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South Africa: Cabinet backs Karoo fracking moratorium

South Africa’s Cabinet endorsed the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) decision to declare a moratorium on natural-gas drilling in the Karoo region, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday. The Cabinet also appointed a task team to investigate the implications of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The team would be led by the DMR and also […]

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Call to ban shale gas exploration in the Karoo

Groups opposing shale gas mining bids by Shell and other explorers in the Karoo yesterday asked the government to immediately end these plans and ban any future exploration. As an alternative, the Karoo Action Group asked President Jacob Zuma to impose a moratorium, pending studies into water impacts, alternative land uses, and a decision on […]

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FRACKING: Drink the Water at Your Own Risk

Fracking is currently used in 90 percent of the U.S.’s natural gas and oil wells. The practice makes drilling possible in areas that 10 to 20 years ago would not have been profitable. Fracking involves injecting water, sand, and a cocktail of chemicals at high pressure into rock formations thousands of feet below the surface. […]

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Groundwater to play a key role in South Africa – Water Research Commission

The use of groundwater, in conjunction with surface water, could form a key part of the solution to South Africa’s water crisis, the Water Research Commission (WRC) said on Tuesday, which marks World Water Day. WRC water research manager Dr Shafick Adams said the total volume of available, renewable groundwater in South Africa is 10,34-billion […]

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Antibiotic Pollution May Increase Ground Water Nitrate Pollution

Water Pollution: Compound slows growth of nitrate-reducing bacteria Decades after spawning a health care revolution, antibiotics are now common pollutants. Scientists’ biggest concern about these emerging contaminants is that they promote the spread of resistance. But new research suggests they also harm the microbes that cleanse groundwater of dangerous compounds, particularly nitrates (Environ. Sci. Technol., […]

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Groundwater Overuse May Make Arsenic More Common in South Asian Wells

A century of exploitation of groundwater supplies has drawn down water tables across Vietnam, making it difficult to avoid water contaminated with arsenic even at deeper depths, according to a new study. In tests of 512 private wells reaching depths of 10 to 50 meters (33 to 164 feet), researchers found that 27 percent contained […]

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Study: Overpumping Draws Down the World’s Groundwater Reserves

Much of the global groundwater pumped out of aquifers for household use and irrigation ends up in the world’s oceans, depleting the aquifers faster than they can be replenished, a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters shows. The study by hydrologists from Utrecht University and the Dutch research institute Deltares noted that the rate […]

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Water Batteries for Trees!

According to the World Health Organization, 1.2 billion people – or almost 1 out of 5 people in the world – are without access to safe drinking water.  And even in areas with access, 70 percent of water withdrawn from fresh groundwater sources is used for agriculture.   But using groundwater to grow crops and trees […]

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Groundwater Pollution: An ever-increasing problem

About half the population in the United States relies to some extent on groundwater as a source of drinking water, and still more use it to supply their factories with process water or their farms with irrigation water. However, if all water uses such as irrigation and power production are included, only about 25 percent […]

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