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Water protectors of all persuasions gathered in talking circles at Borderland Ranch in Pe'Sla, the heart of the sacred Black Hills, during the first Sovereign Sisters Gathering. At the center are Cheryl Angel in red and white and on her left, Lyla June. Tracy Barnett

By Tracy L. Barnett

Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.

For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.

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hadynyah / E+ / Getty Images

By Johnny Wood

The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.

The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.

Here are some of the challenges the river faces.

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Drink water fountain near a playground at the grounds of the former Naval Air Warfare Center Warminster, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA on Feb. 6. Bastiaan Slabbers / NurPhoto / Getty Images

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a proposal Thursday night to change Clean Water Act rules and streamline the federal permit approval process for infrastructure projects like pipelines.

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Residents of housing board complex in Chennai city fill water from common tab on June 29. The locals mentioned they get water every alternate day and for only two hours in the morning. All the four major reservoirs supplying water to Chennai has dried up. Atul Loke / Getty Images

One quarter of the world's population are living in areas where the competition for water resources is extreme, according to a new report from the Washington-based global research group World Resource Institute (WRI), as The Guardian reported.

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Drilling next to homes in North Dakota's Bakken Shale. Tara Lohan

By Tara Lohan

In 2010 when I first started writing about hydraulic fracturing — the process of blasting a cocktail of water and chemicals into shale to release trapped hydrocarbons — there were more questions than answers about environmental and public-health threats. That same year Josh Fox's documentary Gasland, which featured tap water bursting into flames, grabbed the public's attention. Suddenly the term fracking — little known outside the oil and gas industry — became common parlance.

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Women carry 20 liter containers of water in the streets of Mabvuku on Aug. 1 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Tafadzwa Ufumeli / Getty Images

Water is life. Without it crops won't grow, clothes stay dirty and kids don't bathe. And, life without water is a daily nightmare endured in Zimbabwe's capital city, Harare, where more than two million people only have running water once a week, according to the New York Times.

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Adrian V. Floyd / CC BY 2.0

By Karen Perry Stillerman

What's for breakfast? Maybe it's a bagel and cream cheese, or toast and coffee, or eggs (or not). For millions of Americans, though, cereal is a breakfast mainstay. There's a mind-boggling array of ready-to-eat cereal brands on offer, and everyone has their favorites.

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Two dozen prominent scientists from around the world have asked the UN to make environmental damage in conflict zones a war crime. The scientists published their open letter in the journal Nature.

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Well water is pumped from the ground on April 24, 2015 in Tulare, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Drill, baby, drill! It's what Americans are doing to find potable water.

New research has found that Americans are digging deeper and deeper wells to meet our water demands, which is not a sustainable practice for our water supply needs, according to a study that is the first national assessment of U.S. groundwater wells.

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iStockr / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Donald Scavia

Every year in early summer, scientists at universities, research institutions and federal agencies release forecasts for the formation of "dead zones" and harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico, the Chesapeake Bay and Lake Erie. This year the outlook is not good.

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People in Chennai gather near the metro water supply tanker to collect the water for their daily usage on June 29. Atul Loke / Getty Images

A special train loaded with 2.5 million liters (approximately 660,000 gallons) of water reached the parched Indian city of Chennai Friday, The Times of India reported. The water was sent to relieve India's sixth-largest city, which is running out of water due to lack of rain.

The train left the station in Jolarpet around 7:10 a.m and arrived in Chennai around noon, where it was greeted by state ministers.

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