The Stream, March 11: Radioactive Water Still Biggest Problem at Fukushima

Leaks of contaminated water from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami three years ago, are still the biggest problem facing the site’s cleanup, the Associated Press reported. Without improved water management that can keep the leaks out of the soil, groundwater and ocean, residents who evacuated the site are unlikely to return home, officials say.

South Africa
To protect water as a basic human right, water supply companies in South Africa need to provide access to poor communities that may not be able to pay and that currently are forced to use contaminated water, according to a report from the South African Human Rights Commission, Businessweek reported. The commission said that water needs to be considered as a right instead of a commodity to be bought and sold.

Heavy rains in northern South Africa have pushed dam reservoirs levels to more than 100 percent full, prompting authorities to release large amounts of water downstream, Bloomberg News reported. The opening of dam gates is meant to alleviate pressure on the dam walls, but could also cause flooding.

United States

A series of earthquakes that hit Oklahoma in 2011 were likely the result of pumping oil and gas drilling wastewater underground, according to a United States Geological Survey study, Reuters reported. The primary earthquake was 5.7 magnitude and created thousands of aftershocks.

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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