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Fracking’s Water Footprint in Marcellus Shale Larger Than Previously Thought

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

A report on the water consumption of hydraulic fracking operations in the Marcellus Shale found that if shale-gas production increases rapidly enough in the Marcellus Shale, despite the increase in water use efficiency and wastewater recycling, the sheer volume of wastewater could become problematic.  Because of its reliance on freshwater supplies, fracking has considerable impact on local water resources, yet …

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Rethinking the Big Mac? Environmental Limits to Meat Production

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

Trends point toward a crowded planet as the population soars from seven to ten billion by 2050.  Will the current industrialized meat production system meet growing future demand and feed the world? The resource intensity of meat production can’t be ignored as neighbors in developing countries emulate the meat-heavy Western diet. This is the third of three posts about the possible limits …

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Why Meat Eats Resources

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

The large water footprints for beef, pork and other meats indicate the large volumes of water used for their production. They also suggest a great use of resources beyond water. The question then becomes, why is raising livestock and poultry for meat so resource-intensive? This is the second of three posts about the possible limits to global meat production as …

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Water Hogs: Smithfield Pork Deal Trades US Water for Waste

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

It turns out the monumental merger between two giant pork producers, Smithfield and Shaunghui (now WH Group), was a foregone conclusion. One big question lingers: Was the deal a trade of water for waste? This is the first of three posts about the possible limits to global meat production as resources are strained by growing populations, prosperity and meat consumption. …

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How Not to Dispose of Your Unused Pharmaceuticals

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

Pharmaceuticals, personal care products and a whole host of other compounds — classified as ‘emerging contaminants,’  — are increasingly being detected in surface water and they’re causing problems. Originally posted January 11, 2012, we’re sharing this again today for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, October 26, 2013. Recently, I was filling a prescription at a local pharmacy and I brought some unused prescription …

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US Water Conservation: How’s Your State Doing?

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

Many states have laws and policies that make water conservation plans more or less effective. How’s your state doing? Find out in this Alliance for Water Efficiency report. When you think about water conservation, what comes to mind? Maybe it’s low-flow toilets or xeriscaping? When states create policies for water conservation, they generally think about things like toilets and xeriscaping …

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Emerging Contaminants, Water and a Whole Lot of Questions

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

Emerging contaminants are pollutants that pose a real or perceived threat to human health or that lack a published health standard. Some are endocrine disruptors or can cause cancer.   Miss those chemistry experiments in high school? Well then it’s time to wax nostalgic because you’re participating in one right now: chemical compounds found in everyday products like pharmaceuticals, shampoos, sunscreens and plastics are …

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FIJI Water and Parent Company Still Rolling in the Water

In articles about water use and quality, footprints

FIJI Water’s parent company faces problems with the 125,000-acre Paramount Farms almond and pistachio orchards in California’s San Joaquin Valley. So far, 2011 has been a tough year for scandal-prone California agribusiness giant and holding company, Roll International, which might be part of the reason for the company’s recent yet minor name change to Roll Global. (Of course, I’m kidding. …