The Stream, September 13: India Water Dispute Sparks Violent Protests

The Global Rundown

A Supreme Court ruling regarding a water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu triggered violent protests in India on Monday. Airstrikes on a water well in Yemen killed at least 30 people over the weekend, according to the United Nations. Flooding in Mali’s Inner Niger Delta this year could be the worst in five decades. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may relax guidelines regulating the amount of radioactive contamination that can be present in drinking water after nuclear disasters. High levels of nitrates continue to plague the drinking water in more than two dozen Western Australia communities. Aging water infrastructure could increase antibiotic resistance and the cost of bacterial infections in the United States, a study found. A metals company in Russia confirmed a spill at one of its plants turned a nearby river bright red last week.

“Our only appeal is if you are protesting, please protest peacefully…We know injustice has been done to Karnataka.” –G. Parameshwara, home minister of Karnataka, speaking Monday after India’s Supreme Court ruled that the state is required to release nearly 340,000 liters of water per second from the Cauvery River to Tamil Nadu until September 20. Despite his plea, protesters burned cars and riot police were deployed, killing at least one person. Dry conditions in the river basin this year escalated tensions between the two states over irrigation supplies. (The New York Times)

By The Numbers

30 people Number killed at a water well in Yemen by Saudi-led airstrikes over the weekend, according to the United Nations. The UN reported that the attack wounded 17 others. Associated Press

26 communities Number in Western Australia where persistently high levels of nitrates have been found in the drinking water, prompting restrictions for pregnant women and infants. ABC News

50 years Time since the Inner Niger Delta in Mali experienced flood levels as high as those expected to occur this year, according to conservation group Wetlands International. Floods over the next several months could cover an area 2.5 times greater than during dry years. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Bacterial infections caused by pathogens found in public drinking water systems are increasingly costly and linked to antibiotic resistance, according to a study published in the Journal of Public Health Policy that looked at infections among the elderly in the United States. The study’s authors warned that aging infrastructure could worsen the problem, and called for better testing for pathogens in water systems. UPI

On The Radar

New drinking water guidelines proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would allow much higher levels of radioactive contamination in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster or attack. The agency asserts temporary exposure to the higher levels would not significantly increase risk to human health, but detractors argue it would allow unacceptable cancer threats. The Wall Street Journal

Russia’s Daldykan River turned a bright red last week due to overflow from a filtration dam at the Nadezhda metallurgical plant, according to Norilsk Nickel, the plant’s owner. The company, however, insisted that the spill “does not present a danger” to people or wildlife. AFP