The Stream, February 11: Uranium Exposure From Contaminated Water, Soil a Growing Concern Near Johannesburg

Gold mining operations in South Africa have left rivers and soil near Johannesburg with elevated levels of uranium, raising concerns about the long-term health effects for approximately 400,000 residents in the area, Bloomberg News reported. Water samples taken from rivers west of the city showed uranium levels that could reach 4,000 times natural levels, and though drinking water for Johannesburg is currently safe, some nearby communities say they have no choice but to use polluted river water.

Water Supply
Water supplies have been rationed in several cities in Kosovo, including the capital Pristina, Bloomberg News reported. The supply cut is the worst in three decades, according to utility officials, and has been caused by a lack of rain and snow that feed the country’s reservoirs.

Maryland has become the latest state to introduce legislation aimed at cutting off supplies of water and electricity to government agencies that conduct electronic surveillance without warrants, Fox News reported. The legislation comes after revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, which has its headquarters in Maryland.

A proposed solar power facility in India is slated to be the biggest in the world, but its location near an internationally protected wetland around Sambhar Lake could curb its size and production capability, AlertNet reported. Drought and increasing water use in the area have caused the wetland to shrink, opening up land around the lake that would be used for the solar project if the project bypasses environmental review.

Scientists continue to study the composition of dark, finger-like shapes in a Martian crater, which they say could represent current, though seasonal, flows of water, CNN reported. The researchers used a spectrometer to study how the material absorbs wavelengths of light.

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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