The Stream, June 2: Brazil Backs Belo Monte Dam

Brazil’s environment agency gave a go-ahead for the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, slated as a crucial energy source for Brazil’s fast-growing economy but frowned upon by native Indians and environmental groups, Reuters reports.

South Africa
South Africa has appointed a bulk raw water provider to oversee a short-term project to clean up acid mine drainage in a gold-bearing area surrounding Johannesburg, Business Day reports. Acid water from Johannesburg’s derelict underlying mines is rising up so fast that it threatens to seep into the city, foul up infrastructure and endanger the health of millions within a year.

Russia’s plans to lift its ban on grain exports, imposed after a severe drought last August, will help replenish Asia’s tight feed supplies, but the harsh weather in Europe and the United States will continue to put pressure on global wheat supplies, a Reuters analysis says.

China’s Costly Drought
China’s political mandate to provide cheap electricity and water has proved ruinous, The Wall Street Journal writes, as power companies in the country are enduring massive losses, and a severe drought in central and eastern China is crippling the hydropower capacity in the Yangtze River Basin. The article calls for a free-market solution, but government authorities seem unwilling to relax price controls, choosing instead to increase energy supplies and curb unreasonable demand.

Take a look at this Reuters photo gallery about China’s prolonged dry spell.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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