The Stream, September 23: Researchers Find Water Contamination In Eagle Ford Shale Region

The Global Rundown

Scientists found traces of contaminants, likely from industrial or agricultural sources, in groundwater wells in the Eagle Ford Shale region of Texas. A court in Spain issued fines to former executives and directors at the Cobre Las Cruces copper mine who were involved with water pollution violations. A fire at a power plant in Puerto Rico cut water service to hundreds of thousands of residents. Water and agricultural development projects in Nigeria are expected to benefit millions of people. Allowing residents to use cell phones to pay their water bills is improving payment rates and water service in Nairobi, Kenya.

“This new initiative has really changed our lives. Our water cannot be disconnected again, as it used to be. We can now request and pay our bills through our own mobile phones instead of queuing at the banking halls.” –Joab Omondi, who lives near Nairobi, Kenya, on the ability of the city’s residents to pay their water charges via phone. As a result, more people are able to pay their bills, and the city’s water utility is extending service connections to more homes. (Newsweek)

By The Numbers

4 million people Number in Nigeria who are expected to benefit from projects to improve agricultural production, including efforts to increase water access. The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government aid agency, is funding the projects. Reuters

340,000 residents Number in Puerto Rico who lost water service after a fire at a power plant that provides nearly a third of the island’s electricity triggered a blackout. The government declared a state of emergency on Thursday. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

Some drinking water wells within the Eagle Ford Shale region of Texas showed evidence of contamination with bromide and volatile organic compounds, according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington. While the researchers suspect the contamination is linked to industrial or agricultural activities, the study did not investigate the source of the pollutants. UPI

On The Radar

A Spanish court fined three former mining executives and directors involved with Spain’s Cobre Las Cruces copper mine $3,000 each for their role in a water pollution incident at the mine a decade ago. One of the former directors, Bill Williams, is now the president of Florida-based mining company Gogebic Taconite, which has pursued a controversial open-pit iron ore project near Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. Associated Press