The Stream, August 31: Hurricane Isaac Causes Shipping Headaches on Mississippi

Hurricane Isaac
Hurricane Isaac, which hit land Tuesday evening near New Orleans, has brought barge traffic on the Mississippi River to a crawl, Bloomberg News reported. The backup is expected to further slow exports of grain from the United States.

For almost 24 hours on Tuesday, strong winds and storm surge from the hurricane reversed the flow of the Mississippi so that water pushed upstream at 182,000 cubic feet per second, according to measurements taken by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Evacuations were ordered Thursday after officials warned that a dam on the Tangipahoa River in southern Mississippi could fail, allowing water to flood nearby communities, Good Morning America reported.

South America
A multimedia report from Yale Environment 360 looks at indigenous rights, environmental protection and economic growth in the context of a Bolivian highway project.

Farmers in Brazil are pressuring the government to develop the country’s vast river networks to combat high crop transport costs that are up to four times greater than those in the U.S., Reuters reported.

Natural Resource Extraction
Gold mining in Ethiopia brings the promise of greater development and could help the country’s economy diversify from its agricultural base, the Guardian reported. Mining, however, does not guarantee wealth for Ethiopia’s population and could cause water problems if not properly regulated.

A U.S. energy company operating in Mexico has received the go-ahead to use non-hydraulic fracturing technology to extract shale oil, according to United Press International. The technology does not use water to fracture rocks and release oil.

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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