“Water management is the biggest challenge to shale gas development in China amid concern that extraction of the fuel will contaminate drinking supplies, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
China’s government will need to find ways of getting capital and technology into its shale-gas sector without compromising environmental standards, said Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based analyst at the consultant.
“Despite very little knowledge of fracture stimulation or shale drilling, there is already a perceived concern of potential risks to clean-water contamination,” Beveridge said in an e-mailed report today. “While water is abundant in Sichuan, clean water is less so.”
China is the “biggest shale opportunity” outside of the U.S., according to Bernstein. The country has the world’s largest shale gas resources, estimated at 4,746 trillion cubic feet (134.4 trillion cubic meters), it said, citing data from the Ministry of Land and Resources and the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Within China, Sichuan has the largest potential and the Silurian Longmaxi shale is the most prolific, the consultant said.
In hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, drillers shoot a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground to free oil and natural gas trapped in shale-rock formations.”
Read more: Bloomberg
“As the narrow longtail boat glides downstream from the dusty hamlet of Nong Kiew towards the golden temples of Luang Prabang, mirror images of jungle, vertical limestone cliffs and impossibly steep mountains shimmer in the waters of the Nam Ou River, a tributary of the mighty Mekong.
Endangered Asian elephants and Indochinese tigers still roam the upper reaches of the river within Phou Den Din National Protected Area, one of 20 national parks in Laos. This is the beauty that tourists, many Australians among them, come so far to see.
Yet this undeveloped region in northern Laos is about to be jolted into the industrial age. Three hours downriver from Nong Kiew, a scar of ochre-coloured dirt and rock stretches for kilometres: construction of the Nam Ou 2 Dam is steamrolling ahead.
The 450 kilometre-long Nam Ou, one of the few Lao rivers traversable by boat for its entire length, will soon be severed seven times over by a 350-kilometre stretch of hydropower dams built and maintained by Chinese giant Sinohydro.
The Nam Ou 2 belongs to the first phase of the $1.95 billion project, which is expected to be operational by 2018. Details surrounding the project are scant. Even the final destination for the proposed 1146 megawatts of hydropower is unclear, although the Lao government claims the first three dams, Nam Ou 2, 5 and 6, will provide electricity for domestic consumption.”
Read more: The Age World
“All water conservation efforts depend on public awareness and an understanding of the need for conservation. Promoting reductions of water misuse, waste and loss are considered to be the most economical and environmentally-protective management tools for meeting water supply challenges today.
The Visitor’s Centre at the ConocoPhillips Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC), in Doha, is a showcase of water — how it defines the past and guides the future of the country. It not only acknowledges the technology that is needed to develop sustainable water supplies but also promotes the need for conservation and stewardship to ensure sustainable supplies for continued growth and economic prosperity.
Putting dynamic, fun and interactive education into action to teach children that wasting even a drop of water is bad helps them value this scarce natural resource and change their wasteful consumption behaviours.
Encouraging children to keep taps turned off while brushing teeth and washing hands and avoiding taking long showers can motivate them to promote water conservation in their respective homes by discussing it with their parents and siblings. It can save hundreds of cubic metres of water each day.”
Read more: Gulf times
“Najeem Azzoubi, a heavy-set Jordanian in his mid-60s, is upset. Before Syrian refugees began arriving in droves in 2011, water was delivered once a week to his home in the northern Jordanian town of Ramtha.
Then, as more and more Syrians fled their country’s civil war, squeezing into apartments and occupying empty stores in Jordan, water grew scarcer. Now, Azzoubi says, water comes every 14 days and “has stopped being enough”.
Nearly half a million Syrian refugees are living in Jordan, according to official statistics from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). But many Jordanians, officials included, insist that about one million more have taken up residence in cities and towns throughout Jordan, whose population stood at about 6.3 million before the crisis.
The rapid population increase – 1,000 to 2,000 refugees cross into Jordan daily – has left the Jordanian government and local authorities struggling to keep up with the demand for its scant water resources, even as the country is considering drastic solutions to increase its water supply.
Water experts also point out that Jordan’s water sector has long been in need of reform, even before the refugee influx. It remains to be seen whether Jordan’s Syrian “guests” will push Jordan from a shortage to a full-fledged crisis, as so many Jordanians claim.”
Read more: Aljazeera
“The hill station might have attracted a record number of visitors this year. But the summer is harsher this time in the town as an acute drinking water problem has left the residents in many areas at the mercy of private water suppliers and a few streams in low-lying areas, which too have only a poor flow.
Cashing in on the situation, private water suppliers sell a tanker load of water — 3,000 to 4,000 litres — at Rs.1,500 to Rs.2,000.
Three months back, the cost of one tanker load was Rs.900, said a member of the Hotel Owners’ Association. The sharp rise in the number of tourists arriving here had worsened the situation, he added.
All private suppliers have been drawing water from a borewell close to a private resort near Kodaikanal lake. The sale of packaged water too has increased manifold, and empty water bottles account for 85 per cent of the one-tonne plastic waste collected daily at Bryant Park.”
Ream more: The hindu
“Syrian Web activists loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad launched a failed cyber attack on Haifa’s water supply system, a senior scientist and Web expert revealed on Saturday.
Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, said that members of the Syrian Electronic Army tried to damage computers controlling the water system this month, in response to air strikes on targets in Damascus, attributed by foreign sources to Israel.
Ben-Yisrael established the National Cyber Bureau within the Prime Minister’s Office, and was speaking at an event in Beersheba on Saturday.
He said that every minute, hundreds of online attacks occur on critical national infrastructure networks, such as electricity, the train system and the stock market.”
Read more: Jpost
“For thousands of residents who depend on ‘mineral water’ for cooking and drinking, the protest by packaged drinking water manufacturers has come as a shock.
Over the past few days, many city residents have been bluntly refused canned water supply by local distributors.
According to the Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association, there are 309 manufacturers in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.
“Though we know the public will be inconvenienced, we have no choice but to stop production and packaging. We are not polluting industries and want separate rules to govern packaged drinking water, which is an essential service,” said K. Rajaram, president of the Association.
“We cannot depend on Metrowater for drinking water. The supply is erratic. I have undergone a heart surgery and cannot use anything but safe water,” said Sriram Prasad, a senior citizen on Mahalakshmi Street in T. Nagar.
Jothi. R, a resident of Thirumangalam, said water pumped in the sump of her house is ash-coloured.
“I sometimes find snails in the water. We cleaned the sump on Thursday and removed a huge mound of black slush. We let the water stay overnight before drawing it up to the overhead tank. Otherwise, our pipeline gets clogged,” she said.”
Read more: The Hindu
“Researchers taking a new look at the snow and ice covering Mount Everest and the national park that surrounds it are finding abundant evidence that the world’s tallest peak is shedding its frozen cloak. The scientists have also been studying temperature and precipitation trends in the area and found that the Everest region has been warming while snowfall has been declining since the early 1990s.
Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent in the last 50 years and the snowline has shifted upward by 180 meters (590 feet), according to Sudeep Thakuri, who is leading the research as part of his PhD graduate studies at the University of Milan in Italy.
The researchers suspect that the decline of snow and ice in the Everest region is from human-generated greenhouse gases altering global climate. However, they have not yet established a firm connection between the mountains’ changes and climate change, Thakuri said.
“The Himalayan glaciers and ice caps are considered a water tower for Asia since they store and supply water downstream during the dry season,” said Thakuri. “Downstream populations are dependent on the melt water for agriculture, drinking, and power production.”
Read more: Science Daily
A state of disaster was declared in the north. Australia announced it would provide AU$100,000 (£65,335) for emergency desalination units. The US has also donated several reverse-osmosis machines, which convert salt water into fresh water.
There is no end in sight to the drought, with fine weather forecast for at least the next 10 days. The drought has also affected the food supply, hitting crops such as breadfruit, bananas and taro.
Casten Nemra, who chairs the national disaster committee, said many large families were surviving on as little as 4.5 litres of water a day.”It’s an increasingly desperate situation out there,” he said. “The dry season should have ended six weeks ago.”
He said there had been no deaths recorded but there has been an increase in diseases including conjunctivitis and diarrhoea. The government has deployed ships carrying food, water and medical supplies to the affected islands, he added.”
Read more: The Guardian
“The availability of safe drinking water, particularly in Bangladesh’s hard to reach areas, is expected to worsen as the country experiences the effects of climate change, experts say.
“According to a study by the World Bank’s water and sanitation programme, about 28 million Bangladeshis, or just over 20% of the population, are living in harsh conditions in the “hard-to-reach areas” that make up a quarter of the country’s landmass. The study found that char – land that emerges from riverbeds as a result of the deposit of sediments – is among the most inaccessible, along with hilly areas, coastal regions and haors – bowl-shaped wetland areas in north-east Bangladesh.
“People living in hard-to-reach areas are often vulnerable to natural calamities like flooding, riverbank erosion and siltation,” said Rokeya Ahmed, a water and sanitation specialist at the World Bank. “As a result of climate change, salinity in Bangladesh’s coastal areas has increased [a great deal], causing a lack of sweet water. Women in coastal and haor areas need to go miles to collect a pitcher of safe drinking water.”
Read more: The Guardian
“In this country of just under 2 million, desert extremes meet a high-octane economy, testing both the limits and responses to the competition between water, food, and energy.
“Qatar today is a nation of nearly 2 million people, and Doha — its capital, a city swelled by hydrocarbon wealth and Arab ambition — is where almost 80 percent of them live. In 1940, oil was discovered in the country’s north. In 1971, the world’s largest natural gas field was found offshore.
