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The melting on the southern Antarctic peninsula has been so sudden, that even the scientific expedition's supply ship seems to have been caught out. Photo: J Bamber,

Once-stable Antarctic glaciers have suddenly started melting

Bert Wouters

23rd May 2015

A dramatic shift has taken place in the glaciers of the southern Antarctic peninsula, writes Bert Wouters. Six years ago these previously stable bodies suddenly stated shedding 60 cubic kilometres of ice per year into the ocean. A stark warning of further surprises to come? more...
Is the Pepsi brand getting tarnished? Pepsi sign in Rajasthan, India, by Matthew Stevens via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

India: unlawful Pepsi plant wins police protection

The Ecologist

20th May 2015

First the Pepsi-Cola bottling company in south India caused outrage by depleting groundwater. Next it was found to be operating without valid permits.Then as protests grew the company won a High Court order giving it police protection. Now locals are vowing to keep the plant shut for good. more...
Deprived of piped water supply, a man in post-invasion Libya fills up a bottle of water from a muddy puddle. Photo: British Red Cross.

War crime: NATO deliberately destroyed Libya's water infrastructure

Nafeez Ahmed

14th May 2015

The military targeting of civilian infrastructure, especially of water supplies, is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Yet this is precisely what NATO did in Libya, while blaming the damage on Gaddafi himself. Since then, the country's water infrastructure - and the suffering of its people - has only deteriorated further. more...
'Water is a human right!' - demonstration in Detroit. Photo: Detroit Water Brigade.

Detroit: 25,000 households face water shutoff this month

Tyler Van Dyke / WSWS

9th May 2015

Ignoring cries of protest from impoverished communities and fierce international criticism, Detroit will begin to serve water shut-off notices on some 25,000 households tomorrow as it prepares to privatise its water department. more...
Photo: New Era Colorado Foundation.

American revolution: cities seize control of essential local services

Max Holleran

9th May 2015

Fed up with being gouged by profit-driven corporations, let down by state neglect and under-investment, urban communities across the US are taking control of local services like public transport, energy, water, internet and telecoms, writes Max Holleran - bringing better service, lower prices and clean energy. more...
The sacred water of Gosainkunda Lake at the headwaters of the Trishuli River, soon to be changed forever by the construction fo a succession of high dams. Photo: Yosarian via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

In Nepal's next big quake, hydropower dams threaten catastrophe

Michael Buckley

4th May 2015

A spate of hydroelectric dam building in Nepal means that future earthquakes could send inland tsunamis flooding down the steep mountain valleys, writes Michael Buckley. Disaster was averted in last month's quake - a badly damaged dam was not yet filled. But despite the risks and the damage to river ecology, tourism and rural livelihoods, there's no sign of any policy shift. more...
Oil wells in the Bakken Oil Field of North Dakota, USA. Photo: Alan Graham McQuillan PhD ARPS via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Future dustbowl? Fracking ravages Great Plains land and water

Tim Radford

4th May 2015

The fracking boom has caused massive vegetation loss over North America's rangelands, writes Tim Radford, as 3 million hectares have been occupied by oil and gas infrastructure and 34 billion cubic metres of water have been pumped from semi-arid ecosystems. more...
A boy herding cattle near Mentao refugee camp in Burkina Faso. More than 18 million people in West Africa’s Sahel region are hungry and malnourishedas a result of the crisis. Photo: DFATD | MAECD via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rebellion and hunger - how drought and food scarcity are fanning the flames of war

Nafeez Ahmed

13th May 2015

Food and water shortages and sharp price hikes in the necessities of life are driving civil unrest and rebellion across the Middle East and North Africa, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Adding to the problem, many of the afflicted countries are of strategic importance for their oil and gas, putting them on the front line of destabilizing 'counter-terrorism' operations. more...
Achta and her family fled drought in Northern Chad after drought killed all their animals: goats, sheep, camels and cattle. Photo: © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU, via Flickr (CC NY-NC-ND).

Don't mention climate change! Europe's response to the refugee crisis is doomed to fail

Assaad W. Razzouk

24th April 2015

The more EU politicians try to look in control of the Mediterranean refugee emergency, the more it's obvious they aren't, writes Assaad W. Razzouk. A key driver of the crisis is climate change, which is causing drought across North Africa. Europe must now tackle the root causes of the crisis, and admit its own culpability in precipitating it. more...
A protest in Kafr ad Dik village in February 2012 against the theft of land by nearby 'settlers'. Now it's the village's soil that is being stolen. Photo: KafrAdDeek via Wikimedia Commons (CC Public Domain).

Israelis steal fertile soil from Palestinian farms

The Ecologist

22nd April 2015

Not satisfied with seizing Palestinian land and water, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have found a new way to enrich themselves at their neighbors' expense - by stealing their fertile soil and transporting it to their own farms and gardens. more...
Protest at Coca Cola's bottling plant at Plachmada, Kerala. The plant has since been closed for rampant pollution. Photo: kasuga sho via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Campaigners defeat Coca-Cola plant in South India

The Ecologist

21st April 2015

Local campaigners fearful of water shortages and industrial pollution have forced state authorities to cancel an unpopular plan to allocate land for a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Tamil Nadu, India. more...
Paris-based Veolia and Suez are aggressive global companies running public water supply in cities around the world. But water in Paris itself (see here at La Defense) has been taken back under municipal control and ownership. Photo:  jean-marc via Flickr

Our public water future - closing out the corporate profiteers

Satoko Kishimoto

17th April 2015

Private water companies have never been more aggressive in their sabotaging of efforts to 'make water public', writes Satoko Kishimoto, with legal threats and challenges launched under 'free trade' agreements. But as citizens worldwide reject corporate water profiteering, the trend of water re-municipalisation has gathered unstoppable momentum. more...

Water: 1/25 of 245
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A 2009 protest in Argentina's Santa Fe province against water privatization to Suez. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

TTIP won't stop public services being run for ordinary people? Tell that to Argentina

Nick Dearden

17th April 2015

Now it's Argentina's turn to be sued in a secret 'free trade' court run by the World Bank, writes Nick Dearden. After bringing a profiteering water company that was missing all its service and quality targets back into public ownership, the country has been ordered to pay $405 million 'compensation'. more...
Lake Baikal at Irkutskiy Raion, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Photo: Fedor Stroganov via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Lake Baikal: World Heritage ecosystems at risk from Mongolian dam

Anson Mackay

19th April 2015

Russia's Lake Baikal is under threat by a massive dam and pipeline on the main river that feeds into it, that would supply mines with power and water, writes Anson Mackay. In line to fund the project? The World Bank. more...
A gigantic dam under construction on the Upper Mekong River.

Damming Tibet: China's destruction of Tibet's rivers, environment and people

Michael Buckley

13th April 2015

When Michael Buckley took a white water rafting trip in Tibet in 2005, he had no idea of the adventure he was embarking on - a ten-year investigation of China ruthless exploitation of Tibet's mineral and hydroelectric resources, and its systematic attack on indigenous Tibetans, their culture and their survival on the land. more...
A 'money-burning' event organised by the Miami Tea Party to oppose a 46,000 acre conservation land purchase - but were the 'protestors' all actors? So it would seem. Photo: from Youtube video by Miami Tea Party.

Tea Party's fake protestors for Big Sugar against Florida Everglades

Oliver Tickell

8rg April 2015

The Tea Party of Miami put up a convincing demo last week to oppose a 'land grab' that would see 46,000 acres of sugar farm land restored for Everglades conservation. Just one problem - the 'protestors' were actors each being paid $75 for the two-hour shift. more...
Rajendra Singh believes conservation is vital to combat future 'water wars' and climate change. Photo: Deccan Chronicle.

