WATER

Fabled Himalayan kingdom Shangri-la may be a myth, but geologists have uncovered a hidden gorge buried beside the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet that throws into doubt previous theories on how the famous gorges of the Himalayas were formed
A new satellite study has revealed that about three quarters of the water removed from the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since 2004 has come from underground sources, raising fears about future water supply to western USA
Oil palm plantations cause more damage to the environment than was previously thought, according to a new study that documents their effect on water quality
Flood-mitigation efforts on China’s Yellow River that began almost 3,000 years ago are at least partly responsible for devastating floods that have killed millions and toppled dynasties, according to a new study
Britain’s urban rivers are the cleanest they’ve been for more than 20 years, according to a 21-year study by scientists from Cardiff University

Diamonds are forever

Will Millard, the winner of the 2013 Journey of a Lifetime award, recalls an uncomfortable episode during his attempt to packraft down the Moro River to mark the foundation of a new peace park in Sierra Leone and Liberia
A graduate student from the University of California, Los Angeles has developed a new method for remotely measuring river flows

Hung out to dry

Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for millions of people, but they’re being lost at an increasing rate
Short-term prospects for the Aral Sea catchment in Central Asia better than previously thought
Inspired by stories of European adventurers exploring the great West African rivers in centuries past, husband and wife team Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio followed the course of the River Gambia from source to mouth

Death of the riverboats

Part of a huge hydro-electricity project on the Mekong River and its tributaries, the construction of the Nam Ou 2 dam in Laos could devastate the lives of thousands who rely on the river for their income

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