The Stream, February 8: Brazil Dam Failure May Lead to Homicide Charges

The Global Rundown

Brazil may charge executives at a mining company for homicide over a tailings dam failure that killed 17 people. Radioactive water seeped into groundwater at a New York nuclear plant, though officials say it is contained. Egypt needs billions of dollars to finance water treatment plants, two major U.S. science agencies are investigating the current El Nino, and residents in a Louisiana town are bringing attention to long-standing water quality issues. A toilet that uses no water could help bring sanitation to developing countries.

“It’s just a given fact that at some point during the week, you’re going to have brown or yellow water.” –Garrett Boyte, a resident of St. Joseph, Louisiana, on water quality problems in the town that have been simmering for years. (NPR)

By The Numbers

$2.8 billion Amount needed to finance water treatment plants in Egypt, where they are needed to process 3 billion cubic meters of water each year. Bloomberg

65,000 percent Increase in radioactivity levels in water at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York, where a spill of contaminated water seeped into groundwater near the plant. Officials say the radioactive water is contained. CBS News

Science, Studies, And Reports

Over the next two months, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct a large-scale project to analyze the current El Nino, one of the strongest on record, and improve weather forecasts. The cyclical weather phenomenon is linked to severe droughts and floods around the world. Guardian

A new type of toilet, called the nano-membrane toilet, could be used to provide sanitation in developing countries where access to services like water and electricity are scarce, according to researchers. The toilet does not use water, instead using a membrane to separate human waste into byproducts that could be used as fertilizer. Guardian

On The Radar

The failure of tailings dams at an iron ore mine in Brazil last November, which killed 17 people, could lead to homicide charges against the executives of Samarco, the mine’s operator. Brazilian police said they have enough evidence to support the charges, according to the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper. Reuters

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