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Bangladesh: The Deeper The Well, The Less The Arsenic

INDIANAPOLIS IN, United States

Arsenic in well water accounts for one in 20 deaths in Bangladesh. The country's 10 million or more shallow, hand-pumped wells yield water that often exceeds the World Health Organization's (WHO) arsenic guidelines of 10 micrograms per liter. Drilling deeper wells yields significantly lower levels of the poisonous chemical, according to new research.

$500 Million USD For African Water Facility Urban Sanitation Program

BEIJING, China

The Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing was the occasion chosen for the African Development Bank’s November 6 announcement of a new sanitation project for sub-Saharan Africa’s urban inhabitants. The Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Government of China, has promised support for the initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in conjunction with the African Water Facility to bring fast adoption of innovative, pro-poor sanitation technologies to the world’s developing regions.

Radioactive Water Dump Threatens Fukushima Fisheries

TOKYO, Japan

Last month’s announcement that the government of Japan will release radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean has left Fukushima fisherman wondering how they will ensure the safety of their livelihoods and the safety of the fish they now catch.

South Arica: Alien Plants Suck

PRETORIA, South Africa

The government of South Africa has announced the launch of a “first comprehensive national-scale assessment of the status of biological invasions and their management” in response to "the real economic threat" posed by such invasions.

Delhi Dowses Trees With Water To Combat Air Pollution

DELHI

The Delhi Fire Service (DFS) on Monday sprinkled water on trees in central Delhi as part of its measures to control pollution. Delhi's air quality deteriorated sharply on Monday to fall in the severe category for the second time within a week due to a change in wind direction and rampant stubble burning in neighbouring states, authorities said.

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Zimbabwe To Supply Water For South Africa Special Economic Zone

JOHANNESBURG

South Africa is in talks with Zimbabwe for the supply of water to the parched Makhado region. The long-delayed multi-billion rand Makhado-Musina Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Limpopo is being hampered by a lack of reliable water supply.

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Wabag Bags $133 Million USD Saudi Sewage Water plant Contract

RIYADH

Indian multinational group VA Tech Wabag (Wabag) has been awarded a major engineering, procurement and construction contract worth SR500 million ($133 million) for the development of a sewage water treatment plant in Jubail area of the kingdom.

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Las Vegas "Headed For A Water Calamity"

LAS VEGAS NV

Las Vegas is built on a desert. And the main source of water in our oasis, the Colorado River, is producing less water every year. Surely this alone is the writing on the wall that will provide an impetus to plan for and deal with the future looming problems regarding this priceless commodity. If we fail to address this now, it will undoubtedly cause immense problems here one day.

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Unsafe Drinking Water Is "Crisis" in Rural US Communities

ARMENIA WI

Rural communities call it their own, private Flint— a diffuse, creeping water crisis tied to industrial farms and slack regulations that for years has tainted thousands of residential wells across the Midwest and beyond.

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World Bank Supports Manila Water Management Projects

MANILA

The World Bank and the government are preparing a $17.3 Million USD project seeking to improve the latter’s capacity to implement water management projects. The national government will provide $9.90 million, while $7.40 million will come from the Global Environment Facility trust fund.

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Basra Water Pollution Hits Carp Stocks

BAGHDAD

Iraqi fish farmers south of Baghdad have been left reeling after finding thousands of dead carp mysteriously floating in their cages or washed up on the banks of the Euphrates. Major water pollution has already kicked up a stink in Iraq once this year, as around 100,000 people were hospitalised this summer in the southern city of Basra.

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Chinese Bottlers' Bid Could "Threaten" New Zealand City's Drinking Water

CHRISTCHURCH

A bottling company's bid to take millions of litres of water from a key aquifer could threaten Christchurch's drinking supplies, warns a senior city council manager. China-owned firm Cloud Ocean Water has this week applied to Environment Canterbury (ECan) for permission to extract water from a 186m-deep bore at its Belfast plant so it can sell it abroad.

