fig production in Turkey has decreased due to fewer wasps, experts in Turkey argued that wasps have nothing to do with the problem, but that drought was the real reason behind the decrease in production.

Drought problems slash grain forecast; Southeast a ‘disaster zone’
04.05.08. Zaman. Minister of Agriculrture Mehdi Eker says he has never seen a drought in southeastern Anatolia as bad as the current one.

U.S.A.


Thirty-Six U.S. States to Face Water Shortages in the Next Five Years
31.03.08. natural news / ICH. At least 36 states are expected to face water shortages within the next five years, according to U.S. government estimates. Available freshwater supplies are dwindling across the country due to rising temperatures and droughts, while increasing sprawl, population and inefficient resource usage are leading to rising demand.

Lake forecast reflects continuing drought
05.04.08. KIM FUNDINGSLAND, minot daily news. According to the April reservoir forecast issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spring runoff into the Missouri River Basin is near normal. However, Lake Sakakawea remains far below its long-term operating level. Thursday’s water level reading was 1,807.6 feet. The previous record low for March 31 was 1,808.7 feet, set in 2005 and equaled in 2007.

Photo : Sefton Ipock

Rains help, but drought lingers in Anderson area
04.08. ANDERSON — Last week’s rainy days won’t impact the drought status of the Anderson [South Carolina] area in the long run, experts say.

Experts: Recent Rain Doesn't Mean Drought Is Over
07.04.08. NBC. DURHAM, N.C. -- Despite all the recent rain, water experts say we haven't had half the amount of rainfall we had last year this same time.

Easley: Save water, the drought isn't over
09.04.08. ABC. Governor Mike Easley is asking local officials to continue their aggressive water conservation efforts since the drought is not over and a hot, dry summer is still possible. VIDEO.

Resilient Buffer Trees Dying From Drought, Disease In Charlotte
11.04.08. WSOTV.

Despite drought, Centennial park fountain gets pass
12.04.08. AJC.

Nebraska Ag: Drought Conditions Continue To Impact Rangeland In The Panhandle
14.04.08. cattlenetwork. Drought conditions continue to plague the Nebraska Panhandle. As of April 7 year to date precipitation is on average less than 50% of normal. Season long grass production on native range in the Nebraska Panhandle is highly correlated with the depth of available soil moisture and total precipitation from March through May.

Rising lake levels fail to quench drought fears
14.04.08. tricities. BRISTOL, Va. – Rising water levels in South Holston Lake have temporarily allayed fears about a city water shortage, but officials continue to work on a drought emergency plan and urge conservation.

County split on drought conditions
15.04.08. your daily journal. Richmond County is split on drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina. / The northern part of the county is in the severe classification, D2, on a scale of 0 to 4. / The southern part of the county is in the moderate classification, D1.

Southeast L.A. County water agency sues over MWD drought plan.
18.04.08. LA times. An agency that supplies water to 2 million residents of southeast Los Angeles County has filed suit to overturn a new Southern California drought plan, saying it inequitably allocates water and "robs from the poor to pay the cost of new development in more affluent areas." [no surprise there, then]

Chance of Midwest drought heats up
18.04.08. Chicago tribune.

Georgia

Southwest Georgia Still In A Drought
07.04.08. WCTV,

Drought is still extreme; Georgia still being blamed
21.04.08. Jay Bookman, AJC. There's a sense across metro Atlanta that the worst may be behind us, that the extraordinary drought that transfixed the region last fall and winter has eased and that things are finally getting back to normal. / That is a dangerous, dangerous assumption.


Lake Lanier

Expert: Drought On The Way Back
24.04.08. 11 alive. Georgia's lakes and reservoirs had a chance to crawl out of our persistent drought this winter, but it didn't happen. / Georgia's wet season is now over and the state climatologist says reservoirs like Lake Lanier that had been looking better will likely start dropping again. VIDEO

Drought Makes Targets Tougher
01.05.08. redorbit. Effects of the drought are apparent on each of the farms in the Tararua monitor programme, reports Sonita Chandar.

Drought Monitor: Expansion of Drought in Northern Texas
01.05.08. redorbit. According to NOAA's Drought Monitor, rain and thunderstorms with the front brought short-term relief to the Southeast drought areas, while rain associated with the surface Low dampened an area of dryness that had been developing in the Northeast. A spring snowstorm on the back side of the Low dumped beneficial precipitation on the north central states. Meanwhile, dry weather continued from California to the southern High Plains.

Worrisome

Colorado River to Drop to 500-Year Low as World Warms
17.05.08. Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg / Truthout.

Drought Fears Rising Again
05.05.08. dnronline. Wells fed by area aquifers are showing signs of severe drought, officials say, triggering concerns of future water shortages in Shenandoah and Rockingham counties.

Water rationing imposed on East Bay
13.05.08. Mike Taugher, mercury news. Water deliveries to 1.3 million East Bay residents will be rationed for the first time since the early 1990s after the East Bay Municipal Utility District board of directors on Tuesday declared an emergency water shortage and prohibited a list a potentially wasteful water practices.

The Water-Industrial Complex
14.05.08. William Pentland, forbes / C. Baker. In 2001, a water shortage in America's Pacific Northwest wiped out nearly a third of the U.S. aluminum industry. Low precipitation levels in the Cascade Mountains during the preceding winter robbed local reservoirs of the water needed to turn the massive turbines inside the region's main hydroelectric power plant, the Bonneville Power Administration. Electricity prices skyrocketed. Over the course of a few months, roughly a dozen aluminum plants closed. Nearly a decade later, only one has reopened.

Like oil, water is an essential part of doing business in almost every industry, and unexpected shortages can trigger potentially catastrophic consequences. The trouble for investors: Companies disclose very little if any information about their exposure to water-related risks.

"This is not an area that companies like to discuss quite frankly," says Carl Levinson, an economist at J.P. Morgan and the principal author of the recent report Watching Water: A Guide to Corporate Risk in a Thirsty World. "They don't want to call attention to a vulnerability and that applies very much to the water scarcity issue. Investors in general know very little about what is going on in companies' supply chains." / The water risks are most obvious in the food and beverage sector. Together, Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and Danone consume an estimated 575 billion liters of water every year, or roughly the amount of water needed to meet the basic daily needs of every person on the planet. Read On!

VIDEO
Los Angeles Drought Busters

ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe: 'Allocate Trucks to Ferry Maize for Drought Relief'
21.04.08. allafrica.


3. Water Wars

CANADA / US

'Water wars' with U.S. in our future: experts
24.04.08. Canadian press/C. Baker. Parched U.S. states could start "water wars" in the years ahead and fight for access to Great Lakes resources as they become more desperate to meet growing needs, Canadian and American experts said yesterday at a water conference.

ETHIOPIA

Drought Is Spurring Resource Wars
29.04.08. Ernest Waititu , Indypendent/alternet. In Ethiopia, violence breaks out as water turns to sand and climate change takes hold. It may be a warning to the rest of the world.

SPAIN


Severe Spanish drought sparks regional fights over water
04.04.08. TERRA DAILY. The worst drought in decades in Spain is leading to regional disputes over scarce water resources with areas with more reserves resisting transfers to more parched zones.

There has been 40 percent less rain than normal across the country since the meteorological year began on October 1, said Angel Rivera, the spokesman for the National Institute of Meteorology

Drought ignites Spain's 'water war'
06.04.08. Guardian. After months of low rainfall, parched Catalonia has had to appeal to Madrid for help - and now ecologists fear the costs of a long-term solution

Spanish regions squabble over water
22.04.08. al jazeera.

UNITED STATES

Las Vegas Water Grab
Updated. The proposed Lake Powell Pipeline Project, Utah and Arizona


4. Pollution

GENERAL

Uranium Toxicity

Former Director of the U.S. Army's Depleted Uranium Project reveals toxic effects of America's Military Operations
17.04.08. Dr. Doug Rokke, PhD. The Canadian. After more than 5 years of unprovoked and unjustified war in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and Somalia the use of uranium weapons -- the perfect "dirty bomb" and consequent destruction of each nation's infrastructure, has released all kinds of toxic materials turning these nations into a toxic wastelands. Consequently the number of casualties continues to escalate while U.S. and British officials arrogantly refuse to comply with their own regulations, orders, and directives that require provide prompt and effective medical care to "all" exposed individuals and to clean up all environmental contamination . … /The extent of adverse health and environmental effects of uranium weapons contamination is not limited to combat zones in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan but includes facilities and sites where uranium weapons were manufactured or tested including Vieques; Puerto Rico; Colonie, New York; Concord, MA; Jefferson Proving Grounds, Indiana; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

ANTARCTIC

Melting glaciers release toxic chemical cocktail
07.05.08. new scientist environment. Decades after most countries stopped spraying DDT, frozen stores of the insecticide are now trickling out of melting Antarctic glaciers. The change means Adélie penguins have recently been exposed to the chemical, according to a new study. / The trace levels found will not harm the birds, but the presence of the chemical could be an indication that other frozen pollutants will be released because of climate change, says Heidi Geisz, a marine biologist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester in the US. She led a team that sampled DDT levels in the penguins. / She worries that glaciers could release an alphabet soup of chemical pollutants into the ocean, including PCBs and PBDEs – industrial chemicals that have been linked to health problems in humans.

THE DANUBE

Danube River's Pollution Threatens the Potable Water of Millions
17.04.08. international ibox. The main Danube organizations and the European union are increasingly concerned for the future of the EU longest river, which springs from Germany and flows along 10 countries before flowing into the Black sea. / Officials in Budapest called for all the countries along the Danube to stop the irreversible, according to them, damages by undertaking urgent measures against pollution. … / without radical actions for improvement of the condition of the environment around the Danube, the reserves of potable water for nearly 80 million people would be threatened. … / Another unsolved problem is the pollution from NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999, reckons Milovan Bojinovic, chairman of the Danube commission with headquarters in Budapest, which works for the free navigation on the river. He claims that chemicals from the bombed plants still pollute the Danube.

AFGHANISTAN

Kabul Conference Warns About Environmental Problems in Afghanistan
03.05.08. Red orbit. [Parliament Speaker in Dari] Afghanistan has been a victim of pollution at both national and international level. Factors such as poverty, the low level of education, long years of war, a dramatic increase in the population and the lack of a culture to protect the environment have contributed to this catastrophe. Today, we do not have a sound and safe environment in Afghanistan and this is a great threat to our health and life in the future.

ALBANIA

Drinking Water Pollution Plagues Towns in Albania
07.05.08. Balkan travellers. Albanian Instutute for Public Health, quoted by the Koha Jonë newspaper, found that the drinking water in the towns of Milot, Kelcyre, Peshkopi and Lezha, just to the north of the capital Tirana, was contaminated. The outdated water-supply network was stated as the most likely reason for the pollution.

BURMA - MYANMAR

US Envoy Says Toll From Myanmar Cyclone Might Reach 100,000
07.05.08. truthout. Hungry people swarmed the few open shops and fistfights broke out over food and water in Myanmar's swamped Irrawaddy delta Wednesday as a top U.S. diplomat warned that the death toll from a devastating cyclone could top 100,000. .. / Entire villages in the Irrawaddy delta were still submerged from Saturday's storm, and bloated corpses could be seen stuck in the mangroves. Some survivors stripped clothes off the dead. People wailed as they described the horror of the torrent swept ashore by the cyclone.

COST OF U.S. WARS: $3 TRILLION
OFFER OF US AID TO MYANMAR: $3 MILLION.
VIDEO: After Nargis in Myanmar Part 9

U.S. "outraged" by Myanmar's response to cyclone
08.05.08. Reuters. The United Nations estimates 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" by the cyclone that swept through Myanmar and the United States expressed outrage on Thursday at the delays in allowing in aid.

Katrina: Authorities bar Red Cross from NOLA; Blackwater gets carte blanche
09.05.08. boingboing. Armed with assault rifles, contractors from private security firm Blackwater are patrolling the black-water-flooded streets of New Orleans. / Meanwhile, unnarmed Red Cross workers toting food and medicine have been unable to enter the city for days.

'Giant wave dragged everything into the sea'
08.05.08. smh.au. Huddled in the township of Labutta they told tales of survival against the odds even as children, mothers and fathers were swept away by the floodwaters that submerged huge swathes of the Irrawaddy delta.

UN Says 1.5 Million People Affected by Burma Storm
09.05.08. Aung Hla Tun, Reuters/truthout.

Water crisis raises fears for health of children
10.05.08. the age.au. HEALTH experts are scrambling to respond to reports of malaria and diarrhoea in areas of Burma hardest hit by cyclone Nargis. / Early estimates indicate 20% of children in these areas are already suffering from diarrhoea, said Osamu Kunii, UNICEF's chief of health and nutrition in Rangoon. "Most of the area is covered by dirty water," he said. There were many dead bodies and people had very poor access to clean drinking water or food, he said.

Nature & survival
10.05.08. M. Casey, AP / IHT / energy bulletin. When Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar, it pushed a wall of water through the Irrawaddy Delta, a low-lying, densely populated area that had been stripped of its protective trees. / The delta had lost most of its mangrove forests along the coast to shrimp farms and rice paddies over the past decade. That removed what scientists say is one of nature's best defenses against violent storms.

Cyclone Nargis Summary
Geology. Com. EXCELLENT. Description, maps, history, aftermath, aid.

Myanmar: Saving lives with clean water
12.05.08. Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin).

While the UN chief “slams Myanmar junta for slow response the UN response to Myanmar government refusal to let NGOs has also been slow, and similar to its response to the massacres in Srebrenica: NOTHING HAPPENING - 11 days following the disaster, the UN spokesman is finally applying for a visa to enter Myanmar.

Renewables
14.05.08. G. Shea, AFP / energy bulletin. Myanmar is struggling to feed its people in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis -- in part because the regime has been forcing some farmers to stop growing rice in a plan to produce biofuelinstead.

Regime-Quakes in Burma and China
15.05.08. Naomi Klein, The Nation. Taking a page out of the playbook of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the generals have drafted a Constitution that allows for elections but guarantees that no future government will ever have the power to prosecute them for their crimes or take back their ill-gotten wealth. As Farmaner puts it, after elections the junta leaders "are going to be wearing suits instead of boots." The cyclone, meanwhile, has presented them with one last, vast business opportunity: by blocking aid from reaching the highly fertile Irrawaddy delta, hundreds of thousands of mostly ethnic Karen rice farmers are being sentenced to death. According to Farmaner, "that land can be handed over to the generals' business cronies" (shades of the beachfront land grabs in Sri Lanka and Thailand after the Asian tsunami). This isn't incompetence, or even madness. It's laissez-faire ethnic cleansing.

If the Burmese junta avoids mutiny and achieves these goals, it will be thanks largely to China, which has vigorously blocked all attempts at the United Nations for humanitarian intervention in Burma. Inside China, where the central government is going to great lengths to show itself as compassionate, news of this complicity could prove explosive.

VIDEOS

No help reaching Myanmar survivors

Village at the heart of Myanmar disaster

Myanmar cyclone survivors facing an epidemic (16 May 2007)

See more videos here

CANADA

Feds to declare bisphenol A toxic
17.04.08. Sarah Schmidt , Canwest News Service. The federal government is going to declare bisphenol A a toxin on Friday, likely leading to its eventual ban in food containers, water bottles and baby bottles.

CHINA

Pollution ruins water supply to 30 million in China
17.04.08. breaking news. A giant lake in China supplying water to 30 million people has become undrinkable through pollution. / In yet another example of the country’s problems linked to rapid industrial growth, potentially deadly algae is spreading across Lake Taihu.

Hundreds Stage Anti-Pollution March in China
05.05.08. Edward Wong, IHT / truthout. The protesters in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, walked peacefully through the center of the city for several hours Sunday afternoon to criticize the building of an ethylene plant and oil refinery in Pengzhou. .. / Critics of the project said in interviews Monday that the government had not done proper environmental reviews of the projects, which they said could pollute the air and water and lead to health hazards. .. / The chemical plant and oil refinery is a joint venture of the Sichuan provincial government and PetroChina, a publicly traded oil company that is the listed arm of China National Petroleum Corp., the state-owned concern that is the country's largest oil producer.

Potential Pollution

Sichuan Earthquake Summary
14.05.08. Geology.com. Maps, Video, news, photos. EXCELLENT.

PetroChina May Scrap Sichuan Refinery Plan on Quake (Update2)
15.05.08. Ying Lou and Wang Ying, Bloomberg. ... as many as 500 people demonstrated in Chengdu on May 4 over potential air and water pollution and health hazards from the plants to be built just outside the city, the International Herald Tribune reported.

China warns of threat from dams weakened by quake
16.05.08. Reuters. The earthquake that devastated southwest China has left many dams badly damaged, posing an unknown threat of collapse and flooding made worse by poor management and information, the country's water minister said.

In Sichuan and Chongqing, at least 17 reservoirs have been damaged, with some dams cracked or leaking water since the quake struck on Monday, according to state media. Several are on the Min River, which tumbles through the worst-hit areas between the Tibetan plateau and the Sichuan plain.

Extent of flooding in Burma

Extent of Flooding in Burma
17.05.08. Geology.com. Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a method of assembling data for improved mapping of inundated areas.

GHANA

Ghana: Anglogold Ashanti Accused of Discharging Sewage Into River
18.04.08. allafrica.

INDIA

A pitcherful of poison: India's water woes set to get worse
13.04.08. Times of India. Even as India and the world worry about the current food shortage, it might be water that eventually leaves the nation high and dry. … / In a list of 122 countries rated on quality of potable water, India ranks a lowly 120. And although India has 4% of the world's water, studies show average avail-ability is shrinking steadily. It's estimated that by 2020, India will become a water-stressed nation. … / 37.7 million people — over 75% of whom are children — are afflicted by waterborne diseases every year. Overdependence on groundwater has brought in contaminants, fluoride being one of them. … arsenic, high nitrates … However, it's bacteriological contamination — which leads to diarrhoea, cholera and hepatitis — that is most widespread in India.

19 more brands sell contaminated water
16.04.08. times of India. TOI is in possession of a lab report of the Chennai Corporation, revealing that 71 samples of 51 brands have been tested positive for e-coli and coliform bacteria. This includes 23 brands of bubble-top container water widely used in households for drinking and cooking.

Toxic water in canal raises alarm
24.04.08. times of India. Sudden increase in cases of water-borne diseases due to supply of highly toxic and polluted water for drinking purpose for the last two weeks has made residents in Faridkot, Muktsar and Abohar areas panicky as authorities have not been able to do anything to improve the situation.

Bhopal gas tragedy`s watery trail to tell a story
24.04.08. business-standard. The Bhopal gas tragedy remains a live issue 23 years after toxic gases leaked out of a Union Carbide plant in December 1984. Recent developments indicate a desire on the part of the government to put an end to it. A series of reports looks at these developments and the continuing presence of 9,000 tonnes of toxic waste on the premises of the plant. / People living around the Union Carbide plant site here have two options when it comes to drinking water. Either it is the contaminated groundwater, which continues to be affected by toxic wastes dumped in the plant premises, or the municipal water supplied from the nearby Raslakhedi village, known for a huge sewer. The water from both sources has been officially declared unfit for drinking.

MSU research reaches Supreme Court of India
30.04.08. Montana edu. The Ganges River is considered a goddess, but Tim Ford, head of MSU's microbiology department, said it has become a soup of pollution. / The river contains untreated sewage, cremated remains, chemicals and disease-causing microbes, the researchers said. Cows wade in the river. People wash their laundry in it and drink from it. Ford said the Ganges has become the kind of place where genetic material could transfer between pathogens and create new pathogens. / "Wastewater treatment is critical to protecting human health from waterborne diseases," Ford said. "The Ganges River is a major source of disease burden in that region." / Hamner said MSU and a government lab in India each sampled the Ganges and found a dangerous form of E. coli known as 0157:H7 bacteria.

Water pollution threatens Goan villagers health
12.05.08. merinews.

IRAQ

Iraq: IOM emergency needs assessments
(post Feb 2006 displacement in Iraq) 01 May 2008 bi-weekly report
01.05.08. RELIEF WEB. Lack of portable water continues to be a problem throughout the country, with more and more IDPs relying on rivers, drainage canals, and other contaminated water sources. Drought in the north is also affecting both IDPs and host communities. The high price of fuel and deteriorated health care facilities also greatly impacts the living conditions of IDPs.

In Iraq 70 Percent of People Lack Clean Water
01.05.08. Abigail Brown, Water For The Ages / alternet. Less than half of Iraq's population of 29 million people have access to clean, drinkable water. And, according to a recent report by Oxfam, the number of civilians in Iraq without water has risen from 50 percent to 70 percent during 2003 to 2007 (the continued US occupation).

Aid officials urge relief for Baghdad slum
08.05.08. Reuters Civilians caught up in fighting between security forces and Shi'ite militiamen in a Baghdad slum are running out of food, water and medicines and relief agencies are unable to bring in supplies, officials said on Thursday.

IRELAND

Impurities found in water supply
10.04.08. bray people. WICKLOW'S local authority is failing to monitor parasites in its water systems, according to a new report by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

Four beaches fail water quality test
07.05.08. Ireland.com. Four bathing spots in Cork, Dublin and Galway have been ruled unsafe for swimming due to pollution by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

NI water company fined over river pollution
07.05.08. ens. Northern Ireland Water has been fined £5,000 for pollution of a river in Co Antrim. / A discharge of untreated sewage into the Crumlin River, a tributary of Lough Neagh on 1 April 2007 was traced to a pumping station, a court heard.

ITALY

European Legal Issues: Hazardous Substances, Birds, Wolves
03.04.08. ens. The European Commission is bringing Italy before the European Court of Justice for failing to draw up emergency plans in case of major accidents for installations where hazardous substances are present.

