According to environmental activists, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued an order that will stop the building of a hydroelectric dam near the western city of Chongqing on the upper Yangtze River. The proposed dam, Xiaonanhai Dam, would have been Chongqing’s largest infrastructure project and was expected to cost billions of dollars to build and operate. The project was fiercely opposed by environmentalists for years while supported by the politician Bo Xilai, who was given prison time for corruption charges in 2013.
Accurate measurement of water flow has been for years difficult to perform, not to mention prediction of the water's path which is easily altered by the smallest soil details. Very fine details diverging the groundwater's flow from the straight sequential line is a phenomenon also referred to as "preferential flow" and may deadly affect crops that depend on moisture, as well as chemical spills requiring containment. The new study deals with some important obstacles in the monitoring of the "preferential flow".
A collaboration between researchers at the University of West England Bristol (UWE Bristol) and Oxfam, an international organization dedicated to fighting poverty, is proving that urine might be an invaluable source of electricity in refugee camps and other impoverished areas. For decades, utilities in developed countries have derived energy from the methane found wastewater, but in areas where such complex treatment schemes are not possible, simple solutions such as a “pee-power” toilet could offer an inexpensive and desperately needed source of energy.
A new study from Dartmouth College suggests that the fate of the climate during the summer growing season in the U.S. Midwest remains uncertain as a potential consequence of climate change. The study was published in the journal Water Resources Research with collaboration from scientists at Columbia University, National University of Singapore, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The results are particularly alarming for the agricultural industry which is a critical component to the U.S. Economy and global food security.
The environmental group American Rivers, released a list of the top ten rivers in the country facing imminent threats on Tuesday. A portion of the Colorado River, which winds through the Grand Canyon sits at the top of that list. The group sites plans for a major construction project in the canyon, a proposed expansion of groundwater pumping, and a desire to reopen an inactive uranium mine in the area.
On May 25th, a sinkhole appeared on the side of the Lungarno Torrigiani road running along the Arno River in Florence, Italy. The sinkhole spanned approximately 200 meters and dozens of parked cars fell into the hole.
In the midst of a four year drought, California’s limited snowpack promises another dry year in 2015. Mountain temperatures, which claim the hottest October - January period in 120 years, have prevented a snowpack formation. This snowpack typically provides one third of California’s water through meltwater each spring. The statewide snowpack currently holds only one-twentieth of its multidecade average.