The Stream, January 12: Des Moines Sues Over Agricultural Water Pollution

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Iowa’s largest city is suing over agricultural nitrate pollution in its drinking water sources, while the U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal of regulations that keep more water in the Sacramento Delta. Researchers found metal pollution from oil sands in Canada’s Athabasca River to be negligible. Drought-hit Queensland, Australia, is expected to get heavy rain, and a new plan could take water from the state’s rivers to supply nine new mines. Nearly two thousand communities are contending with drought in Thailand, and an ongoing drought in Brazil is pushing up coffee prices again. Beijing is making progress on water conservation, officials say.

“When they build these artificial drainage districts that take water, polluted water, quickly into the Raccoon River, they have a responsibility to us and others as downstream users,”–Bill Stowe, general manager of Des Moines Water Works, on the decision by the utility in Iowa’s largest city to sue surrounding counties over agricultural water pollution. (NPR)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

12,000 megaliters per year Amount of water that a proposed water transfer would take from two Queensland rivers in order to supply nine new coal mines in the state. Guardian

2 liters per person Average drop in water consumption in Beijing, following a price increase last May and new water conservation rules for car washes, bath houses, and golf courses. Xinhua

1,838 communities Number affected by water shortages in Thailand, where drought has arrived earlier than expected. The Nation

12 percent Rise in coffee prices last week as investors took into account the ongoing drought in Brazil, the world’s largest grower. Bloomberg


Science, Studies, And Reports

A new study from researchers at Canada’s University of Waterloo suggests that the extraction of oil sands has little effect on metal pollution in the country’s Athabasca River. The researchers looked at river sediments in the Athabasca Delta, 200 kilometers downstream of oil sands activities. Environmental Research Web

An approaching weather system is expected to bring heavy rains to Queensland, Australia, where cattle farmers have faced drought for two years, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Reuters

On the Radar

On The Radar

The U.S. Supreme Court decided not to allow an appeal of court cases in California that challenged federal regulations in the Sacramento Delta. The regulations keep more water in the delta for the protected Delta smelt fish and were opposed by the regional agricultural industry, among others. Reuters

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply