The weekly wash-up (May 31st)

The week that was in river and water news – May 31st, 2013

Gulf water licences ‘a step towards irrigated agriculture industry‘  The Queensland Government has allocated  more than 94,000 megalitres of water to landholders in the Gilbert and Flinders catchments. Those pushing for water releases in the Gulf say it is an essential part of building Australia’s northern food bowl, but in reality cotton is shaping up as the cash crop locals are focusing on.

Sewer water urged as drinking source but most Victorians wary   Melburnians will need to consider drinking purified water from sewers amid worsening climate change, says a city councillor. It’s not on the agenda for the City of Melbourne at this stage, but as we get increasingly dry conditions, all sources of water have to be on the table.

Global majority faces water shortages ‘within two generation’   The majority of people on Earth will live with severe pressure on fresh water within the space of two generations as climate change, pollution and over-use of resources take their toll, 500 scientists have warned. The scientists, meeting in Bonn this week, called on politicians to include tough new targets on improving water in the sustainable development goals that will be introduced when the current millennium development goals expire in 2015.

Mine water release harmless government says  Water will be released from more flooded Queensland mines into rivers because a pilot program shows there are no environmental concerns, the state government says. Water engineers monitoring the Fitzroy River in central Queensland found an “absence of material effects on salinity levels downstream of the pilot scheme mine sites”.

Hoover Dam on the Colorado River

Hoover Dam on the Colorado River

As Colorado River drought worsens, water officials parley In San Diego 40-plus water agency officials, environmentalists, farmers and Indian tribal leaders gathered to discuss the ongoing water crisis. A report released in December warned that drought, climate change and population growth are fast outstripping the water supply from the Colorado River.

Egypt concerned as Ethiopia diverts course of Nile river  Ethiopia today started to divert the course of the Blue Nile river for the construction of a giant dam.  About 84 per cent of the water in the world’s longest river originates in Ethiopia. Experts say the ramifications of the dam will be catastrophic for Egypt.