PAKISTAN

Unclean water tanks: 80 pc residents vulnerable to waterborne diseases
16.05.08. Atif Khan, Daily Times.pk. ISLAMABAD: Above 80 percent residents of the capital are vulnerable to water-borne diseases including gastroenteritis, typhoid, cholera and dysentery, as they consume unsafe water from unclean underground water storage tanks of their houses.

PALESTINE

Popular committee: Our warning of wastewater flooding in Gaza started to happen
30.04.08. Palestinian Information Center/uruknet. The popular committee against the siege stated that its repeated warnings of impending wastewater flooding in Gaza streets started to happen, warning that 60 percent of wastewater pump stations are going to stop within 24 hours due to the lack of fuel supplies. This came during a press conference held by the committee in front of the wastewater pump facility no. B7 in the Zeitoun area in Gaza, where this station stopped working leading to the inundation of the whole surrounding area with sewage and wastewater.

Anti siege committee warns of spread of epidemics in Gaza due to fuel crisis
30.04.08. Palestinian Information Center, uruknet. GAZA, (PIC)-- The popular committee against the siege warned of serious epidemic outbreaks among the Palestinian citizens in the besieged Gaza Strip due to the Israeli persistence in not allowing fuel supplies into Gaza which are used to operate drainage systems and garbage collection vehicles in addition to chlorine used to disinfect drinking water.

Israeli siege contaminates potable water in Gaza Strip
06.05.08. Palestinian Information Center/uruknet. The spokesperson of the Gaza-based anti-siege popular committee Rami Abdo has warned on Tuesday that the Israeli blockade on Gaza Strip caused a sharp decrease in drinking water, putting lives of the 1.5 million Gazans at risk.

Photo Fady Adwan

Gaza Strip Fear a New Tsunami - Sewage Treatment Blocked by the Israelis...
15.05.08. Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice/uruknet. In 2007, 14 months ago, a *spewing river of sewage and mud erupted after an earth embankment around a cesspool collapsed.Ten people died and more then 60 people were injured, the disaster forced the residents in the beduin village to flee.*Years of insufficient sanitation conditions during the Israeli settlement occupation of Gaza Strip, and the absence of sewage conveyance systems are serious threats to public health and are the major causes of a environmental degradation on Gaza Strip. / The United Nations Office for the "Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs" said in a report released on Wednesday,that Gaza Strip water authority has dumped over 60 million liters of partially treated and untreated sewage into the Mediterranean sea since January 24. / The Israelis blockade of the Gaza Strip is blamed for the Gaza Strip water authority's inability to treat the sewage."This sewage cannot be treated due to lack of a steady supply of electricity within the Gaza Strip, Israel's restrictions on fuel imports and prohibitions on the import of necessary spare parts,"the restrictions on imports and exports into and out of the Gaza Strip, spare parts needed to repair the sewage treatment plants, has not been allowed to cross the border.

PHILIPPINES

Negros Oriental rivers positive for coliform contamination – DENR
12.04.08. pia. Based on the data collected from 1995 to 2004 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here, 95 percent of the sampling sites along Negros Oriental rivers have reached a high degree of total coliform contamination that only a classification of Class D - the worst possible water quality

RUSSIA

Russia's Baltic Pollution Problem
16.04.08. business week. Ineffective, if not negligent, regulation by St. Petersburg's government is allowing the flow of industrial waste into the sea to surge

SOUTH AFRICA

Toxic water killed E Cape babies – report
30.04.08. iol.co.za. Last week, reports emerged that 78 children from the Eastern Cape towns of Barkly East, Maclear, Sterkspruit and Elliot had died as a result of diarrhoea allegedly caused by contaminated water. / An official health report, tabled two weeks at a closed council meeting, indicated there had been a breakdown in a water purification works in October last year

SUDAN

Sudan: Water, Water Everywhere - But It's Not Fit to Drink
30.04.08. allafrica. UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. "Towns along the rivers of Upper Nile, like Malakal, are areas inhabited by citizens who get water directly from the rivers," Peter Pal Riak, the state's minister for physical infrastructure, said on 25 April. "That water is a source of disease."

UK

SWW fined for water pollution
17.04.08. Exmouth journal.

Raw sewage forces opening of flagship park to be cancelled
18.04.08. Scotsman.

Firm fined over water pollution
3.05.08. BBC. Yorkshire Water has been fined for polluting a beck in West Yorkshire.

USA

America's 10 Most Endangered Rivers 2008
17.04.08. Environment News Service. "Water will be the oil of the 21st century," said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers, the conservation group that issues the annual ranking of the country's most endangered rivers. "Yet all across the country, water mismanagement is on full display as politicians resort to placing another straw in their rivers, or outright stealing water from their neighbors, instead of adopting water policies that will make our communities more resilient in the face of global warming," said Wodder. .. /

America's Most Endangered Rivers in 2008::

• #1: Catawba-Wateree River in North Carolina and South Carolina
• #2: Rogue River in Oregon
• #3: Poudre River in Colorado
• #4: St. Lawrence River in New York and Canada
• #5: Minnesota River in Minnesota
• #6: St. Johns River in Florida
• #7 Gila River in New Mexico and Arizona
• #8 Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine
• #9 Pearl River in Louisiana and Mississippi
• #10 Niobrara River in Nebraska

Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco Formed to Honor George W. Bush
31.03.08. sfist / legitgov. Looking to honor the forty-third President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, the recently formed Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is looking to change the name of the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility. It seems the group would like to rename the SF Zoo adjacent facility to the "George W Bush Sewage Plant."

US Water Pipelines Are Breaking
08.04.08. COLLEEN LONG, AP. Two hours north of New York City, a mile-long stream and a marsh the size of a football field have mysteriously formed along a country road. They are such a marvel that people come from miles around to drink the crystal-clear water, believing it is bubbling up from a hidden natural spring. / The truth is far less romantic: The water is coming from a cracked 70-year-old tunnel hundreds of feet below ground, scientists say. / The Environmental Protection Agency says utilities will need to invest more than $277 billion over the next two decades on repairs and improvements to drinking water systems. Water industry engineers put the figure drastically higher, at about $480 billion. / Water utilities, largely managed by city governments, have never faced improvements of this magnitude before. And customers will have to bear the majority of the cost through rate increases, according to the American Water Works Association, an industry group. … / some pipes and tunnels were built in the 1800s and are now nearing the end of their life expectancies. [same problem but worse in UK]

Chesapeake Bay Suffering, Restoration Efforts Treading Water
04.04.08. J.R. Pegg, ens. The health of the Chesapeake Bay is dismal and more than three decades of restoration efforts have done little to improve the condition of the nation's largest estuary, according to two independent assessments released Thursday. The reports add to a litany of evidence that the water quality throughout the bay and its tributaries is severely degraded and echo lingering concern that the plan for cleaning up the ecosystem is not working. / The Bay has long suffered from massive unnatural influxes of nitrogen and phosphorous, largely from sewage wastewater, agricultural and urban runoff, and air pollution.

70 Groups Agree on Cleaner New York / New Jersey Harbor
04.04.08. ens. The NY/NJ Harbor Consortium of the New York Academy of Sciences examined the causes of ongoing pollution to the harbor and developed management strategies for five important contaminants: mercury, cadmium, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs.

