An outbreak of Hepatitis E in South Sudan refugee camps has killed 26 people and infected more than 1,000, according to the United Nations News Centre. The virus is spread through contaminated food and water, and the problem could worsen with the rainy season and an influx of more refugees.
China’s agriculture minister warned today of increasing threats to the country’s food security, Reuters reported. The minister anticipates that over the next 10 years, the country will face shortages of water, land and labor.
A natural change in climate from wet weather patterns to drought was a major factor leading to famine, war, and the eventual decline of the Maya civilization, according to a new study published today in the journal Science. The authors eventually want to create models that show how climate can influence human society, Popular Science reported.
Leaks and Runoff
A nickel mine in Finland continues to leak water containing nickel and uranium into the surrounding environment, Yle reported. The leak occurred at a gypsum pond used to store waste water from Talvivaara mining company’s Kainuu mine.
Increasing water and sewage leaks from aging municipal pipes in U.S. cities highlight the need for infrastructure upgrades, but customers are pushing back against rate hikes, Businessweek reported. More than 240,000 water main breaks occur in the U.S. each year, according to estimates by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Read Circle of Blue’s coverage on America’s aging infrastructure here.
New storm water runoff regulations passed by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board establish limits for 33 contaminants to curb urban pollution, the Los Angeles Times reported. The new rules could cost $US 5 billion to $US 8 billion over the next 20 years, but supporters of the measure say it will improve water quality, recharge groundwater, and create wildlife habitat.