Keep Australia Beautiful: It won't do any harm

Advertising Agency: Creative ADM, Perth, Western Australia

Creative Director: Ben Catley

Production: Prashant Umakanthan

Published: November 2013

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New Facebook Ads Show How To Interact With People You Actually Care About, In Real Life

Facebook couch skis ad 4x3 thumb

One of the biggest criticisms about Facebook is that it's basically a database of every random person you've ever met, and that too many of the things on the site are meaningless drivel posted by people you have no interest in actually being friends with in real life.

The social network is combatting those criticisms with a new ad campaign, titled "Where will your friends take you?" It shows how Facebook can be used to bring people together offline to make life better.

According to Mashable, the ads were made by Wieden+Kennedy, the same agency behind 2012's infamous "Chairs" debacle. However, the new ads take a much less philosophical approach and instead provide specific, believable examples of how people use Facebook to organize fun activities and seek valuable emotional support.

Here's one, in which a group of friends uses Facebook Messenger to gather people for a spontaneous snow day activity that consists of putting skis on couches (again with the seating furniture!) and riding down a hill:

In another, more serious ad, a crying woman uses Messenger to ask her best friend to come console her after a breakup:

And another one shows how even online-only interactions can make people happier. Here, encouraging wallposts motivate a man to continue training for a marathon:

You can see the other four ads in the campaign on the YouTube page Facebook created for it.

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Citigroup finds fraud at Mexico unit

Earns Citigroup

Citigroup is lowering its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results after discovering fraud at a Mexican subsidiary.

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Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, files for bankruptcy


The troubled Tokyo Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy after a significant amount of virtual currency went missing.

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Whoever Runs Taco Bell's Twitter Account Deserves A Raise

Taco Bell, which continues to extract product ideas through focus groups apparently comprised of starving potheads, has been killing it on Twitter for years. The fast food joint regularly tops lists of best brand accounts on social media and has more followers on Twitter alone than the state of Rhode Island has residents.

For good reason! Whichever public relations intern or team of meticulous, well-trained professionals is in charge of @TacoBell is doing a bang-up job with a clever combination of retweets, sassy comebacks, hashtags and whimsical life advice. We kind of, a little bit, maybe want Taco Bell to be our best friend. Here's why.

First off, Taco Bell supports our weird food cravings.

And has celebrity friends.

But Taco Bell also has really great ideas.

And shares our love for "Mean Girls."

It's not afraid to talk back.

taco bell tweets

Nor does it tolerate bigotry.

And it offers some sage advice.

Taco Bell sends gifts!

(Sometimes while feeding conspiracy theories.)

And it's very accommodating.

It really knows its priorities.

In short, Taco Bell is magic.

Business Feed :

US economic growth revised down for late 2013 as Fed blames weather

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen says poor weather could be to blame as fourth quarter growth revised to 2.4%, down from 3.1%

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Wolf of Wall Street dialogue may be fictional but boiler room fraud is real

Regulators trying to close string of suspected boiler rooms and FCA says victims of share fraud lose average of £20,000

In The Wolf of Wall Street, sharp-suited Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo diCaprio, makes calls from a scruffy strip mall in Long Island. "Good morning, Jordan Belfort with Investors' Center in New York City. The reason I'm calling is that an extremely exciting investment opportunity crossed my desk today. Typically our firm recommends no more than five stocks per year: this is one of them. Aerotyne International is a cutting-edge tech firm out of the Midwest, awaiting imminent patent approval on a new generation of radar equipment…"

In reality, Aerotyne is a worthless, dilapidated garage in Dubuque, Iowa. But Belfort hooks the investor with "research" that indicates the 6c-a-share stock could rise to a dollar, "or go much, much higher – your profit on a mere $3,000 investment would be upwards of 50,000… That's right, you could pay off your mortgage." The investor – the "schmucks" in the film – falls for the spiel, parting with $4,000.

The dialogue in the "Investors' Center" may be fictional, but as police raided 14 addresses across Spain, seizing, among other items, an Aston Martin and a Ferrari, the reality is not far off. The term boiler room was first coined in the US to describe how political parties hired rooms at election times to speed-dial prospective voters, but later became a byword for the cheap offices where brokers would sit in close proximity, serially calling "sucker lists" of potential share buyers, selling worthless stock from a pre-prepared script.