Refinery Water Pollution Costs ConocoPhillips $1.2 Million
07.04.08. ens. Complaint … alleges that ConocoPhillips violated effluent limits in its Clean Water Act permit on over 2,000 occasions between 1999 and 2006.

E. Coli Found In Chazy Water Supply
11.04.08. In NY.

Contamination Spurs Class-Action Against Raytheon
14.04.08. Mark Douglas, suncoast Pinellas.tbo. A Pinellas County attorney filed a class-action lawsuit today against the Raytheon Corp. on behalf of residents who may be affected by contaminated groundwater in the Azalea area of St. Petersburg. … chemicals such as vinyl chloride, 1,4-Dioxane and trichloroethylene that came from Raytheon's plant on 72nd Street are contaminating groundwater in the neighborhood.

PCBs found in soil near water treatment plant
15.04.08. my record journal.

Senators rip EPA over lack of knowledge on drugs in water
15.04.08. AP. The Environmental Protection Agency was lambasted during a Senate hearing Tuesday for allowing the American public to learn that traces of pharmaceuticals are in much of the nation's drinking water from an Associated Press investigative series, not the federal government.

Contaminated sand from Gulf War to pass through Longview
15.04.08. Eric Olson, tdn. A ship carrying 6,700 tons of sand contaminated with low levels of hazardous waste at a U.S. Army base in Kuwait during the first Gulf War will be unloaded at the Port of Longview on April 22. / The vessel BBC Alabama is delivering 306 containers of the sand, which contains low levels of uranium, to the port, which will then be loaded onto trains bound for a disposal site in Grand View, Idaho, said Doug Averett, the port’s director of operations.

What's in your water?
17.04.08. Chicago tribune. The Tribune finds trace amounts of drugs and chemicals—including anti-seizure medication and a Teflon ingredient— in Lake Michigan drinking water. Chicago officials have never tested the city and suburban water supply for pharmaceuticals and other unregulated chemicals, even as concern grows about the possible health effects of trace amounts of drugs in drinking water. / So the Tribune and RedEye did the testing the city won't do. / The newspapers hired an independent lab, which found tiny amounts of an anti-seizure drug, a common painkiller, caffeine and two chemicals used to make Teflon and Scotchgard in samples taken from a water supply that serves 7 million people. / The Tribune's findings echo what authorities have detected in tap water supplies elsewhere in the country: dozens of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as chemicals from personal-care products, food packaging, clothing and household goods.

Corporate Fight Lets Toxics Flow to Long Island Sound
17.04.08. ens. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy said Monday that the state has requested a temporary injunction against The Sergy Company LLC and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetek,_Inc. “>Magnetek, Inc.

Oklahoma town suing over contamination
17.04.08. Judy Welch, newscow. The lawsuit alleges the town of approximately 7,200 people is contaminated by 58 million pounds of toxic waste, including lead, arsenic, cadmium and zinc, left behind by the smelting activities. The smelter was in operation in Blackwell from 1916 to 1974. It occupied 80 acres and employed 1,000 people. … / The suit was filed by Bob Coffey, Loretta Corn, and Larry and Mary Ellen Jones, individually, "and on behalf of all others similarly situated" against Phelps Dodge Corporation and its parent company Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.

Despite progress made, Maine's toxic waste sites still face a lot more work
19.04.08. Kevin Miller, bangornews. They are found in nearly every corner of Maine - hazardous waste sites that threaten the air, water and health of residents.

Drug disposals aim to reduce water contamination
19.04.08. green bay press. Brown Co. Solid Waste District to hold spring, fall collections

Water pollution: Dawn of the 'Dead Zones'
21.04.08. CNN. It's thousands of square miles wide, virtually devoid of oxygen and it has been blamed for an increase in shark attacks: the Gulf of Mexico "Dead Zone" is getting bigger and forcing marine life -- including sharks - into shore. The zone has been caused by a flood of nutrients, such as agricultural fertilizers, which boost algae production in the sea. These growths consume huge amounts of oxygen creating a "marine desert" almost devoid of life. / The "Dead Zone" varies in size each year, but in 1999 it was 7,728 square miles -- that's nearly the size of Delaware and Connecticut combined. / The huge size of the "Dead Zone' is due to the increase in nutrient pollution flowing down rivers, including the Mississippi, which is estimated to have risen threefold in the last fifty years as chemicals become more and more common on farms.

ConocoPhillips settles refinery pollution charges
22.04.08. Ogj. ConocoPhillips agreed Apr. 8 to pay $1.2 million to settle federal water pollution charges involving a 146,000 b/cd refinery in Borger, Tex., that it operates, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency said. / The company allegedly violated the US Clean Water Act (CWA) more than 2,000 times from 1999 through 2006, the agencies said. In a complaint filed with a consent decree in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, authorities said the case involved two types of pollutants, selenium and whole effluent toxicity.

Railroad accused of water pollution in SC wreck
24.04.08. charlotte.com. The railroad owner in a deadly South Carolina train wreck and chemical spill violated a federal pollution law when chlorine seeped into a nearby creek, prosecutors arguing for thousands of dollars in fines said Thursday. / The prosecutors claim Norfolk Southern was negligent by allowing chlorine and diesel fuel to seep into waterways, killing fish and plant life after the crash in the mill town of Graniteville.

Something in the Water Part Two- Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
25.04.08. wctv. hey drank it, bathed in it, and swam in it. / Now thousands of people across the country are learning that they were exposed to contaminated water at a military base in North Carolina. / Congressman Boyd is the latest player in the investigation of water contamination at Camp Lejeune from sometime in the 1950's to 1987. VIDEO.

Letter: U.S. must act to keep pharmaceuticals out of drinking water
25.04.08. Newburyport news. A number of recent reports have shown that there are traces of pharmaceutical drugs in public drinking water supplies. Anti-depressants, antibiotics, anti-convulsion drugs, sex hormones and mood stabilizers are a few of the prescription drugs found in public drinking water supplies across the U.S.

Mine's selenium deforms fish, expert says
27.04.08. Ken ward, wvgazette. Selenium pollution from one of West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal mines is dangerously poisoning Mud River fish, leaving some with serious deformities, according to one of the nation's leading experts on the issue.

Madison Water Utility shuts down Northeast side well due to bacteria presence
29.04.08. Madison.com.

Tribes' walk around Lake Michigan draws attention to water pollution
30.04.08. Dave Muller, mlive. he contingent went from Grand Haven to Holland for an overnight stop, and were headed south today as part of a 17-day, nearly 600-mile trek around most of Lake Michigan. / The walk, which started Saturday in Manistee, goes through Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin en route to Hannahville near Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula. The sixth-annual effort seeks to raise awareness about protecting water.

Pollution, wetlands permits remain an issue
01.05. 08. deluth news tribune. Critics of the Murphy Oil refinery expansion in Superior are closely watching how many acres of wetlands the project would fill and how big an increase is expected in traditional pollutants such as sulfur dioxide that spurs acid rain, smog-causing volatile hydrocarbons, benzene, lead and mercury.

Human error blamed for water contamination
01.05.08. azcentral. Operator error is blamed for a malfunction in January at a plant owned and operated by the Arizona American Water Co. (pdf) that treats groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, a suspected cancer-causing chemical.

S. Fla. stuck with $3 billion sewage bill
01.05.08. Miami herald / legitgov. The state Legislature passed a measure that requires South Florida counties to halt the discharge of sewage into the sea, but the bill comes with a hefty price tag.

