The Stream, March 28: Asbestos Water Pipes May Cost Australia Billions

The Global Rundown

Aging water pipelines made of asbestos cement will need to be repaired and replaced across Australia, costing billions of dollars. Bolivia warned that it will take Chile to international court over disputed water use along the Silala River. Low water levels in the Ganges River forced a power plant in India to shut down earlier this month. Local governments in the United Kingdom have spent hundreds of millions of dollars fixing the damage done by winter floods.

“Never before have we shut down the plant because of a shortage of water. We are being told by the authorities that water levels in the river have receded, and that they can do very little.” –Milan Kumar, a senior official at a 2,300-megawatt power plant near Farakka in India’s West Bengal state. The plant was forced to shut down earlier this month for 10 days because of low water levels on the Ganges River. (BBC News)

By The Numbers

$354 million Amount local governments in the United Kingdom had to pay for damages to public infrastructure due to this winter’s floods. Press Association

Science, Studies, And Reports

It could take $US 6 billion to safely remove and upgrade asbestos cement pipelines used to carry water in Australia, according to the Water Services Association of Australia. The pipes are beginning to come to the end of their useful lives, and though they do not pose a direct contamination threat to water, asbestos dust can be harmful if the pipes are disturbed. ABC

On The Radar

Bolivia has warned that it will take Chile to the International Court of Justice in order to safeguard its territorial waters at the Silala spring. Chile has used water from Silala spring, which is located in a border region, for mining and municipal water supplies. BBC News

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply