The Stream, March 29: Drought Continues in Northeast Brazil

While Brazil’s major crop growing areas are producing a record soybean harvest, the country’s northeast region is still suffering a severe drought, Aljazeera reported. This photo slideshow focuses on the heavy toll being paid by cattle ranchers.

Pollution Clean-Up
China is setting aside $US 16 billion over the next three years to reduce pollution in Beijing, Reuters reported, citing China Daily. The budget includes plans for setting up 47 water recycling plants and upgrading 20 sewage disposal plants, among other efforts.

Thailand is developing a mobile water filtration system to provide drinkable water after natural disasters, like the country’s 2011 floods, according to The system uses nanoparticles to help filter out bacteria that can be present in flood waters.

U.S. Shipping
Large commercial shipping vessels making their way into U.S. waters will now be required to treat their ballast water with ultraviolet light or chemicals in order to kill any organisms in the water, according to a new rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Associated Press reported. The rule is aimed at keeping invasive species out of the country’s waterways.

In the Great Lakes, low water levels are reducing shipping cargo loads by 9 to 15 percent, according to a report from the Green Bay Press-Gazette and the Associated Press. Dredging and a slight rise in lake levels could aid the shippers in coming months, but the lakes are expected to remain at below average water levels.

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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