Despite fistfuls of money and decades of “action plans,” pollution in India’s Yamuna River, a Ganges tributary, has only gotten worse. The Hindu asks, “Is the Yamuna beyond help?”
The Times of India reports that water in Maharashtra state designated for irrigation is being diverted by government agencies to power stations.
South Africa won the right to host 70 percent of a new global radio telescope array, but a national law passed to attract the project could be used to prohibit hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, Reuters reports. The law allows the Science Ministry to regulate things that interfere with star-gazing—and the small earthquakes caused by fracking are something the ministry will consider.
The National Transportation Safety Board released documents from its investigation of a pipeline rupture that spilled more than 1 million gallons of oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010. InsideClimateNews reports that pipeline operators mistook warning signals as a false alarm and twice restarted high-pressure pumping.
The New York Times reports on the continuing decline of the American coal industry, from its Appalachian heart in eastern Kentucky.
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that groundwater may have saved crops in the Klamath River Basin during drought, but farmers are pumping more water than is being replenished.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton