The Stream, February 6: Lake Michigan Water Levels at Record Lows

Water levels on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron have reached their lowest point since record keeping began in 1918, surpassing the previous record low set in 1964, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. While warm, dry weather has drawn lake levels down, dredging of the St. Clair River has also contributed to a long-term decline in water levels on the Great Lakes.

Activists who oppose the Minas Conga gold and copper mine project in Peru are planning another wave of protests this year, as well as a referendum to take place in July, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Opponents of the mine are concerned that it will contaminate local water supplies.

Shortages of fresh water in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, are raising concerns about the spread of disease, SW Radio Africa reported. Some residents have been without fresh water for days, and are forced to use boreholes that have been commandeered by “unemployed youths” who charge for the water.

A tsunami, triggered by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, killed four people, destroyed 100 homes, and cut water and electricity in regions of the Solomon Islands, Bloomberg News reported.

Efforts by the oil and gas industry to develop nontoxic fluids for hydraulic fracturing could reduce the risk of environmental contamination, but salty wastewater remains a concern, the Associated Press reported. The cost of the new fluids and variations in shale rock that require different fluid mixes, however, could limit their acceptance.

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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