The Stream, September 22: Second Toxic Spill at Mexico Mine in Two Months

The Buenavista copper mine in northern Mexico has spilled toxic waste into the Sonora River basin for the second time in two months, prompting the government to warn nearby residents not to use the water, the Associated Press reported. The mine is already facing a cost of $US 151 million to clean up a spill that occurred in August, and it could be required to pay more in fines.

Nutrient pollution is costing taxpayers in Florida nearly $US 2 billion to remove phosphorus from water that is sent to the Everglades, the Sun Sentinel reported. In an effort to solve the problem, the Everglades Foundation is offering a $US 10 million prize to anyone who can create a better way to remove the phosphorus from the water and recycle it for fertilizer.

The severe drought plaguing California may also be behind a spike in cases of West Nile virus, with the number infections in the state doubling from the same period last year, KPBS reported. State health officials theorize that mosquitoes and birds—the two animals needed to spread the disease—are coming into contact more often as they search for diminishing water supplies.

Water Supply
Parts of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, have been without water service for a week following a power outage that shut down the pumps that fill the city’s water reservoirs, IOL News reported. The city has been experiencing a period of high water demand due to a heat wave.

Pennsylvania’s third largest city, Allentown, is more than a year into a 50-year deal that leased its water and sewer system to a regional public utility company—a solution that may become more attractive to other cities short on funds, The Atlantic reported. The lease provided the city with $US 210 million up front and some future revenue, though some residents have raised concerns about potential hikes in water prices.

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