The Stream, September 1: Commission Formed To Study Myitsone Dam in Myanmar

The Global Rundown

A government commission in Myanmar aims to evaluate the social and environmental effects of the controversial Myitsone Dam, which opponents say could harm the Irrawaddy River. A burgeoning tourism industry is putting pressure on water supplies in Chile’s Atacama desert. State hearings began on water contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York, where tests at a landfill site showed excessive levels of the chemical PFOA. A new law in North Carolina will require Duke Energy to provide water lines or filtration systems to households near its coal ash pits, while a new law in California aims to penalize extravagant water use.

“Households that guzzle water — while their neighbors and most other Californians abide by mandatory reductions — will no longer be able to hide and persist in their excess.” –Jerry Hill, a state senator in California, on a new state law meant to discourage excessive water use. The law requires utilities to either charge higher base rates to households that use extravagant amounts of water during droughts, or to fine those households and make their names public. (The Mercury News)

By The Numbers

1,000 households Number near coal ash pits in North Carolina that will be provided with new water lines or filtration systems by Duke Energy due to a new state law. Associated Press

21,000 parts per trillion Concentration of the PFOA chemical found in monitoring wells at the Hoosick Falls Landfill in New York, prompting officials to declare it to be a potential Superfund site. State Senate hearings began this week on PFOA contamination of the drinking water in Hoosick Falls. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

A government commission in Myanmar is evaluating the legal, social, and environmental details of the stalled Myitsone dam, which is one of seven China plans to build on the Irrawaddy River. Protests in 2011 led Thein Sein, Myanmar’s president at the time, to suspend work on the project. The new commission’s report is expected on November 11. The Third Pole

On The Radar

Water supplies in indigenous communities within Chile’s Los Flamencos national reserve are under increasing pressure due to tourism, with more than 300,000 tourists visiting the reserve each year. Some residents say water sources have dried up, while others say the water is becoming saltier. Guardian