The Stream, September 4: U.S. Army Corps Reaffirms Dakota Access Pipeline Environmental Permit

The Global Rundown

The U.S. Army Corps reaffirms its environmental permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Animal waste turns lakes green with algae in China. An outbreak of the waterborne disease leptospirosis hits flooded Kerala, India. German farmers fear that climate change could upset harvests for years to come. England’s major water utilities commit to lowering bills and cutting leakage. Hundreds of demonstrators in Basra, Iraq, clash with security forces in protests over faltering public services.  

“What we’re seeing now is that farmers are paying the bill for other people’s emissions.” –Bernard Krüsken, general secretary of the German Farmers Association, in reference to the current and future impact of climate change on Germany’s farms. This summer, harsh drought led to severe shortfalls in wheat, corn, and other crops. Many farmers were forced to slaughter cows due to a lack of feed. Many scientists and farmers fear that the situation will only worsen in the future as climate change plays out. NPR

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Toxic Water, Toxic Crops — India’s Public Health Time Bomb — Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food.

By The Numbers

10.5 percent Proportion that United Utilities, one of England’s major water companies, plans to cut water bills by between 2020 and 2025. Other English water companies are also pledging to lower rates and tackle ongoing leakage issues. The Guardian

30 to 70 percent Proportion of manure that was dumped directly into Chinese rivers in 2000, when the size of the country’s farms were expanding. Today, the rate of dumping is unclear, but animal husbandry continues to play a major role in polluting China’s lakes and rivers. Many waterways are turning bright green due to algae blooms from agricultural runoff, a process called eutrophication. The Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

On Friday, the U.S. Army Corps reaffirmed the validity of the environmental permit that it granted for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline, including environmental activists and tribal groups, had called for a review of the permit, which was originally granted last year. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe argued that oil spills from the pipeline could pollute the Missouri River, their main water source. Reuters

In context: At Standing Rock – Water, history, and finance converge as Sioux Nation mounts storied battle over Dakota Access pipeline.

On The Radar

A protest calling for basic services and an end to government corruption in Basra, Iraq, turned violent on Friday when protestors attempted to break into government buildings. Iraqi security forces squelched the demonstration, which was partly fueled by concerns over the high salt content in Basra’s drinking water. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, July 16: War, Drought, and Upstream Dams Hinder Water Access in Iraq.

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

Flood-hit Kerala, India, is facing an outbreak of leptospirosis, a waterborne disease transmitted through the urine of infected animals. As of Monday, 200 cases had been reported and nine deaths had been confirmed. Officials fear that other waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid, could begin to spread in Kerala. Reuters

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