Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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water > features

Bottled water bubble is beginning to burst

The world now spends over $46 billion a year on bottled water, far more than the $18 billion which, according to water Aid, would meet the UN's millennium development goal of halving the proportion of people around the world without access to safe water and sanitation. The bottled water industry is, says Friends of the Earth, no less than "environmental madness". In this latest comment on the subject Sunita Narain explains just how the poor have lost out, and why the water bubble is beginning to burst. ... more

Sri Lanka adopts water harvesting policy
Sri Lanka has become the first country in the world to have a national policy on rainwater harvesting, adapting a centuries old tradition of rainwater storage. Vijita Fernando reports. ... more

Dam builders line up again to tame the Mekong
The magnificent Mekong River, life-blood of Southeast Asia,is under renewed pressure from governments, banks and foreign investors, who are keen to build yet more dams to boost the region's energy supply. But that could severely damage one of the world's most productive fisheries, providing the 60 million people of the river basin with around 80 per cent of their protein needs and much the their vital calcium. Here Aviva Imhof explains the threat the people of the river are facing and introduces extracts from a special report by the International River Network (IRN). ... more

Falling water tables threatens grain harvests
As China's farmers sink their pumps ever lower and aquifers begin to run dry grain harvests could be in serious trouble says Lester Brown in this wide-ranging report on the problem. ... more

Delhi's dirty Yamuna river getting dirtier
The Yamuna is one of India's holy rivers, passing Krishna's play ground and feeding the mighty Ganges. But despite the fortune that has been spent trying to clean its passage through Delhi, it remains dirtier than ever, says one of India's leading environmental pressure groups. ... more

Price of water rising around the world
by Edwin H. Clark

The price of water is increasing - sometimes dramatically - throughout the world. Over the past five years, municipal water rates have increased by an average of 27 per cent in the United States, 32 per cent in the United Kingdom, 45 per cent in Australia, 50 per cent in South Africa, and 58 per cent in Canada. In Tunisia, the price of irrigation water increased fourfold over a decade. ... more

Pressure mounts on world water resources
Fresh water supplies are one of 12 key indicators of a sustainable 'eco-economy' chosen by the Earth Policy Institute for special monitoring. Indeed, water scarcity may be the most underrated resource issue the world is facing, the Institute says. Elizabeth Mygatt reports. ... more

Melting glaciers threaten world's water supplies
Climate change and falling water tables are having a dramatic effect on the world�s water resources. And the rapid melting of the planet's glaciers is making the problem even more serious, writes Satu Hassi, a Member of the European Parliament. ... more

Water harvesting hope for thirsty Beijing
by Yingling Liu

It is not sensational to predict that if China ever moves its capital city, this will be due largely to water shortages. The current capital, Beijing, is exuding dryness from every pore, particularly during the spring and autumn when it is plagued by inland sandstorms and strong winds. But now, says this China Watch report, the city is looking for new ways of water harvesting. ... more

Saving water, saving the river
by Brian Thomson

Water is a scarce and valuable commodity in the Chihuahuan desert region of northern Mexico. But in the Delicias district, which lies about 90km south of Chihuahua City � the state capital � there�s an abundance of water rushing into the fields to irrigate extensive alfalfa crops and pecan tree plantations. ... more

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