The Stream, August 20: Structural Problems Threaten Iraq’s Mosul Dam

Iraq’s Mosul Dam, the largest in the country, is back under Iraqi and Kurdish control, but potential delays in maintenance during the fight over the dam have raised concerns about its structural integrity, Reuters reported. The dam has long needed almost constant maintenance due to flaws in its foundations, and a complete breach could flood the city of Mosul with 25 to 30 meters of water.

Drinking water intakes for communities on a portion of the Ohio River, including Cincinnati, were closed Tuesday to keep out an oil spill released from a Duke Energy power plant, Bloomberg News reported. Various agencies have released estimates of the amount of diesel fuel spilled into the river, ranging from 13,248 liters (3,500 gallons) to 30,283 liters (8,000 gallons).

Efforts to build an ice blockade to stop groundwater from entering Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant have failed, the Telegraph reported. The plant’s operator, Tepco, said it will try other solutions to try to reduce the amount of contaminated water, including a cement barrier and a filter that could slow the flow of water.

Mining company GVK Hancock was able to negotiate a lower payment for environmental offsets with the Australian government, leading to criticisms that the offset program is not based on science, the Guardian reported. The payments are for projects to offset the destruction of wetlands and the dredging of seabed within the Great Barrier Reef marine park that will occur when the company builds its Abbot Point coal terminal.

Extreme Weather
Five inches of rain fell near Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday, setting off flash floods that closed roads and prompted water rescues, the Washington Post reported. In the city, an inch of rain fell in just 15 minutes.

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