The Stream, April 25: Coral Reef Discovered At Mouth of Amazon River

The Global Rundown

Scientists found a massive coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon River, where oil exploration is already taking place. Saudi Arabia fired its water minister amid a public backlash against rising water prices. An iron ore mine in Brazil is still leaking tailings from containment dams, according to a prosecutor. A drought in Cuba has forced thousands of residents to rely on water tanker trucks for their supplies. India will require testing bottled water for bromate, a carcinogen, by the end of the month. The world needs to invest more to prepare for natural disasters in an era of climate change, according to a United Nations official.

“If you see that we’re already spending huge amounts of money and are unable to meet the humanitarian need – and then you overlay that with not just population growth … [but] you put climate change on top of that, where we’re seeing an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters, and the knock-on effects with respect to food security and conflict and new viruses like the Zika virus or whatever – you realize that the only way we’re going to be able to deal with these trends is by getting out ahead of them and focusing on reducing disaster risk.” –Robert Glasser, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, on the consequences of underinvesting in natural disaster mitigation. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

70,000 people Number in eastern Cuba who are receiving water from tanker trucks due to a drought that has affected 260 water supply sources across the country. EFE

$277,000 Daily fine Brazilian iron miner Samarco will have to pay if a judge decides it is still leaking pollution from tailings dams at its mines, as a prosecutor has alleged. Reuters

April 30 Date a new rule will go into effect in India mandating tests for bromate, a carcinogen, in bottled water. The Times of India

Science, Studies, and Reports

In an unusual twist, scientists discovered a 9,300-square-kilometer coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon River. The area is also the site of oil exploration in Brazil, with 80 blocks already sold near the river’s mouth. Guardian

On The Radar

A backlash from consumers angered by rising water prices culminated in the dismissal of Saudi Arabia’s water and electricity minister. The country, hit by falling oil prices, has been cutting government subsidies for utilities and fuel. Bloomberg

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