'Water man of India' makes rivers flow again

Pramila Krishnan

8th April 2015

The revival of traditional rainwater harvesting has restored flow to rivers in India's driest state, Rajasthan - thanks to the tireless efforts of Rajendra Singh, recent winner of a Stockholm water prize. And as Pramila Krishnan discovered in a fascinating meeting, Singh's techniques, and his philosophy, are of truly global significance. more...
As California's drought bites, its $500 fines for 'water waster' households, but the water's still flowing for the state's powerful agribusiness sector. Photo: Malcolm Carlaw via Flickr (CC BY).

California drought: agribusiness, fracking untouched by water rationing

Evan Blake

5th April 2015

California has responded to the drought by rationing water, with $500 fines for domestic 'water wasters', writes Evan Blake. But agribusiness and water-intensive industries like fracking remain untouched by the restrictions, even though they consume over 90% of the state's water. more...
Boreholes being drilled at Beckermet, Cumbria. For future disposal of radioactive waste? So locals fear, but no one is telling. Photo: Radiation Free Lakeland.

To dump nuclear waste, first they must dump democracy!

Marianne Birkby

2nd April 2015

In the last act of the dying Parliament, MPs quietly voted to dump democratic planning processes to expedite a 'facility' for the high level nuclear waste in geologically fractured Cumbria, writes Marianne Birkby - so over-ruling strong and highly effective local opposition. Shame on them! more...
Yolanda Oquelí stands between the National Police and the mine entrance. Credit: Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.

Guatemala: women lead the struggle for life, land, clean water

Jeff Abbott / Waging Nonviolence

1st April 2015

For over two years the small community of San José del Golfo has maintained a 24-hour barricade against the US-owned mine El Tambor that threatens to destroy their land and water. The non-violent resistance, led by women, is transforming the traditional 'macho' culture, and attracting support across Guatemala, and beyond. more...
A reclusive Irawaddy dolphin on the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Death by strangulation? Hydropower threatens to kill the mighty Mekong

Tom Fawthrop

27th March 2015

Over 18 million people live off the natural bounty of the The Mekong Delta, writes Tom Fawthrop - the source of huge annual harvests of fish, rice, fruit, and one of the world's most productive ecosystems. But now huge dams threaten to strangle the Mekong river and the abundant life it supports, while the world sits idly by. more...
Glen Canyon beneath the dam, 2008. Photo: Jim Trodel via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Lake Powell is dead! Long live Glen Canyon!

Grant A. Mincy

28th March 2015

Drought is returning Lake Powell, impounded behind the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado river, back to desert, writes Grant A. Mincy - and a fine thing too! As nature turns billions of dollars of infrastructural abomination to junk, this creates the chance to reclaim our commons and recreate ravaged ecosystems. more...
Where water meets desert ... Egypt depends entirely on the waters of the Nile to irrigate its farmland, but the river's flows are now imperilled by dam building upstream in Ethiopia. Casus belli? Photo: Tom Lowenthal  via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Global water crisis causing failed harvests, hunger, war and terrorism

Nafeez Ahmed

27th March 2015

The world is already experiencing water scarcity driven by over-use, poor land management and climate change, writes Nafeez Ahmed. It's one of the causes of wars and terrorism in the Middle East and beyond, and if we fail to respond to the warnings before us, major food and power shortages will soon afflict large parts of the globe fuelling hunger, insecurity and conflict. more...
In happier times, a Kwegu family on a maize field next to the Omo river. Photo: via Survival International.

Ethiopia: Kwegu tribe starves, victims of dam and land grabs

Oliver Tickell

13th March 2015

The Kwegu people of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are facing starvation because of the loss of their land to a huge sugar plantation, the destruction of their forest and the damming of the Omo river - supported by a UK, EU and World Bank funded 'aid' program. more...
The destroyed Bab Amro neighbourhood of Homs through a blooming field of poppies, 2nd May 2012. Photo: Freedom House via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Climate change sparked Syria's ruinous war

Alex Kirby

6th March 2015

Climate change probably caused the savage drought that struck Syria nearly a decade ago, writes Alex Kirby - and helped to trigger the civil war that has so far claimed over 200,000 lives. more...

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