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Nestle Faces Continuing Fight Over Michigan Water Extraction Permission

GRAND RAPIDS MI

Nestle has been bottling spring water outside of Grand Rapids for almost 20 years. Today, the company pumps nearly 360,000 gallons a day from this one well in the town of Evart, and now the state of Michigan approved a new permit that would allow them to nearly double it. The permit cost $200 a year.

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Fukushima Radioactive Water Dump Threatens Fisheries

TOKYO

Faced with the prospect that there will be no more space to store tanks containing radioactive water leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings and the Japanese government are considering diluting the water and dumping it into the ocean.

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WWF Launches Upgrades To Water Risk Assessment Tool

EDINBURGH, Scotland

WWF, the world’s largest conservation group has announced an upgraded version 5.0 of the “Water Risk Filter”, a leading online tool developed with the German Development Finance Institution (DEG), which empowers users to explore, assess, value and respond to corporate water risks.

The Water Risk Filter uses 32 annually-updated, peer reviewed data layers along with a site-based operational risk questionnaire to enable users to understand and prioritize water risks and specific sites. Designed to be easy to use by non-water experts, it is the only water risk tool to assess both basin and operational risks. Drawing on site-specific water risk data, including over 10M km2 of high resolution data, the tool can also guide users towards contextually appropriate mitigation response actions.

Ariane Laporte-Bisquit, the Water Risk Filter Project Manager, demonstrated new functionalities, features and benefits of the upgraded version 5.0 to attendees of The Alliance for Water Stewardship’s (AWS) annual Global Water Stewardship Forum in Edinburgh, Scotland October 31.

Laporte-Bisquit is responsible for overseeing the ongoing evolution and implementation of the Water Risk Filter strategy. She leads on the engagement with investor and corporate users of the tool in collaboration with the wider WWF network. She described key new features of the Water Risk Filter, including a new look and interface; upgraded data structure and indicators; new local high-resolution data as well as a new “response section” and a new valuation section which will go live soon. Users can now explore maps, country profiles, WWF stories, reports and more without needing to login and have improved assessment capacity – to get to know the water related risks their organization's assets are facing through customized assessment and analysis that can highlight hot spots.

In blogs about the Water Risk Filter, Laporte-Bisquit has deployed the expression “canary in a coal mine”, in which miners used nature (birds) to signal risks (air quality) which she describes as being "as relevant today as it was when the term was coined two centuries ago. Water is the lifeblood of our global economy, as virtually every business sector relies on water to irrigate, cool, clean or as an ingredient…the “water canary” is telling us we’re in trouble”.

“We have learned a lot over the course of the past six years (since the 2012 launch of Water Risk Filter), not only through seeing how thousands of users employ the tool, but also through engagement with companies and in the field…Many companies that we work with, for example Edeka, Marks and Spencers, and Nestle, have used the Water Risk Filter at the corporate level, but have also taken advantage of the tool at the local level, as they’ve sought to implement the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard in their supply chains and operations. Assessing water risk needs to be rooted in cutting edge data, but easy, fast and layered…The quality of water data is ever improving.

“While WWF has annually updated data since 2012, version 5.0 significantly expands the scope and quality of the data we harness to better guide companies and sites. Those leading companies and facilities…wanted more information on future projections, on reputational risk, and to understand how data sets on scarcity differed, so we’ve obliged! We’ve not only expanded from 20 to 32 basin risk indicators, but we’ve worked with new partners…to add unique data sets”.

“The upgraded Water Risk Filter has integrated multiple state-of-the-art, robust and peer reviewed global models in order to encourage users to interpret water risks under different lenses. Since many global water data sets are modelled, we have sought to draw upon multiple models — in the same way that the IPCC looks to multiple models. For example, we now offer three different takes on water scarcity alone.

Furthermore, a global versus local perspective is also necessary so we were keen to expand the number of local data sets…In short, not only can the Water Risk Filter support global corporate water stewardship, but it can also support local, site-based water stewardship, which makes it an invaluable tool to support AWS members and AWS Standard implementers”. 

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