In Europe, Spain's "Costa del Crime" has become the home of boiler room operations, usually manned by British citizens, with sophisticated websites (often cloned from authorised firms) to persuade investors the proposition is real. Like Stratton Oakmont in The Wolf of Wall Street, blue-chip names are used to convince buyers of their legitimacy. A company calling itself First Capital Wealth, which had its assets frozen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in November, is just the latest in a string of suspected boiler rooms that regulators have attempted to close in recent years. It purported to be operating from a skyscraper in the City of London, selling "innovative real estate options focusing on emerging markets".

High-pressure sales staff in boiler rooms typically alight on whatever investment fad is popular at the time – from carbon credits to rare earths to land that is about to gain planning permission (but never does).

Victims of share fraud lose an average of £20,000 to these scams, with as much as £200m being lost in the UK each year, says the FCA. Even seasoned investors have been caught out, with the biggest individual loss recorded by the police being £6m. It says the scam firms often have few assets and victims are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Among the most disturbing tactics used by boiler rooms is what's dubbed recovery room fraud. The callers phone victims of share scams, posing as the police or a regulatory body, and promise to recover their money – for a fee, of course. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Ad for VW's Seat Pits a Powerful Engine Against Toy Monkeys

Andrew McMains - February 28, 2014 at 10:19PM

Lowe's first work for Volkswagen's Seat, from its new Lola office in Barcelona, Madrid, takes acceleration to absurdist lengths.

A two-minute teaser ad that landed on YouTube this week features a guy seated in a high-back seat in front of a black acceleration pedal, albeit one detached from a car. It's connected to an engine, though, and as he depresses the pedal, a cluster of 280 toy monkeys also plugged in to the engine bizarrely start clanging the tiny cymbals in their hands. But as the guy presses down harder—creating a loud engine roar—the monkeys, sadly, burst into flames and explode into the air. "Only a Cupra can handle the engine of a Cupra," explains screen copy.

The ad then cuts to a thumbnail image of the Seat Leon Cupra and the fun tagline, “Enjoyneering.” It's just a teaser ad—the first of three—for a big campaign that rolls out next month. Let's hope the next one is kinder to kids' toys.


Client: Seat

Client Contact: Gabriele Palma / Jochen Dries

Creative Agency: Lola, Barcelona

Executive Creative Director: Chacho Puebla

Creative Directors: Néstor García, Nacho Oñate

Creative Team: Cristina Fité, Esther Matas, Miki Ocampo, Saray González

Agency Producer: Cristina Español

Global Business Director: Clark Steel

Account Supervisor: Alejandro Belloti

Production House: Blur

Director: Maxi Sterle

Producer: Pablo Acón

Postproduction House: Metropolitana

Sound Studio: Cannonball

Edits: Monkey, Washing Machine and Mechanical Bull

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Samsung Goes 'Real, Raw and Pitiless' in Gritty Paralympics Ad

David Gianatasio -

"The idea of 'Sport Doesn't Care' is that sports is the great leveler," says Carlo Cavallone, ecd at 72andSunny in Amsterdam, of his agency's hard-hitting 90-second spot for Paralympics sponsor Samsung.

"Abled and other-abled athletes are exactly the same when it comes to competing," he tells AdFreak. "Paralympic athletes don't go to the games because they want to make a statement about their disability; they go because they want to win a medal. This is often missed in the communication about this event."

The spot pulls no punches, showing athletes faced with fatigue, pain, stress, the elements and burnout as they struggle through the rigors of practice and preparation that they hope will carry them to glory at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, starting March 7 in Sochi, Russia.

"We wanted to make this point to invite more viewers to follow the event, present it as a true, intense, awesome sporting competition," says Cavallone. The agency worked with Smuggler director Henry-Alex Rubin (who lensed 72andSunny's previous Paralympics work and co-directed the documentary film "Murderball") to achieve an edgy mood that Cavallone calls "real, raw and pitiless. The last thing we wanted to be was tear-jerking. There's nothing to cry about here."

The tone is similar to Procter & Gamble's "Tough Love" spot from Wieden + Kennedy, which unflinchingly focuses on youngsters participating in sports with the loving support of their moms. The Samsung ad is more low key and gritty, showing the adult athletes balancing grueling training regimens with child-rearing and other workaday responsibilities.

"It is incredible that in 2014 we still see campaigns where other-abled athletes are presented as objects of pity, on one end—or supermen, on the other," says Cavallone. "Isn't that incredibly patronizing? We think so. They are just athletes and they really don't care about their disability."