“Still, underlying the dust and traffic and frenzy of new construction is a distinctive compact between the desert ecology and the high-octane economy. In almost every way conceivable, Qatar and its largest city are testing the durability of a resource-limited civilization that has plenty of fossil fuel and wealth, a storehouse of ingenuity, ample sun and sand — but not much else.
“At the top of the list of resources that don’t exist in Qatar, or are in short supply, is fresh water. Average annual rainfall measures around 74 millimeters (2.9 inches). There are no lakes, no streams, no rivers in the entire country. What little shallow groundwater is available was exhausted decades ago in many regions. The deeper groundwater, so called “fossil” groundwater, is being depleted at a rate four to five times higher than available rainfall can recharge the aquifers.
“Qatar’s fresh water is supplied by desalination plants, which require a significant share — more than one-fifth — of the country’s electrical generating capacity. And demand for water, which is supplied free to the country’s native-born Qataris and at significantly subsidized low cost to everybody else, is rising. A number of recent studies of water use here found that Qatar’s per capita water use is among the world’s highest.”
Read more: Circle of blue
“Gap, Brooks Brothers and other fashion brands are dumping toxic wastewater in Indonesia waterways, Greenpeace says.
In its latest report, Toxic Threads: Polluting Paradise, Greenpeace investigates the PT Gistex factory, located near Bandung in West Java, with 60 percent of production located in the Citarum River watershed. The facility does polyester weaving and wet processing for several fashion brands, Greenpeace says. The nonprofit collected samples of wastewater discharged from the PT Gistex facility and found toxic chemicals — including nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) and tributyl phosphate (TBP) — being pumped in the Citarum.
NPs and NPEs are highly toxic to aquatic organisms, the EPA says. Once released into the water system, NPEs degrade to NP, which is bioaccumulative and can act as a hormone disruptor, according to the agency. TBP is also toxic to aquatic life.
Brooks Brothers has acknowledged a business relationship with parts of PT Gistex Group, the report says. Greenpeace says is has urged the company to sign on to its Detox Fashion campaign and eliminate hazardous chemicals from its supply chains and products.”
Read more: Environmental Leader
“Lusitu, Zambia — Indigenous people who were displaced from the Zambezi Valley almost six decades ago for the construction of the Kariba Dam say they have not benefited from the development they made way for.
The building of the Kariba hydroelectric dam was supposed to usher in a bright future for the people of Zambia and Zimbabwe who gave up their land for its construction.
Unfortunately, that future was for others and not the displaced and their descendants. Most of the villages to which some 57,000 people from both southern African nations were relocated are still not electrified.
Sixty-nine-year-old Samson Nyowani was 15 when he was moved from his home in Chipepu, where the Kariba Dam now lies, to Sitikwi village in Zambia’s Lusitu district some 60 kilometres away. Sitikwi village, Nyowani says, still has no electricity, and the soil is infertile.
“We do not have power here in Sitikwi, and the schools and clinic are not electrified, which is a sad situation after what we were made to undergo during the mass relocation,” he tells IPS.”
Read more: All Africa
“Even as the Cypriot government struggles to ward off financial disaster, the authorities in the northern part of the divided island are quietly pushing ahead with a project to link their territory, physically and economically, more closely with Turkey, their powerful neighbor and protector.
“Under the ambitious project, expected to cost at least 1 billion Turkish lire, or $550 million, Turkey would sell water to the northern sector, which it calls the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, using an experimental technology: a pipeline in the Mediterranean Sea.
“The pipeline is under construction, scheduled to start delivering Anamur River water from Turkey’s southern province of Mersin next March. But environmental experts question the sustainability of transferring water out of its natural basin, and outside engineers are watching to see how the government project works out in practice.”
Read more: NY times
“This month, a hundred years after the completion of the Panama Canal, China is expected to finish the first phase of its gigantic South-North Water Transfer Project, known in Chinese as Nanshui beidiao gongcheng — literally, “to divert southern water north.” The phrase evokes the suggestion, attributed to Mao, that “since the south has a great deal of water, and the north very little, we should borrow some of it.”
“In realizing Mao’s dream of moving huge quantities of water from areas of plenty to those of want, Beijing is building a modern marvel, this century’s equivalent of the Panama Canal. But whereas the canal inaugurated a century of faith in the ability of human ingenuity to reshape the natural world, the South-North Water Transfer Project is a testament to the limits of engineering solutions to problems of basic environmental scarcity.
“China is one of the most water-rich countries in the world. But as Mao observed, its water resources are unevenly distributed and overwhelmingly concentrated in the south and far west. Water scarcity has always been a problem for northern China, but shortages have reached crisis levels as a result of rapid economic development.”
