The Stream, April 22: Earth Day Swimmer Brings Attention to U.S. Water Pollution

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

An environmental activist plans to swim New York City’s toxic Gowanus Canal to bring attention to water pollution on Earth Day. Exxon will pay millions to settle pollution violations in Arkansas, and Rio Tinto will pay millions to improve goodwill and water supplies in Mongolia. Thousands of people are still without water in Vanuatu, and nearly half a million people in Brazil were infected with dengue fever. Mexico residents are fighting for water law reforms.

“[The Gowanus Canal is] spiked with everything — every kind of toxin chemical and metal that we’ve been able to produce in the last 150 years, 200 years. Still, I want to do it.”–Christopher Swain, an environmental activist, on his plan to swim the entire length of the highly polluted canal in New York City today to mark Earth Day and raise awareness of water pollution. (CBS New York)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

100,000 people Number without clean drinking water in Vanuatu more than a month after Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific Island country, according to UNICEF. Reuters

$5 million Fines oil company Exxon Mobil will pay as part of a settlement over a 2013 pipeline spill in Arkansas, which the U.S. EPA said violated the Clean Water Act. EPA

$5 million / year Amount mining company Rio Tinto says it will spend to improve community relations and solve water problems near its Oyu Tolgoi copper project in Mongolia. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

By March 28, nearly half a million people in Brazil were infected with dengue fever this year, according to the country’s Health Ministry. The high number of cases is being driven in part by a drought in Sao Paulo, where residents have taken to storing water in containers that can provide breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry dengue. Bloomberg

On the Radar

On The Radar

As Mexico prepares to update its water laws, residents are fighting to improve water infrastructure, prevent water privatization and clean up polluted waterways. Inter Press Service

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