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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

16.07.2012
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy
A service from the European Commission..
Recycled wastewater could boost river flows
The over-extraction of water from rivers has reduced river flows, particularly in water scarce areas, affecting their ecological status. A recent study has found that citizens in a water-stressed river basin of Spain are willing to pay over EUR5 extra on top of their monthly water bill to treat wastewater that can be used to replenish river flows.
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Diverse ecosystems vulnerable in changing environmental conditions
Changing environmental conditions could put diverse ecosystems, such as rainforests and coral reefs, at greater risk of multiple extinctions. A new study suggests that, rather than protecting ecosystems from collapse, high levels of biodiversity may actually prove risky in a situation such as climate change - where an unpredictable environment can suddenly extinguish a population needed to support an ecosystem, leading to knock-on effects further up the food chain.
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Satellite images used to assess coastal and sea water quality
A recent study has found that satellite images can be used to map phytoplankton blooms to aid assessment of the quality of coastal and sea waters. This method can help EU Member States monitor water under the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
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Air pollution from unconventional gas wells may affect human health
Residents living within half a mile of unconventional natural gas wells may have an increased risk of illness from exposure to air pollution from the wells, according to a recent study. The peer-reviewed study recommends that risk prevention efforts to minimise impacts on human health should concentrate on communities living and working close to wells during well completions and that further studies on health effects of exposures to air emissions from such projects should be carried out.
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`Pathway to efficiency´ recommended for improving irrigation
Improving the efficiency of irrigation can help farmers increase profits, meet regulatory requirements for renewing licences, and demonstrate sustainable use of resources for supermarket grower standards. A recent study has assessed water irrigation efficiency in the UK and suggests that the `pathway to efficiency´ approach can help farmers and water regulators manage irrigation and water abstraction.
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Conservation goals must incorporate different cultural views
Conservation policy needs to take account of diverse cultural views about the value of different species, according to the results of a new study. Widely differing views of the relative importance of marine species - from algae to mammals - emerged when the researchers surveyed people across Europe.
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