Read more: NY Times
“At least 2,800 dead pigs have been fished from a Shanghai river since Friday, but authorities insist that tap water in the city is still safe to drink.
State news agency Xinhua said labels tagged to the pigs’ ears indicated they came from the upper waters of the Huangpu River, which flows through the center of Shanghai and is a source of the city’s drinking water.
It’s not clear why the pigs had been dumped in the river, though local media reported earlier this month that a disease had killed thousands of pigs in a village south of Shanghai.
“We will continue to trace the source, investigate the cause, co-operate with neighboring areas and take measures to stop the dumping of pigs into rivers,” the Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission said in a statement posted on their website on Monday.
As of Sunday, water quality on the Songjiang section of the river, where most of the pigs were found, remained normal and the incident has had “no significant effect on tap water supply,” the commission added.”
Read more: CNN
“About 1,450 workers are laboring around the clock to complete the Ilisu Dam, one of the most controversial public works projects in recent history, by the middle of next year. That would be exactly five years after European lenders pulled out of the €1.1 billion, or $1.5 billion, project in July 2009, citing concerns about environmental impact, resettlement policies and the destruction of cultural treasures. Undeterred, Ankara quickly raised domestic financing and resumed work in 2010.
“We have now completed 53 percent of the project, and we will complete the rest on time,” said Mr. Dundar, who is also regional director of the state hydraulic works. “We have no funding problems whatsoever, we work day and night, and all relevant agencies are in constant coordination.”
On the construction site, about 40 kilometers, or 25 miles, from the Syrian border and 70 kilometers from Iraq, the roar of machinery drowned out the rushing waters of the Tigris, which has been diverted from its natural bed to flow through three diversion tunnels and emerge roiling and foaming into a new concrete basin.
The surrounding mountain ridges bristled with military sentry posts and surveillance equipment guarding the construction site against the Kurdish rebels roaming the area.”
Read more: The New York Times
“Jakarta, Indonesia, is one of Asia’s most flood-prone cities. Every year hundreds of thousands of citizens living in the capital of Southeast Asia’s largest economy brace for the loss of business, shelter and livelihoods.
Each year, as the rainy season approaches, the authorities insist they are ready to counter the tides of brown murky water, trash, and even animals, surging downstream. But the annual city-wide submergence continues.
This year’s sustained downpour threatens to prompt the kind of flooding not seen since 2007 when 350,000 people were evacuated from water-logged areas and dozens were killed. Already, at least 100,000 people have been affected. Army personnel have been deployed to some of the city’s poorest parts to clean up – a process likely to take weeks, if not months.
Asia’s monsoon season prompts annual debate about the state of infrastructure and the fundamental mismanagement of vital systems meant to keep some of the world’s biggest cities moving. With a population of 10 million, Jakarta’s latest battle to stem the tide highlights a deeper political and social problem: The government’s inability to remove and rehabilitate low-lying slum areas; an unwillingness on part of thousands of poor people to leave dangerous areas despite the risk to themselves and their families; and the overwhelming problem of waste and dumping, often cited as the biggest hindrance to keeping Indonesia “flood-free”.
Indonesia faces a formidable challenge: The country’s economy is growing at breakneck speed, its population is rising and the pressures on its decaying systems are mounting. The World Bank has stepped in to help save what it describes as a “sinking city”, due to rising sea levels, trash and annual rain. To dig the city out of its mess, the World Bank has invested $200 million to dredge parts of Jakarta.”
Read more: Aljazeera
“Pictures taken by NASA satellites reveal an alarming loss of freshwater in the Middle East.
Two important rivers are disappearing, and if they vanish millions of people will be affected.
In just seven years, 144 cubic kilometres of water has been lost.
Al Jazeera’s Gerald Tan explains.”
Read more: Aljazeera
“The water is likely to be considerably cleaner upstream and downstream from the sewage plant where the Swedish perch were captured.
Adding more uncertainty in this case: Benzodiazepines have been used for decades in Sweden, so they have no doubt been in this aquatic ecosystem for many years.
“These fish may have adapted to that,” Schlenk says.
Scientists now realize that low levels of pharmaceuticals have spread through the environment. For instance, Schlenk has found a Valium-like drug in the hornyhead turbot, a fish that lives on the seafloor off the California coast. Other lab studies have shown that human drugs can affect the behavior of striped bass and other species.
These drug traces don’t pose an obvious threat to people, who might drink water from streams or eat the fish that live in them.
“The presence of pharmaceuticals in surface waters — or even the residues that accumulate in edible in fish and shellfish — are much lower than what you might need to gain a therapeutic dose,” says Bryan Brooks of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
But, he cautions, that isn’t necessarily the case in the developing world.”
“Some of the observations in India, for example, downstream of manufacturing facilities, are among the highest concentrations of pharmaceuticals reported in the environment,” he says. “So the developing world really deserves some additional attention.”
Read more: NPR