Tainted water plagues community
02.05.08. Judith Etzel, the derrick. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a boil-water advisory for some 500-plus customers of the Emlenton Water Co. An inspection of the system Monday showed cryptosporidium, a nasty diarrhea-inducing parasite, had crept from the water source in the Allegheny River into the plant’s filtration system.

EPA official ousted while fighting Dow
02.05.008. Chicago Tribune. The battle over dioxin contamination in this economically stressed region had been raging for years when a top Bush administration official turned up the pressure on Dow Chemical to clean it up. / On Thursday, following months of internal bickering over Mary Gade's interactions with Dow, the administration forced her to quit as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Midwest office, based in Chicago.

Settlement reached in Colstrip water contamination lawsuit
02.05.08. montana’s news station. A multi-million dollar settlement has been reached in a water contamination lawsuit against the Colstrip power plant. Five corporations, including PPL Montana, have agreed to pay $25 million to settle the case. The suit alleged that the plant officials knew they were contaminating water supplies serving two subdivisions and one trailer park for at least four years before notifying the community.

Union Pacific finds contaminated water on Grand Island site
02.05.08. Nebraska tv. Residents in a Grand Island neighborhood are drinking bottled water after contamination from a former chemical company seeped into their well water. Union Pacific, which now owns the property used by Nebraska Solvent Co., found the dry-cleaning solution PCE in its well water three weeks ago.

Letter: Taxpayers shouldn't pay for pollution damage
02.05.08. tc palm. t was not salt that killed the 50,000-year-old coral in the Florida Keys and the life in Florida Bay. It was the unbelievable amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen in the water discharged from sewage systems, from our lawns and from big agriculture north of Lake Okeechobee that wrought this destruction. / How come Big Sugar and other large agricultural enterprises are allowed to dump huge amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen into the water north of Lake Okeechobee?

ExxonMobil expands Torrance oil contamination payouts
03.05.08. Nick Green, daily breeze. ExxonMobil has expanded to 19 the number of homeowners it is offering some form of financial assistance to in the wake of the discovery of contaminated soil from gasoline products in a Torrance residential neighborhood adjacent its sprawling refinery. .. / The oil giant, which posted record first-quarter earnings Thursday of almost $11 billion, is offering to buy 10 homes in an area where elevated soil vapor levels were found. The company is offering nine other nearby homeowners a so-called price protection program, which refinery spokeswoman Carolin Keith characterized as a "security blanket."

Nuclear reactors line the riverbank at the Hanford Site along the Columbia River. The N-Reactor is in the foreground, with the twin KE and KW Reactors in the immediate background. The historic B-Reactor, the world's first plutonium production reactor, is visible in the distance.

A Science Panel's Curious End - How a Critical Advisory Group Got Sidelined by Two Administrations
06.05.08. Growing up in southeastern Washington State, Trisha Pritikin played among the waters and islands of the Columbia River and gave little thought to the looming neighbor upstream: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation , a sprawling complex of factories where, beginning in the mid-1940s, the U.S. government secretly manufactured plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program. Pritikin, whose parents worked at the Hanford site, was unaware that radioactive residues from the facility had not only contaminated her riverside playgrounds but had also leached the rugs in her family's home. … / By the time George W. Bush took office in 2001, ACERER was already reeling from a three-year struggle with HHS. At issue: The panel wanted the U.S. government to help Americans who had been affected by nuclear weapons testing. Starting in 1995, its members pushed a reluctant—but ultimately yielding—Clinton administration to release a National Cancer Institute study that concluded that nuclear fallout had affected Americans nationwide, not just those living close to the Nevada Test Site where, from 1951 to 1962, nearly 100 above-ground nuclear tests were conducted. As a result, later studies estimated, as many as 212,000 people were at elevated risk of developing thyroid cancer. … / But some former panelists believe the decision to kill ACERER was purely political. "We were raising issues that the Bush administration didn't want to deal with," said Seth Tuler, a senior researcher at the Social and Environmental Research Institute in Greenfield, Mass. "Not even in the Clinton years was this topic a priority." Trisha Pritikin, who is still battling ailments that she blames on Hanford, is among those distraught over the wasted effort: "All my family was killed and no one has helped us."

EPA might not act to limit rocket fuel in drinking water
07.05.08. Erica Werner, AP/ legitgov. An EPA official said Tuesday there's a "distinct possibility" the agency won't take action to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has contaminated public water supplies around the country. .. / The toxin interferes with thyroid function and poses developmental health risks, particularly to fetuses.

Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. Secures $423 Million Settlement in Groundwater Contamination Lawsuit against Oil Behemoths
08.05.08. Business Wire 2008. The oil companies knew that MTBE would contaminate drinking water when they used it. The defendants who have settled have lived up to their responsibility by not only paying cash but by offering treatment of future contaminated wells for the next 30 years." … / the settlement involves about a dozen oil companies, including ConocoPhillips, Shell, BP, Chevron and Marathon. / Six oil corporations and refineries did not settle, including Exxon Mobil Corp and five smaller companies including chemical maker Lyondell Petrochemical Corp.

Traces of pharmaceuticals found in Chicago drinking water, city tests find
10.05.08. Chicago tribune. Chicago's first tests for pharmaceutical drugs in Lake Michigan drinking water detected trace amounts of unregulated chemicals, though officials said the levels were extremely low and posed no health risks.

Dioxins at Doorstep of Washington State Capital
12.05.08. ens. The extent of dioxin contamination in Budd Inlet at the front door of Washington's capital city is beginning to emerge from a study of the inlet's sediments conducted by the state that is being made public Monday.

Water Contamination Suit Results In Historic Settlement
14.05.08. water on line. Representing 153 public water providers, which includes municipalities, water agencies and private water companies, from 17 states, the national law firm of Baron and Budd, P.C. has announced the largest settlement to date with many of America's leading oil companies over drinking water contamination caused by the gasoline additive Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE). The settlement stems from cases pending in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) court in New York established to hear MTBE cases nationwide.

MONSANTO: A different kind of toxic contamination

Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear
May 2008. Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, Vanity Fair. Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination. VIDEO:

Artificial Foods and Corporate Crops: Can We Escape the 'Frankenstate'?
02.05.08. Claire Hope Cummings, Beacon Press / alternet. excerpt reprinted from Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds by Claire Hope Cummings. Copyright © 2008 by Claire Hope Cummings. Taking a technological approach to agriculture has put the future of the world's food [and water] supply in jeopardy.

U.S. Using Food Crisis to Boost Bio-Engineered Crops
15.05.08. enn.com/legitgov. The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries.

VIDEO

The World According to Monsanto


5. Bottled Water

Water Bottlers Face Growing Opposition
09.04.08. Samantha Young, AP. The town of 1,300 people in far Northern California struck a deal with Nestle in 2003 under which the Swiss company would build the nation's largest water bottling plant to tap three of the many springs on the mountainside and bottle up to 521 million gallons of water a year. / The project is still awaiting an environmental review from the county and could be several years away from approval, having run into opposition from scientists, fishermen, conservationists and some members of the community 280 miles northeast of San Francisco.

NOAA creates national drought portal
11.04.08. gcn. The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to start building a portal next year to furnish improved drought information to state and federal agencies that study and cope with what scientists call “the creeping disaster.”