That point is driven home by the spot's conclusion as a voiceover says, "You know what my real problem is? I hate losing," and the end theme flashes on screen: "What's your problem? Sport doesn't care."

Bottom line: "They've got a lot of problems, the problems every athlete has," Cavallone says, "but their disability doesn't count as one."

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The 25 Companies With the Highest-Paying Internships


With some internships, you're lucky if you get some free food and the occasional swag. Other internships, apparently, pay you more than $6,000 a month.

Glassdoor, a job site that features reviews from anonymous employees, just put out its annual list of the highest-paying companies for internships. There are six companies on the list that pay more than $6,000 a month (which would work out to $72,000 a year) and one company that pays more than $7,000 (or $84,000 a year).

To put that in perspective, the median household income in 2012 was $51,017.

Odds are those interns eat better than you.

More about Internships, Business, and Jobs

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America's Most Social Small Businesses Face-Off


Love March Madness?

We sure do at Mashable, which is why we’re putting our own spin on things this March: Instead of pitting college basketball teams against one another, we've created a bracket to crown America’s Most Social Small Business, presented by Capital One Spark.

Earlier in February, we challenged small businesses all over the country to tell us why they deserve the title. After receiving a flood of submissions from businesses across a variety of industries, we vetted the entrants by dissecting their social presences, consumer engagement, short responses and company size and revenue numbers (not every small business stays small forever) Read more...

More about Small Business, Social Marketing, Business, Marketing, and Supported

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OndAzul: Nature Snap Facts

Advertising Agency: NBS, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Creative Directors: André Lima, Eduardo Almeida

Art Directors: André Havt, Luiz Otávio Guimarães

Copywriter: Philippe Lacerda

Production: Miguel Pacheco

Motion Graphics: Cláudio Portugal

Account Team: Tatiana Soter, Danielle Portella, Marina Gouvêa, Larissa Ximenes

Published: February 2014

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CRY (Child Rights and You) India: CRY invites you to vote for child rights

Advertising Agency: BBH, India

Creative Director: Russell Barrett, Manish Darji

Copywriter: Malhaar Rao

Illustrator: Manish Darji

Chief executive officer: Subhash Kamath

Chief creative officer: Russell Barrett

Directors: Manish Darji, Sushma Joseph

Managing director: Arvind Krishnan

Head of strategy: Sanjay Sharma

Visual design concept: Manish Darji

Business director: Sunil Tulsiani

Account manager: Rajeev Roy

Account team: Anas Dalvi

Planner: Yudhishthir Agrawal

Executive producers: Sushma Joseph, Rishit Mehta

Agency producer: Stuti Guha

Director of photography: Saish Kambli

Editor: Sushma Joseph

Music Director: Aaron Drakes

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Hey Big Spenders!

Club ownership in England's top flight has abandoned the age of butchers and bookies and embraced the world's garish mega-rich.

Cross-posted from Eight by Eight magazine

By Stan Hey

When I first started going to football matches as a 10-year-old in the early 1960s, it was very rare to know anything about the owners or chairmen of football clubs, the majority being long-serving aldermen, trusted accountants, and justices of the peace -- pillars of the local community with lots of professional initials after their names.

These owners managed a club's business and disciplines but otherwise kept low profiles, and media interest in them was nonexistent. There was, of course, an occasional exception when owners came into the public eye because of the achievements of their club or their own eccentric behavior.

The 1960, Division 1 champions, Burnley, were bossed by Bob Lord, a forthright local butcher with a chain of shops that provided the pies that served as supporters' staple prematch snack. Lord frequently mouthed off against the Football Association and offensively denounced "the Jews in London" running the game. Sidney Wale of Tottenham Hotspur, who did the League and Cup double in 1961, was equally vociferous. And though the Cobbold family -- owners of the 1962 champions, Ipswich Town -- were the epitome of country gentry, Lady Blanche Cobbold's successor Patrick later became the scourge of sports journalists by answering their phone calls with a brisk "fuck off" on the basis that they couldn't quote him and wouldn't call back.

The Moores family, headed by John, held majority shares in both Everton (1963 champions) and Liverpool (1964 and '66), funded by their famous football-betting-coupon and mail-order company Littlewoods, which was based in the city. Meanwhile, the larger-than-life Louis Edwards, a wholesale butcher, oversaw the Manchester United champion team of 1965 and '67. Pies, beer, meat, betting, and retail sourced the ownership of England's major clubs.

