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Water - April 11

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Water Crisis Rocks LA, Mexico City; Who's Next?

Martin Sieff, United Press International (UPI)
Water, water hardly anywhere. Water crises are rocking two of the world's largest cities as Mexico City starts a 36-hour water cutoff and Los Angeles is in the midst of a water dearth.

The problem, however, is far wider than two of the most populous cities in the Western Hemisphere. Beijing, the capital of China, has a serious water shortage. The Israelis and the Palestinians are at loggerheads over control of the key aquifers west of the River Jordan that are vital to sustain both peoples. An unprecedented world population of 6.8 billion people -- more than three times that of 80 years ago -- and the inexorable reality of global climate change are guaranteed to make the long-term crisis worse.
(10 April 2009)
Common Dreams also posted this story.

Peru faces water versus oil dilemma

Dan Collyns, BBC Online
...Companies looking for oil and gas are also welcome, particularly in Peru's huge Amazon region, which occupies more than half the country.

"San Martin, Green Region" is the slogan of one of those Amazon provinces that takes a different view...

...Situated on the eastern side of the much larger Andes mountains range, it is the first high ground to be hit by clouds that drift westward across the Amazon basin from the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the continent.

That means a lot of rain, so the hills soak up the water like a sponge and literally seep water.

Drilling for oil in any part of the Cordillera Escalera could contaminate the entire watershed, say environmentalists.

"It's literally a water bank for the entire population here," says San Martin's regional governor, Cesar Villanueva. "We cannot allow it to be touched."...
(6 April 2009)

Industrial farms could leave eastern Wash. with dry wells

Scott Streater, Greenwire via NY Times
Scott Collins' family has been farming in arid eastern Washington since his great grandfather first homesteaded the 1,500-acre, dry-land wheat farm more than a century ago.

But the 58-year-old Collins fears he may be the last of four generations on the farm.

That is because the groundwater he and his family depend on could be in jeopardy if a proposed cattle feedlot and other industrial-sized projects like it are built in his rural Franklin County.

At issue is a proposal by Easterday Ranches Inc. to build a feedlot for 30,000 head of cattle that would withdraw a shade under 1 million gallons a day from the ancient Grande Ronde Aquifer during the driest months of the year. The proposal has touched off a wave of concern among local farmers, prompting Collins and about 20 of his neighbors to form the nonprofit Five Corners Family Farmers to fight the feedlot project and others that might come along behind it.
(9 April 2009)

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