The Stream, August 11: Mine Spill Contaminates Rivers in Northern Mexico

Approximately 10 million gallons of wastewater spilled from northern Mexico’s Buenavista copper mine last week, contaminating portions of the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers, the Associated Press reported. The rivers provide water to a number of cities and towns in the region, including Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora state.

The failure of a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia, which spilled 10 million cubic meters of wastewater into nearby waterways, could have regulatory implications for similar mines in the region, Bloomberg News reported. The company behind the Mount Polley mine, however, said the government has given no indication that it will stop efforts to open the company’s new Red Chris mine.

Middle East
A video released by Islamic State militants threatens Turkey if the country does not release more water from dams on the Euphrates River, RT reported. A drought in Syria and Iraq has created water shortages, which have been exacerbated by conflict in the region.

United States Water Scarcity
A severe, 3-year drought in California is changing the state’s agricultural landscape as farmers choose crops that produce more income for the amount of water they use, Bloomberg News reported. The changes could have implications for food markets in the United States and around the world. For example, corn acreage in California has dropped 34 percent and wheat acreage has dropped 53 percent from last year.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, a major business organization, is asking state officials to develop a water resources plan to address future supply gaps, the Indianapolis Star reported. A recent study released by the Chamber found that water supplies under current management would not be enough to meet future demand, especially in the state’s southern region.

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