The Stream, June 6: Sewage and Solid Waste Pollute Rivers In Kerala

The Global Rundown

A new report identifies the dumping of sewage and solid waste as a key driver of poor water quality in Kerala’s rivers. Officials in Arizona are asking President Donald Trump to allow more uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, which could threaten water supplies for Native American communities. To enforce its water restrictions, Cape Town, South Africa is instituting higher fines and potential jail terms. Business and shipping interests in Canada and the United States warn that releasing more water from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River Seaway could be very costly. Techniques to conserve and improve soil helped farmers in Indonesia weather the El Nino drought last year. Researchers say Mars was once home to much more water than previously thought.

“I would imagine early Mars as being similar to what we have on Earth — with an ocean, lakes, running rivers and rainfall.” –Wei Luo, a professor and researcher at Northern Illinois University, commenting on a study he led that concluded Mars once held much more water than previously estimated. (Science Daily)

By The Numbers

$50 million Amount, per day, that businesses in Canada and the United States could lose if higher water releases from Lake Ontario forced commercial shipping to stop along the St. Lawrence River Seaway, according to industry officials. The governor of New York has called for the release of more water to alleviate record high water levels on the lake. New York Upstate

70 percent Increase in crops harvested by farmers using conservation agriculture techniques compared to those using traditional methods during the El Nino drought in Indonesia last year. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization hopes more farmers will adopt conservation agriculture to improve their soils, making crops more resistant to climate shocks. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Sewage discharges and solid waste dumping are driving poor water quality results in rivers across Kerala, according to a report by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management. The report assessed five river basins in the Indian state, including the Bhavani, Chittari, Mogral, Pambar, and Shiriya basins. It found the highest proportion of poor water quality samples in the Mogral basin. The Hindu

In context: Failing septic systems in the United States produce disease outbreaks, algae blooms, and ecosystem damage.

On The Radar

A draft letter from county officials in Arizona calls on the Trump Administration to lift a ban on the expansion of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. Native American communities and conservationists worry that more mining could contaminate water supplies in the area. Guardian

Residents who repeatedly flout the water use restrictions in place in Cape Town, South Africa could face fines of more than $700 or be sent to jail, according to a city statement. Water usage in the city, which is experiencing its worst drought in a century, remains 48 million liters above target levels. News24