Fifty years on, a brief assessment of current club proprietors reveals oil, minerals, gas, and international finance as their source of wealth, and just as the commodities that fund ownership are now global, the owners are very far from being local. Russian, American, Emirati , Egyptian, and Malaysian billionaires now sit in the cushioned seats where the stolid English burghers once surveyed their empires. Joe Lewis, who rose from East London poverty to become one of the world's biggest currency dealers, owns Tottenham Hotspur but resides in Bermuda. Eleven of the 20 Premier League clubs in 2014 are technically in foreign hands.

This burst of overseas entrepreneurial interest in the English game could not have been envisaged in the dark decades of 1970-90, when hooliganism and stadium disasters accorded it pariah status. Investors walked away; the idea of floating clubs on the London Stock Exchange backfired too. Even the Edwards family wanted out of Manchester United. I was reporting from Old Trafford when new owner Michael Knighton celebrated the acceptance of his £20 million bid in 1989 and, like the fans, gasped in bewilderment as he ran onto the pitch in team kit, juggling a ball. It turned out that Knighton was more Walter Mitty than Charlie Mitten, a postwar United forward. Rupert Murdoch also bid but was repelled, though as football found out, he had another plan.

Murdoch's purchase of the media rights to the English game, just as the top 20 league clubs broke away from the other 72 to form the Premier League, created a new reservoir of wealth. Clubs wanted more broadcast revenue; Murdoch wanted more viewers. "Sport is my battering ram," he announced, and football headed the charge. The fees that Murdoch paid the Premier League (the most recent deal cost £2.3 billion) enabled the clubs to spend on exotic and expensive players. Significant names included Eric Cantona at United (via Leeds) and Dennis Bergkamp at Arsenal.

The profile of owners changed, too, in the 1990s: local stalwarts became serious entrepreneurs convinced that their investments wouldn't be a sentimental tossing of money down the drain. Steel millionaire Jack Walker put together a Blackburn Rovers team to win the Premiership in 1995, while Tottenham Hotspurs owner Alan Sugar, enriched by his Amstrad computers, invested in German star Jürgen Klinsmann -- though the future United States coach's abrupt departure for Bayern Munich left Sugar snorting, "I wouldn't wash my car with the signed shirt he gave me."

As the profile of the English teams spread through satellite coverage, massive merchandise revenue began to flow from the Asia-Pacific region, and the global branding enticed international owners. When the previously unknown Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2004, he established the model -- invest big money, pick the best coach for the job, win trophies, make profits, do what you like.

A year later, the Glazer family, owners of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, raised the stakes when they bought Manchester United for £790 million (a somewhat higher price than Knighton's £20 million) and introduced English football to the concept of the leveraged buyout. Randy Lerner, then owner of the Cleveland Browns and chairman of bank holding company MBNA, fell in love with football during a year at Clare College, Cambridge, and took Aston Villa off veteran owner "Deadly" Doug Ellis, so called for his penchant for sacking managers. Tom Hicks, the former owner of the MLB's Texas Rangers, and George Gillett, majority shareholder of the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, pitched up to buy Liverpool from the last of the Moores family, while Stan Kroenke, owner of St. Louis Rams, and Ellis Short, president of Lone Star Investment, upped their stakes to control Arsenal and Sunderland, respectively.

But the biggest coup came in 2008, when Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi fronted the purchase of Manchester City, rescuing the club from the grip of controversial Thai businessman tycoon and former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The Arab prince promptly mounted a 10 million petro-dollar assault on the title, succeeding in 2012. The boardroom portraits of all those familiar long-standing English owners were taken down. Their days were over.

This changed world has several common factors: increased ticket prices for the fans, higher wages for players, and a tighter control on the media. I once walked into Manchester United's old training ground at 7 a.m. and bagged an interview with Alex Ferguson; these days, at most clubs, you are vetted for any previously unhelpful views. Even the managers have learned that job security is an oxymoron. Owners increasingly exercise power on a whim.

Not all fans of steroid-enhanced clubs are happy. United dissenters deplore the Glazers' loading of interest onto the club, and while last year's listing of shares on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $100 million, reduced the debt, it further distanced the club from its city. Most Villa fans worry about Lerner's austerity in the transfer market even after his $1 billion sale of the Browns. And though Arsenal paid £42 million for Mesut Özil, the Gunners faithful would like the riches of Kroenke and co-owner Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbek mining billionaire, to be deployed on a backup striker. Liverpool supporters, still scarred by the Hicks-Gillett fiasco, are warming up to John W. Henry -- he showed strong leadership in insisting that Luis Suárez was not for sale. But he also spent $70 million buying the Boston Globe, and they suspect that the World Series-winning Red Sox are closer to his heart.

Even Chelsea loyalists felt angry when Abramovich, having sacked a Champions League-winning manager, insensitively installed Liverpool's Rafael Benítez as interim manager. Cardiff fans grumbled when their Malaysian owner Vincent Tan changed the team colors from its historical blue to Asia's "lucky" red, before getting another shiver when Tan replaced the club's main administrator with a 23-year-old Kazakh friend of his son's. Emboldened by this victory, Vincent Tan has since behaved more like Vincent Price -- apparently phoning down to the bench to suggest in-game tactics and then dangling former manager Malky Mackay's future in a public e-mail. A fan protest brought a brief stay, but days after Christmas, the black-gloved Tan canned Mackay. Meanwhile, Hull City's Egyptian owner is about to rename the club as the Hull Tigers.

So, now many English fans are regretting this transition. None of the new owners have roots in the community. Most of them don't turn up for games and rarely give interviews. There's a sense of loss among many supporters. In my youth, Liverpool players passed by our house on their way to catch a bus to training and I cleaned manager Bill Shankly's Ford Corsair in a car wash, getting a Cup Final ticket for my trouble. Localism is all but gone. And the big fear is of retrenchment, that if something goes wrong back home -- a commodity-price plunge, a geopolitical shift -- the foreign owners will cash in their English holdings and walk, leaving behind a lot more than stale beer and unsold meat pies.

Issue 02 of Eight by Eight is available now. Download a free preview here.

eight by eight

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Ring of Fire miners want Ontario to start making decisions

Northern Ontario's Ring of Fire

Two of the biggest players in the Ring of Fire say the province has to start making decisions to move the mining development forward.

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California Storm Brings New Worries To Drought-Plagued Region

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A strong Pacific storm has brought rain and snow to much of California but so far no major problems have been reported.

There have been numerous traffic accidents early Friday, but mudslides have not materialized in Southern California suburbs below fire-scarred hillsides. About 1,000 homes in the cities of Glendora and Azusa were ordered evacuated Thursday in advance of the storm.

Rain is also reported up through the central coast counties, in the San Francisco Bay region and in the Central Valley. Winter storm warnings are in effect in the Sierra Nevada for heavy snowfall.

The storm is expected to last into Saturday.

Business Feed :

BBC and BSkyB reach agreement over retransmission payments

Corporation will no longer pay to have channels on satellite broadcaster's platform, saving £4.5m a year

The BBC and BSkyB have resolved their long-running row over retransmission fees with the corporation no longer having to pay to put its channels on the pay-TV platform, saving £4.5m a year in licence fee money.

They have also agreed a new long-term carriage deal for BBC services and the iPlayer on-demand service on Sky's satellite platform.

The BBC had threatened to start charging Sky for its content if it did not drop the annual fee, which also applied to the three other public service broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

ITV will also benefit, saving around £2m a year after reaching an agreement with Sky last month to drop the fee as part of carriage negotiations for its pay-TV drama channel ITV Encore.

In a joint statement, the two broadcasters said: "Sky and the BBC have reached an agreement which reduces the BBC's payments for platform services to zero.

"Alongside this, both parties have reached an agreement that secures the long-term availability of BBC channels and the BBC iPlayer on the Sky platform. We will also continue to discuss opportunities that offer viewers/Sky customers new and innovative ways to discover and consume BBC content."

The BBC had previously paid £4.5m a year in retransmission fees with the three other public service broadcasters, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, footing a combined bill of around £10m.

The issue was made a priority by the BBC's director of strategy and digital, James Purnell, and BBC director general Tony Hall.

The BBC raised the stakes last year, threatening to charge Sky for its content, following a call by culture minister Ed Vaizey for the satellite broadcaster to scrap the charges earlier in 2013.

The BBC has previously argued that its content underpinned Sky's profits and the charge should be dropped. Sky had argued that the BBC was benefiting directly from its billions of pounds of investment and technical services supporting its 49 radio and TV channels on the platform.

The BBC's retransmission bill was £10m a year until it was reduced three years ago.

• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".

