The Stream, May 15: Impaired Surface Waters in Iowa on the Rise

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A number of children in Nigeria have died of lead poisoning after a local water source was contaminated by illegal gold mining. A report from the Iowa DNR says that impaired surface waters in the state are on the rise. The United Nations believes ocean release should be an option for dealing with contaminated water from the Fukushima meltdown.

“The IAEA team believes it is necessary to find a sustainable solution to the problem of managing contaminated water. This would require considering all options, including the possible resumption of controlled discharges into the sea.” — Quote from an International Atomic Energy Agency report on dealing with contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. (Bloomberg)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

28 – Number of children in Nigeria confirmed to have been recently killed by lead-contaminated water. The children, all under the age of five, drank from a local stream contaminated with lead. The lead is believed to be the result of illegal gold mining by the villagers. 37 other children were sickened, and a number of livestock also died. Reuters Canada


Science, Studies, And Reports

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has reported that the number of water bodies in the state classified as “impaired” has increased by 15 percent in two years. Of the water bodies assessed, 50 percent are impaired. The leading cause of impairment is high levels of bacteria due to manure spills and waste leaks coming from large hog and cattle operations. KCCI Des Moines 

On the Radar

On The Radar

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has advised Tokyo Electric and Power Company (Tepco) that it may need to consider releasing water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdowns into the Pacific Ocean. It has also offered scientists to help with offshore monitoring of radioactivity. In the four years since the disaster, storage tanks have been built onsite to hold large quantities of contaminated water, but leaks and groundwater contamination have been an issue. Local fishermen and environmental groups have protested previous releases into the ocean. Bloomberg

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