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Water

water conservation keeps rivers and lakes cleanThe average American uses approximately 126 gallons of water per day, making us the largest water consumers per capita in the world. Canadians are a close second, while many European countries use half as much water we do, and most developing countries use less than 15 gallons each day.

When you are living out of a canoe or kayak, you haul your own water from the rivers and lakes you travel on and quickly realize how little water you really need. Amy and I can easily get by on 3 gallons of water per day for washing, cooking, and drinking.

Now I am not suggesting that you tell the utility company to turn off your water, because you are going to start hauling it from the nearest stream.  But there are plenty of ways to conserve water, which in the end is good for the environment and your wallet.

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EPA unveils new pollution limits that could curtail 'mountaintop' mining

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Washington Post: The Obama administration on Thursday imposed strict new environmental guidelines that are expected to sharply curtail "mountaintop" coal mining, a controversial practice that has enriched Appalachia's economy while rearranging its topography. The announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency ended months of bureaucratic limbo on the issue. It was hailed by environmentalists but condemned by coal industry officials, who said it would render a technique that generates about 10 ...

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Snakes in the grass: Florida declares open season on Everglades intruders

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Guardian: Jeff Fobb freezes as he tries to sort through the noises rising from the swamp of the Everglades: the beating wings of an ibis, the scurrying of a lizard, the much louder splash of an alligator lowering itself into the water or, the sound he really wants to hear, the rustle of a large python in tall grass. "It sounds sort of like the wind, but more steady," says Fobb. He combs through the grass with a long metal hook. No snakes. But the pythons are out there, somewhere, and Florida is ...

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Build resilience to climate uncertainties through diversity, researchers urge

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Reuters: Farmers in the developing world have long struggled with the vagaries of weather, battling droughts, floods, storms and pest invasions brought on by changing conditions. In many ways, "climate change to us is nothing new," says Peter Hartmann, head of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, based in Ibadan, Nigeria. But what terrifies the longtime Nigerian researcher is how fast the changes are now coming. As the planet warms, he said, bands of heat, plant diseases ...

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Countries Blame China, Not Nature, for Water Shortage

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New York Times: In southern China, the worst drought in at least 50 years has dried up farmers' fields and left tens of millions of people short of water. But the drought has also created a major public relations problem for the Chinese government in neighboring countries, where in recent years China has tried to project an image of benevolence and brotherhood. Farmers and fishermen in countries that share the Mekong River with China, especially Thailand, have lashed out at China over four ...

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Arch Coal sues EPA over veto of W.Va. mine permit

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Associated Press: A subsidiary of mining giant Arch Coal Inc. sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the planned veto of a water quality permit for West Virginia's largest surface mine. St. Louis-based Arch argues in the federal lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., that the EPA doesn't have the authority to revoke a Clean Water Act permit once it has been issued. The permit for the Spruce No. 1 mine was issued to Arch's Mingo Logan Coal three years ago. The EPA announced the veto ...

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Arab states urged to be open on water scarcity

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Reuters: People in the Arab world need fuller and freer information about shrinking water supplies but their governments are withholding it for fear of fuelling unrest, a United Nations expert said on Thursday. Arable land makes up just 4.2 percent of the Middle East and North Africa and is expected to shrink due to climate change -- a potential source of political instability, analysts say, in a region where economic privation has sometimes sparked conflict. "Arab countries do not ...

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James Cameron, in real life, fights to save indigenous groups from massive dam construction in Brazil

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Mongabay: After creating a hugely successful science-fiction film about a mega-corporation destroying the indigenous culture of another planet, James Cameron has become a surprisingly noteworthy voice on environmental issues, especially those dealing with the very non-fantastical situation of indigenous cultures fighting exploitation. This week Cameron traveled to Brazil for a three-day visit to the Big Bend (Volta Grande) region of the Xingu River to see the people and rainforests that would ...

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