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Drinking Water: Extreme Weather Events Threaten Quality, Says Report

The greatest risks to water quality come from cumulative impacts of extreme weather events that happen sequentially, like a drought followed by a wildfire followed by a flood, says joint Australian-US study. As climate change likely increases the frequency of extreme weather events, resilience must be built into the management of watersheds and water treatment systems for recovery to happen. [Sunday Morning Herald]

Report: Society's Water Safety Net Is Fraying

A new National Research Council report examines possible "tipping points" that might occur if the rate of groundwater pumping rapidly increases. As surface water-scarce regions get drier amidst climate change, early warning water and drought monitoring systems could be necessary to protect precious resources. [Circle of Blue]

Advocates Pleased with Proposed Changes to Food Safety Rules, But More Needs to Be Done

The FDA is drawing up rules in response to the 2011 Food Safety and Modernization Act, a momentous law that overhauled US food safety regulations for the first time in seventy years. A second round of comments is now open until December 15th, giving advocates an opportunity to ensure the rules allow and encourage safe food as well as sustainable farms and food systems. [Country World News]

GMO Safety, Weed Control Top Concerns as US Study Kicks Off

Concerns around genetically modified (GM) crop safety dominated the first public meeting for a new US-sponsored study underway to examine the impacts of GM crops. Ag experts pointed to pesticide use, weed and insect resistance, and public health issues stating that without solid, third-party evidence for GM safety public mistrust of GM crops will continue. We can't agree more. [Reuters]

Seven Ohio Drinking Water Sources Don't Meet State Water Quality Standards for Toxic Algae

Toledo is not the only Ohio location suffering from algae-produced toxins in drinking water sources with seven rivers, lakes and reservoirs contaminated, a state water quality report revealed. The impaired water bodies affect the water supplies of nearly 1 million people around Ohio and highlight the need for stronger prevention of nonpoint source pollution, like runoff from farms and livestock, that contribute to toxic algae blooms. [Circle of Blue]

Mountaintop Removal for Coal Hurts Water Quality and Harms Fish, Study Says

A new study confirms that mountaintop removal mining is harming fish in rivers and streams, indicating that water resources are becoming tainted. Minerals released from within stone blown apart by explosives used in the mining process are changing water chemistry, lowering quality and causing tiny fish prey such as insects, worms and invertebrates to die. [Washington Post]

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