The Stream, October 5: High Bacteria Levels Found at Tokyo Olympic Swim Venue

The Global Rundown

Olympic organizers in Tokyo, Japan find high levels of bacteria at the proposed open-water swim venue. Four more ‘fatbergs’ are discovered in the sewers beneath London’s West End. Low monsoon rainfall threatens winter crops in regions throughout India. The Texas Water Development Board begins drafting the state’s first-ever flood plan in the wake of several major floods. Ten billion cubic meters of water have been transferred from southern to northern China as part of an ambitious water diversion project.


“Flood risk is not going away in Texas.” –Robert Mace, deputy executive administrator of the Texas Water Development Board, in reference to the need for the state’s first-ever flood plan. In addition to flooding from Hurricane Harvey, two other deluges crippled Texas communities earlier this year, prompting the development board to take action. The plan will evaluate statewide flooding vulnerabilities and propose projects to help mitigate them. Texas Tribune

By The Numbers

70 percent Proportion of Beijing’s water that comes from a massive water diversion project carrying water from southern to northern China. Ultimately, China hopes to supply the drought-prone north with a total of 44.8 billion cubic meters of water per year. So far, 10 billion cubic meters have been diverted over the course of three years, with 2.7 billion going to Beijing. Reuters


137.6 million tons Amount of food grains that India is hoping to produce during the winter crop season, which typically begins in October. Low monsoon rains and decreased reservoir levels are raising concerns about how well crops like wheat, oilseeds, and pulses will fare, however. The Economic Times   

Science, Studies, And Reports

Tests of the open-swim venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics revealed high levels of E. Coli and faecal coliform bacteria, according to a recent report. Tokyo officials blamed the spike in bacteria levels on record amounts of rain, which they say negatively impacted the water quality at Odaiba Marine Park. Organizers have pledged to improve water quality prior to the Games. Reuters

On The Radar

Thames Water has announced the discovery of four more ‘fatbergs’ in the sewers of London’s West End. The fatbergs consist of congealed fat, wipes, diapers, and hardened cooking oil and can cause major pipe blockages if undiscovered. A 130 tonne fatberg was found in London’s sewer system last month. The Telegraph