The Stream, January 23: Brazil Drought Spreads to Rio de Janeiro
The Global Rundown
Brazil’s severe drought is spreading throughout the country’s largest metropolitan regions, including Rio de Janeiro. Widespread floods in Africa have left thousands in need of food and water aid, while water scarcity in Gaza has led to a growing number of potentially unsafe desalination plants. Japan will miss its deadline to clean up contaminated water at Fukushima by several months, but drinking water contaminated by an oil spill in Montana is now safe to use again. A bloom of toxic algae is providing a glowing spectacle in Hong Kong. Water rates in suburban Detroit could rise by double digits this year.
“The region has seen alarming reservoir levels since January 2014. Now in 2015, the levels are very worrying, It’s a critical situation.”–Paulo Canedo, water management specialist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, on the water crisis in Brazil’s Southeast that is spreading to major cities like Rio. (Guardian)
By The Numbers
900,000 people Number affected by extensive flooding in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Aid groups say more funding is urgently needed to provide basic services like food and clean water. Reuters
14.1 percent Potential increase in water rates this year for suburbs outside of Detroit, the highest since 2002. Detroit Free Press
Science, Studies, And Reports
A bloom of toxic, glowing algae appeared this week along the coastline of Hong Kong. The “sea sparkle” bloom likely stemmed from an increase in phosphorus and nitrogen runoff from land. Washington Post
On The Radar
A scarcity of water in Gaza has led to a proliferation of private desalination plants, which are not properly regulated to ensure safety, according to experts. Al-monitor
Contaminated water at Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant will not be completely processed by a March deadline set by operator Tepco, the company admitted. Instead, the water is expected to be decontaminated by the middle of May. Reuters
Officials said it is now safe for residents of Glendive, Montana, to use their tap water. The city’s drinking water was contaminated by an oil spill from a pipeline in the Yellowstone River, and residents have been using bottled water since Monday. Associated Press
A news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.
Contact Codi Kozacek
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