More Bad Press for Nestlé in their Quest to Pilfer Spring Water
15.04.08. Tara Lohan, Alternet. Rural communities beware. Although we've reported it before, Nestlé's attack on rural communities and the corporation's pilfering of spring water has made the news again -- this time in Business Week. In "A Town Torn Apart: How a deal for a bottled water plant set off neighbor against neighbor in struggling McCloud, Cailf.," Michelle Conlin explains how the small NorCal town is fighting to keep the world's largest food and beverage company from taking their spring water.

Say goodbye to bottled water to save environment, money
21.04.08. chronicle herald.

Making Environmentally Friendly Plastics
2.04.08. Science Daily. Every year, more than 30 billion water bottles are added to America's landfills, creating a mountainous environmental problem. But if research at Missouri University of Science and Technology is successful, the plastic bottles of the future could literally disappear within four months of being discarded.

A Town Torn Apart by Nestlé
16.04.08. business week. How a deal for a bottled water plant set off neighbor against neighbor in struggling McCloud, Calif.

Public water, privately bottled profits
08.05.08. asia times. India's fast-modernizing society, benefiting from economic growth of close to 9% a year, is caught up in a conflict over access to a basic resource - water - that is pitting Coca-Cola and rival bottlers of the stuff against villagers and others who want their activities more tightly regulated. / The country's bottled water industry, part of a US$100 billion global business, has been growing at triple the pace of the economy as a whole. As consumers take advantage of portable potables, residents in drought-prone areas feel their needs are being shunned and officials warn of over-exploitation of ground water resources.

TDSB to examine ban on sale of plastic water bottles
13.05.08. Barry Hertz, national post.com Toronto


6. Corporatizing Water

The Water Front: What Happens When Water Is for Profit?
25.07.08. Zoe Maggio, Polaris Institute/alternet. A new documentary shows the stark reality of trying to make a buck off a basic necessity. "What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?" The Water Front, a documentary film by Liz Miller, is the story of one community's determined resistance to water privatization.

Private companies roped in for drinking water schemes
06.04.08. hindu. com. JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Government signed agreements with two private companies on Saturday for launching two new drinking water supply schemes worth Rs.827.08 crore in the desert districts of Barmer and Nagaur. The two projects constitute the latest initiative taken under the public-private partnership model adopted in the State.

Ecuadorians to discuss conflict with Bechtel
09.04.08. marinij. After Bechtel's involvement with the privatization of water sources in 2001, some Ecuadorians say there has been water contamination, flooding, public health crises and unfair billing practices.

Mexico: Pemex privatization advances
09.04.08. 224report. Mexican President Felipe Calderón's government has submitted a bill to the Senate that would give the state oil company Pemex greater flexibility to hire outside subcontractors and seek private investment. .. / However, the move comes just as Chevron has announced proposals to tap Mexico's oil and natural gas reserves. Chevron's Latin American operations chief Ali Moshiri said the company wants to make Mexico "a big part of our portfolio." .. / Calderón portrayed the move as a necessity mandated by the need to seek foreign capital and technology to access deep-water off-shore reserves.

Water Restoration Act is anything But.......
11.04.08. MARTI OAKLEY, oped. The Water Restoration Act of 2007, brought to you by Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, along with others, gives the federal government complete control over every waterway, river, stream, lake, aquifer, creek, slew, swamp, underground spring and even the rain that runs off your roof. Why? Well to better protect you from polluters and to ensure water safety, and of course “national security”.

New Jersey Seeks to Outsource Pollution Cleanups
15.04.08. ens-newswire. Pre-empting legislative debate and the work of its own newly convened task force, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will privatize pollution control and deregulate toxic cleanups, according to statements by the agency's top official. / This decision will jeopardize public health protections and further enmesh the embattled DEP in scandal, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER, argued in testimony today before a joint hearing of the state Senate and Assembly Environment Committees.

Vestara Launches EcoRexNS™ to Reduce Pharmaceutical Waste Pollution
17.04.08. businesswire.
NB: another chemical to ‘cure’ existing chemicals? This is like giving a steroid to ‘cure’ arthritis, and then having to find another ‘cure’ for the side effects of steroids. Eventually, the patient dies from iatrogenic disease.

GE unit becomes partner in ConocoPhillips water project
21.04.08. forbes. Oil company ConocoPhillips, and GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Co., said Monday that GE has become an equal partner in ConocoPhillips' water sustainability center Iin Qatar. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Turkey Plans to Sell Rivers and Lakes to Corporations
23.04.08. Olivier Hoedeman and Orsan Senalp, Corporate Europe Observatory / alternet. The water privatization fever is hitting Turkey, just a year before the country will host the World Water Forum. / As well as privatizing water services, the government plans to sell of rivers and lakes. Turkish social movements, who hosted their own conference in Istanbul last month, suspect the Government is using the World Water Forum (16 – 22 March ’09) to push through this highly controversial agenda. / The Forum is controlled by the World Water Council, a private think-tank with close links to the World Bank and private water multinationals. … / Tahir Ongur from the Istanbul branch of the Chamber of Geology Engineers (TMMOB) explained that the government not only wants to privatize drinking water supplies, but also the water resources themselves. .. / The government believes that allowing private firms to build dams in rivers and lakes which they also own is the best way to overcome water shortages, both for drinking water and rural irrigation.

One of History’s Great Atrocities: The Corporate Theft of the Public’s Natural Right to Water
01.05.08. Ashley Powdar, Common Dreams / C Baker. The Growing Debate on who will Control the World’s Water Supply. The current 1.1 billion people worldwide without access to potable water only opens one of the smaller windows on the injustices and the multiple casualties being wrought by private water-related industries. In fact, many are clueless to the magnitude of the victims — present and projected — of the growing water crisis as well as to the inhumane implications of the role of the private sector in regards to treating water as a commodity that can be owned and sold for profit. As of now, 2.6 billion people are at high risk for not having access to potable and an additional 1.8 million children die each year from water-related diseases.

In the mix of chaos, despair, and confusion, which most affects the poorer elements of society, it is important to note the private corporations’ role, which some critics have identified as being among the major culprits in causing the crisis. Within recent decades, water privatization firms such as Suez, Vivendi, and RWE have bought control of a number of communities’ municipal water services, and then drastically increased the price of water; with some of them failing to effectively purify the water resources they had come to monopolize.

An Inate Right; Water is a Means to Life; The “Blue Gold” of the 21st Century; Water Privatization in the Western Hemisphere: Mexico, Stockton, Walkerton, Cochabamba, The Price of a Bottle, Water Democracy

The Great Lakes and Humankind
27.04.08. great lakes town hall.org. / C. Baker.

Shell and TransCanada to Appeal New York's Rejection of LNG Plan
02.05.08. redorbit. The two energy companies are likely to approach the US Commerce Department with an appeal to overturn the decision. It is reported that in preparation of an appeal, John Hritcko, regional project director for the Broadwater (liquefied natural gas) LNG project, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to forward the case details to the Secretary of Commerce. The appeal will be made before May 12, 2008. / The Broadwater project was rejected [right decision]in April by David Paterson, the governor of New York, who reportedly said that it was 'fundamentally wrong' to privatize open water. However, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had already approved the project in March despite concerns from local officials, who feared that the plant could be a potential target for an attack [wrong reason].

End of Public Power in BC?
12.05.08. the tyee. BC woos private power firms.

