The Stream, January 2: Pollution, Flooding & the Safety of Bottled Water

A pig farm in the Chinese town of Houtonglong has polluted water sources, created health problems, and made it difficult for local farmers to raise other animals, the Guardian reported. As China’s appetite for meat continues to grow, investment in large industrialized farms is also expected to rise.

A decision by India’s Supreme Court to ban production at 93 iron ore mines in Goa, which were found to be contributing to ground water pollution, will likely cause buyers in China and Japan to look elsewhere for their iron supplies, according to Bloomberg News. Though the measure has angered mine operators, experts say the “judicial activism” is a result of poor self-regulation by the industry and poor oversight by the government.

United Kingdom
Extensive flooding in the UK led to a strange sight: a seal climbing over flood defenses 50 miles inland in Cambridgeshire. Caught on film by walkers passing by, the video can be seen on the Guardian website.

A new study suggests that bottled water may not be as safe as tap water in the UK, due to differences in testing regulations, The Telegraph reported.

Extreme Weather
2012 was full of extreme weather for Sri Lanka, which suffered major flooding in December, Inter Press Service reported. A 10-month drought destroyed crops last summer before heavy rains brought floods in the fall, highlighting changing climate patterns in the country.

Many farmers in Zimbabwe are left defenseless against floods due to unpredictable shifts in rainfall and inadequate weather forecasting, AlertNet reported. The country’s government is researching policy actions to mitigate the effects of climate change and prevent economic losses from extreme weather.

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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