The Stream, July 10: Great Barrier Reef’s UNESCO Heritage Status at Risk

Australia released a report Wednesday indicating that conditions at the Great Barrier Reef have dropped since 2009 from “moderate” to “poor”, Gulf News reported. Despite a successful decrease in agricultural runoff, the reef has been overwhelmed with “continuing poor water quality, cumulative impacts of climate change and increasing frequency and intensity of extreme events,” the report said.

Water Contamination
Japan’s atomic regulator is urging Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to finish its protective seawall prior to the planned completion in 2015, following the company’s recent discovery of groundwater radioactivity 244 times what is considered safe at one of its sites, Bloomberg News reported. Meanwhile, other nuclear plants are pressing for permission to restart reactors that were idled following the Fukushima atomic disaster in March 2011.

A recent survey by the British Environment Agency (EA) discovered metaldehyde in 81 of 647 drinking water sources in England and Wales, The Guardian reported. While “you’d need to drink 1,000 litres of water every day of your life to be affected,” Pond Conservation director Jeremy Biggs said, the survey prompted environmentalists to call for greater use of natural predators instead of chemicals.

Natural Disasters
Toronto’s population may have weathered the city’s heaviest rainfall in 76 years, but citizens still have far to go in restoring electricity and hydro systems, CBC News reported. The storm, which released 126 millimeters (4.96 inches) of rain in only two hours, created widespread power outages and left up to 10,000 people without electricity.

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