South Korea

Sweeping Reform Set for Public Corporations
13.05.08, English donga. Korea Water Resources Corp. will spin off its water supply management to enhance supervision.


7. Polar Bears
Subhankar Banerjee (AP, 2003)

Polar Bear Decision Delay Meant to Protect Oil Leases?
Dan Joling, National Geographic. The Department of the Interior wants ten more weeks to decide whether polar bears should be listed as threatened or endangered.

Judge to Bush Administration: Decide Polar Bear Listing Now
29.04.08. ens. U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin found the Bush administration guilty of violating the Endangered Species Act by missing the deadline for a final polar bear decision by nearly four months.

Federal Polar Bear Research Critically Flawed, Forecasting Expert Asserts
10.05.08. Science Daily. Research done by the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine if global warming threatens the polar bear population is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify listing the polar bear as an endangered species, according to a study being published later this year in Interfaces, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

US lists polar bear as threatened species
14.05.08. H. Josef Hebertt, AP / legitgov.

BUT THERE IS, OF COURSE, A BUSH LOOPHOLE, IHE POLAR BEAR NOT PROPERLY PROTECTED.

US Enacts Law to Protect Polar Bears, but Only From Hunting
15.05.08. Leonard Doyle, Independent/Truthout. The bears will only be protected from the direct effects of hunting, and some other activities, because of limits imposed by the Interior Department. It invoked a seldom used loophole to make it easier for the energy industry to actually expand activities that already threaten the bears and their habitat. … / Canada has some 15,500 polar bears and it has given the polar bear its weakest classification, that of "special concern", saying the animals were in trouble but not at risk of extinction.

The oil and gas industry of both countries fears that moves to protect the bears may end up being used as a lever to regulate carbon emissions.

U.S. TRUSTING OIL COMPANIES TO SAFEGUARD ARCTIC WILDLIFE — I
15.05.08. peer.org.

MEANWHILE

An epidemic of extinctions: Decimation of life on earth
16.05.08. Independent. Species are dying out at a rate not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs, according to a report published today – and human behaviour is to blame.


8. Oxygen

OXYGEN POOR OCEAN ZONES ARE GROWING
02.05.08. LA Times / C. Baker. .. these areas of the Pacific and Atlantic cannot sustain most marine life, a new study warns.

Forty-two Percent in U.S. Live in Unhealthful Air (Update1)
01.05.08. Nadine Elsibai, Bloomberg.

World Carbon Dioxide Levels Highest for 650,000 Years, Says US Report
13.05.08. David Adam, Guardian / truthout. "The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures, renewing fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control. Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years."


9. Good News

Countering An Approaching Water Crisis
28.03.08. Science Daily. "As dire as the growing problems are with a lack of enough clean water in the world, I have a great deal of hope that many of these problems can be solved by increasing research into the science and technology of water purification," said Shannon, who also serves as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems (WaterCAMPWS).

Women Rise Up to Tackle the Water Crisis
01.04.08. Rhyen Coombs, World Pulse / truthout. "The Women's Earth Alliance unites environmental advocates working to solve problems like water access and sanitation in their communities, by providing connections, resources and training."

How to Change the Way We Think about Water
11.04.08. Jennifer Greene, World Pulse/alternet. My task is to find the language of water and to learn it to the best of my ability. .. Now I work to change how we think about water -- to shift our understanding of water as a commodity to an appreciation for water as a human right, an environmental right.

Millions of Americans Will Be Safer in the Water; House Approves Beach Water Safety Bill
17.04.08. common dreams. According to NRDC’s last beach water quality report, there were 25,000 beach closings and advisories – a record-breaker - because beach waters have dangerously high levels of bacteria contamination from human and animal waste. The pollution at these beaches most often comes from contaminated stormwater or inadequately treated sewage.


Global fluoride and arsenic contamination of water mapped
23.04.08. rsc, Swiss researchers have mapped the levels of arsenic and fluoride in groundwater throughout the world. They hope this new global picture will provide a starting point for planning future drinking water projects, and help to avoid water contamination in developing countries.

NASA Satellites Aid in Chesapeake Bay Recovery
April 2008. geology.com. By studying the landscape around the Chesapeake, NASA spacecraft such as Landsat, Terra and Aqua are helping land managers figure out how to battle the harmful pollutants that have added to the destruction of the bay's once legendary productivity.

Uganda: Global Initiative Rescues Country's Looming Water Crisis
07.05.08. Bamuturaki Musinguzi, allafrica. Uganda is among the countries to benefit from a multimillion-dollar partnership to address declining supplies of fresh water and the lack of access to clean water by the world's poorest people. / The $15m Global Water Initiative will work in 13 other countries: Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mali, Nicaragua, Niger, Senegal and Tanzania. / The Global Water Initiative (GWI) that brings together a group of seven leading international organisations: Action Against Hunger-USA, CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Oxfam America and SOS Sahel - UK was launched last in October year. CARE will be running the East African cluster. The announcement of the GWI comes at a time when more than one billion people lack access to improved water sources, and more than 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation.

EPA Begins Next Phase of Cleanup at New Jersey Superfund Site
08.05.08. Yosemite epa. The six-acre site is located in a light industrial area in Carlstadt and was the former home to a waste processing facility that accepted various wastes for recovery and disposal. Operations ceased as a result of a court order issued in 1980, and some company officials received fines and jail terms for illegally dumping hazardous waste.

San Francisco to Pilot Cutting Edge Early Warning Contaminant Monitoring and Detection Systems that Could Benefit Utilities Across U.S.
09.05.08. san Francisco sentinel. The grant funds will allow the SFPUC to pilot monitoring, sampling, detection and early warning systems that could serve as a model for other water systems across the nation. New York City also recently received a similar USEPA grant, announced last month.

Nestle scales back plans to bottle water in Northern Calif.
12.05.08. AP. The Nestle company on Monday said it is significantly scaling back plans in Northern California to build what would have been the country's largest water bottling plant. / The announcement by Nestle Waters North America comes after years of opposition by environmentalists and a group of residents in the rural town of McCloud.

U.S. Coastal Waters Less Toxic Than 20 Years Ago
12.05.08. ens. U.S. environmental laws enacted in the 1970s are reducing overall contaminant levels in coastal waters of the United States, finds a 20 year study released today by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. But the study shows continuing elevated levels of toxic metals and oils near urban and industrial areas of the coast.

L.A. prepares massive water-conservation plan
15.05.08. LA Times / C. Baker. The initiative would punish water wasters and limit such activities as watering lawns and washing vehicles. And it would revive a controversial effort to recycle sewage water.


10. References

Water: The Impending Apocalypse
Research Paper No.1.
(27.11.07)

Blue Planet Run: The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World
by Robert Redford (Foreword), Rick Smolan (Creator), Jennifer Erwitt , Earth Aware Editions, November 2007.

Review of above book:
Photos tell story of Earth's water woes
19.04.08. Matt Nauman.

Water Resources of the United States
US Water information by topic. Very interesting! Further information here and at US Ground Water Factsheet here

ARCTIC REFERENCE

Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic by Marla Cone, Grove Press 2006

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Sarah Meyer is a independent researcher living in the UK

The url to Water: World Crisis is: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2008/05/water-world-crisis.html
smaller url: http://tinyurl.com/3o99de

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Editorial Notes: Another compendium from the indefatigable Sarah Meyer. -BA

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