Mega development projects can have a positive impact. But there are risks. Between 2004 and 2013, some 3.4 million people were ‘physically and economically displaced’ by World Bank projects alone.
The Koka Reservoir in Ethiopia. Steps have been taken to reduce malaria infections without sacrificing the primary purposes of the dam.
The construction of dams in Africa, in some cases, bring an unintended consequence – an increase in malaria in the surrounding areas.
Freshwater is one of the most threatened resources on Earth. Dragonflies can tell us what we need to know about the state of this precious resource.
Protest sign at the Muskrat Falls site, June 12.
The 'Muskrat Falls' hydroelectric project is being built in anticipation of the Innu voting away ownership of their own land.
Spangled perch are one of Australia’s strongly migratory native fish. After storms in January 2015 these fish were actively travelling up a flooded road in outback Northern Territory.
Freshwater fish are declining everywhere, in part thanks to dam-building. But we can have both.
Coping with floods is just one of the issues dams need to deal with.
The development of northern Australia will depend on harnessing water resources.
Blue-green algae in the Murray River upstream of Mildura in April.
Toxic algal blooms were unheard of in Australia's major waterways before 1991. Now the Murray River has been struck by four major events in less than a decade, with more likely in the future.
The past century hasn’t seen the worst drought that Australia’s climate can throw at us.
A new millennium-long record reveals that Australia has suffered longer droughts and wet periods than those recorded in the past century's weather observations.
Moo-ve along: livestock are one of many threats to Australian freshwater ecosystems.
Freshwater covers only 0.5% of the Earth's surface but is home to 10% of the world's lifeforms.
Major development banks are funding logging, mining and infrastructure projects that are having enormous impacts on nature. Here, forests are being razed along a newly constructed road in central Amazonia.
Big new investors such as the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank are key players in a worldwide infrastructure, and that could be bad news for the environment.
One of Melbourne’s drinking water reservoirs at 30% capacity in 2010. At the time of writing, the dam is 60% full.
Despite its long idle, Melbourne's desalination plant plays a vital role in providing water in a drying climate.
There are still concerns over the impact of upstream coalmines on water in the Warragamba Dam, a key part of Sydney’s water network.
AAP Image/Dean Lewins
The cutting of senior staff from WaterNSW, the body that oversees the safety of Sydney's water supply, poses serious risks to Australia's most complex water network.
Oroville Dam in California, where water levels had fallen 30% by 2014.
Dam image from www.shutterstock.com
California's drought is dragging on into its fifth year. What can the state learn from Australia's 15-year millennium drought?
Northern rivers could increase Australia’s irrigated land by 50%. But we need to think about the environmental impacts.
It's full steam ahead for bringing vast increases in farming to northern Australia. In fact, probably too fast to adequately consider the environmental impacts.
A red-and-green macaw in the Amazon.
New data have revealed a disturbing trend in forest loss: the hearts of the world's forests are disappearing. To stop them bleeding out, we'll have to say 'no' to some developments.
Despite a decade of drought and declining rainfall in parts of Australia, there’s still plenty of water to go around.
Maroondah reservoir from www.shutterstock.com
The Millennium Drought ended more than five years ago, but several years of below-average rainfall and El Niño have brought drought back to many parts of Australia. Our latest report on water in Australia shows rainfall is continuing to decline in eastern Australia and increase in the north.
The Nairobi-Thika highway is being built by China Wuyi, Sinohydro and Shengeli Engineering Construction, and is funded by Kenya, China and the African Development Bank.
China offers an alternative to traditional donors and investors in low- and middle-income countries. Adding to its appeal is its focus on infrastructure projects.
A view from above the burst Samarco dam in Brazil.
Six people are dead and more than 20 missing following the Samarco mine disaster in Brazil. But in the rush to blame we must consider the complexity of such failures.
Despite the noble intentions behind charity wells, they may not be the best thing.
The digging of wells in Africa has often been thought of as the solution to helping rural women walking to get water, but they may cause more harm than good.
New surveys show Australians don’t mind if the water coming from their tap is recycled.
Tap image from www.shutterstock.com
Would you drink recycled water? New surveys suggest Australians concerned about water shortages are ready for alternative sources.