The Stream, March 30: Polluted River Segments in India Double in Last Five Years
The Global Rundown
India’s rivers are getting dirtier while the prime minister proposes new measures to clean up the Ganges. Maryland’s largest city is telling homes and businesses to pay late water bills or face service cuts. West Virginia’s governor weakened a chemical safety law. A mining company cancels copper project in Peru over water protests.
“There are dams that are costing us money, destroying river systems, drying up wetlands, killing fish runs. When a dam no longer performs a function that is needed, we should remove it. If a facility is blocking passage of a valuable fish run, and no one’s using it or it’s crumbling, we ought to remove it.” — Daniel Beard, former head of the Bureau of Reclamation, a U.S. government agency, speaking about dams and water policy in the western United States. (High Country News)
By The Numbers
25,000 – Number of residential and commercial customers in Baltimore, Maryland, who are receiving notices of delinquent water bills and risk having their water service cut off if the bills are not paid within 10 days. Baltimore Sun
$US 1.4 billion – Size of planned investment in a mine in Peru that Southern Copper cancelled due to farmers’ protests that the mine would pollute water supplies. Bloomberg
Science, Studies, And Reports
The number of polluted river segments in India more than doubled over the last five years, to 302, according to the government’s pollution watchdog. Economic Times
Affordable federal flood insurance and an insurance program that covers its costs are often incompatible, according to a new report from the National Research Council.
On The Radar
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, proposed a federal commission to oversee the cleanup of the nation’s holiest river. The National Ganga River Basin Authority, an existing consultative body, would be given the power to halt pollution. Water management is currently a state responsibility. Times of India
West Virginia’s Democratic governor signed a bill that weakens chemical safety legislation that was passed in 2014 following a chemical tank leak that contaminated drinking water supplies for 300,000 in the state capital. Charleston Gazette
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton
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