The Stream, May 2: Chemicals Spill into a Bosnian River, Flooding Farmland and Killing Fish

The Global Rundown

An industrial spill in Bosnia pollutes the river Spreca, killing fish and polluting farmland. Cape Town dam levels rise for the first time in over six months following heavy rains. Studies show that the arid western U.S. is expanding eastward, threatening the region’s water supply. Pastoralists in southern Kenya adopt an app that uses satellite mapping technology to identify green pastures. The U.S. Supreme Court rejects an attempt by Constitution Pipeline Co to challenge New York state’s denial of a water permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline.

“This is extremely damaging for the environment. You can smell the dead fish.” –Miroslav Tanasić, the Serb Republic’s chief water inspector, in reference to an industrial spill in northern Bosnia. The spill occurred when a dike at a soda ash factory cracked, releasing chemicals into the river Spreca. In addition to killing fish, the contaminated water also flooded surrounding farmland. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – April 30, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a snapshot for the start of the workweek. Listen to this week’s edition to hear coverage on water access in India, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and water withdrawal from Lake Michigan.

HotSpots H2O, April 30: Spotlight on Herder-Farmer Conflict in West AfricaAn ongoing wave of deadly clashes in Nigeria is being perpetrated by “killer herdsmen.” The violence seems to be rooted in scarce resources.

By The Numbers

20.9 percent Current dam level in Cape Town, South Africa, versus 20 percent the week before. This is the first time dam storage in Cape Town has increased since at least October 2017. Bloomberg

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.

140 miles Distance that the arid lands of the western U.S. have expanded eastwards since the 1980s, according to two recent studies. As the soil dries, agricultural demand for water is increasing, jeopardizing the region’s already-stressed water supply. The Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Maasai herders in drought-stricken southern Kenya are turning to an app to help make informed migration decisions. The app, created by an NGO, uses satellite imaging technology to identify the closest green pastureland. For some pastoralists, utilizing the app has helped them halve the mortality rates of their cattle. Al Jazeera

On The Radar

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid by Constitution Pipeline Co to challenge a refusal by New York state to grant the water permit necessary for a natural gas pipeline. New York denied the permit in 2016, claiming that the company did not provide enough information to determine whether the pipeline met the state’s water quality standards. Reuters

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