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Mongolia's water scarcity could threaten its economic boom

The resource-rich country is riding high economically but a battle is brewing for water between people, mining and agriculture

The sight of foreign faces in Ulan Bator used to turn heads. Now they are two-a-penny as the once remote Mongolian capital fast becomes a hotspot for international investors. The main draw is the country's rich mineral deposits, which, if successfully exploited, could see the national economy more than double over the next two decades.

Impinging on that rosy picture, however, is the tricky question of water availability. The central Asian country suffers from extremes in seasonal runoff, local water stress and chronic deficits.

"In the coming two decades, water demand is expected to triple even as water suppliers are shrinking", states 2030 WRG, which predicts a 244,000 m3 per day water deficit by the end of the next decade. The link between water stress and mineral exploitation is where much of the concern currently lies. A substantial proportion of Mongolia's copper and gold reserves happen to be found in its driest spot: South Gobi. Rainfall in the desert area ranges between zero and a measly 50mm per year.

A range of potential infrastructure options is on the table. One of the most ambitious would see the country pump in water via a 600km pipeline from the Orphon River in the country's north. At $550m (£328.7m), the project's price tag puts its viability in doubt. Desalination represents another outside option. However, question marks hang over whether landlocked Mongolia has the deep pockets or indeed the hydrological conditions to make it happen.

For the moment, the onus is on mining companies making their operations as water efficient as possible. The World Bank-backed International Financial Corporation, for example, recently initiated a water management programme with most of the major mining operators in South Gobi. Among its early outputs is a pilot training package for companies on best practices.

"There's a lot to be shared and gained by visiting each another's projects and setting among ourselves the height of each other's bar", said Mark Newby, environment manager for Rio Tinto's huge Oyu Tolgoi copper-and-gold mine in South Gobi.

Oyu Tolgoi, which came on stream in 2013, is touted as a benchmark for the industry. The $6.2bn (£3.7bn) project draws all its water from a 560km2 subterranean aquifer, located about 400m below the desert surface. Over two-thirds (70%) of its water use is reclaimed, recycled and then reused. High efficiency tailings thickeners and reclaim processes account for the largest proportion of water savings at the mine, which operates a zero-water discharge policy.

From the "get-go", the company realised water efficiency would be make or break for the project, said Newby: "It's a fossil resource and if it's to be used up unreasonably quickly, then that just ends the mine life earlier". The mine is expected to use up one fifth of the aquifer's 6.8bn cubic metres during its projected 27-year lifespan, according to Rio Tinto's own calculations.

Campaign groups have claimed that Oyu Tolgoi could jeopardise local water availability. Rio Tinto maintains that an impermeable layer above its main aquifer separates the brackish water that it extracts from the cleaner, shallower water on which local communities depend. The company has also installed sensors in over 30 wells in the area and has trained local herders in their use, promising them real-time data on water levels.

Local concerns surrounding Rio Tinto's mine reveal an additional concern around mineral extraction's impact on agricultural. Mongolia's Southern and Central Zones occupy terrain traditionally used by nomadic herdsmen. Diverting already scarce water resources to mining could imperil their livelihoods, analysts warn. Similarly, water scarcity threatens the production of irrigated food crops, the problem is especially in the Central Zone, which provides Ulan Bator with much of its food supplies.

Shifting agricultural production to the country's east and west regions, where water resources are more plentiful, represents one potential solution. Again, a more obvious and more immediate answer is to promote water efficiency. Among 2030 WRG's early recommendations is an increase in the use of drip and sprinkler irrigation, coupled with improvements in fertiliser balance and pest control.

The most pressing water-related headache facing Mongolia relates to Ulan Bator itself. With around 1.3 million people, the capital city is home to over two-fifths of the total population. The city's infrastructure is already under huge strain, with access to clean water and sanitation facilities among the chief problems. Rural-urban migration is set to exacerbate these further in the coming years.

"In a high growth scenario, Ulan Bator could potentially run out of water between 2015 and 2021, which is not that far off", warned Alex Mung, head of the World Economic Forum's Water Initiative and an adviser to 2030 WRG.

Mung sees a key role for private water companies in terms of knowledge sharing and the co-financing of vital water infrastructure. He points to the example of South Africa, where municipal governments are offering private operators financial incentives to reduce leakages. The companies are remunerated according to their ability to stem water losses.

The traditional availability of water means many national firms have yet to grasp the urgency of the problem, said Mung. That will require a concerted awareness-raising effort. Learning to collaborate within the business sector and with government is another imperative, he argued: "The more we can do together, the better it will be for everyone and overall for Mongolia."

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