The Stream, April 9: Hundreds of Pesticides, Drugs Found in European Rivers

The Global Rundown

A study of European rivers finds contamination from hundreds of pesticides and drugs. Flooding in the Midwestern United States drives up ethanol prices. Sudan experiences a complete power blackout. Flood protection is too expensive for some riverside towns in the U.S. As eastern Zimbabwe recovers from widespread flooding, the rest of the country faces drought.

“The capacity of our lakes is very low with two of our dams, Seke and Harava going dry at 7 percent (capacity). We can no longer extract water from them.” –Richard Kunyadini, the Harare City Council water manager, in reference to low dams levels near Zimbabwe’s capital city. In eastern Zimbabwe, recent flooding and heavy rainfall left nearly 270 people dead, but other parts of the country are beginning water rationing due to parched conditions. Reuters

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By The Numbers

13 percent Proportion of ethanol capacity in the U.S. Midwest that halted due to recent flooding. The price of gasoline is rising in response, and could go as high as $4 per gallon in Southern California for the first time in five years. Reuters

In context: Historic Missouri River Flood Damages Water Infrastructure.

$4 million Cost of a flood protection proposal for Clarksville, Missouri, which currently has no defense against frequent flooding by the Mississippi River. Even with $2 million in assistance from the federal government and the state of Missouri, the city, which has an annual budget of $550,000, would still struggle to pay for the proposal. Several other river towns in the Midwestern United States are experiencing similar dilemmas. Minneapolis Star Tribune

Science, Studies, And Reports

A study of 29 European waterways revealed high levels of contaminants, including more than 100 pesticides and 21 drugs, some of which are banned. Additionally, the study represents only a portion of contamination, as the testing techniques covered only a subset of pesticides. Researchers say the contamination could be detrimental to wildlife and human health, and could foster the development of drug-resistant microbes. The Guardian

On The Radar

A nationwide power outage hit Sudan over the weekend, according to the country’s minister of electricity and water. Details on the blackout are limited, but government officials say that technicians are working to restore power. Reuters

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