An initiative to install water filters in 65,000 restaurants in Mexico City aims to improve the safety of drinking water, and consumers’ confidence in it, the Associated Press reported. The city’s drinking water has a bad reputation for being contaminated, which experts say often happens in the distribution systems between water treatment plants and personal taps.
The debate over hydraulic fracturing has reached Washington, D.C.’s backyard, as water utilities and environmental campaigners voice concerns about proposals to drill for natural gas in the George Washington National Forest, the Washington Post reported. The groups worry that drilling could contaminate the Potomac River, which provides drinking water to 4 million people in the D.C. area.
A continuing leak from a coal ash storage basin into a North Carolina river has not contaminated drinking water for downstream communities, according to local officials, Bloomberg News reported. The leak is occurring at a closed coal-fired power plant owned by Duke Energy.
Drought and Hydropower
A drought in Brazil has pushed hydropower dam reservoir levels to an average of 40 percent full in the southeastern and central regions of the country, Bloomberg News reported. Meteorologists don’t expect significant rains to boost dam levels much before the country’s dry season starts in April, raising concerns about electricity prices.
Micro hydropower plants in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains are fragmenting important river habitat and breaking the country’s environmental laws, according to activists and scientists, the Guardian reported. The micro dam projects have become increasingly popular as “green” investments by the country’s financial and political elite, and many are subsidized by green tariffs.