The Stream, February 14, 2019: Toxic Mud from Brazil Dam Collapse Poisons Indigenous Water Source

The Global Rundown

Mining waste from last month’s dam collapse in Brazil taints the Paraopeba river, the main source of food and water for the Pataxo indigenous tribe. New California Governor Gavin Newsom voices support for a single tunnel traversing the California Delta. Flint, Michigan, agrees to use scientific modeling to verify which homes have lead or steel water lines in need of replacement. A report finds that water flows in crucial parts of Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin are worse than before the controversial basin plan was implemented. Caribbean nations search for solutions to chronic water scarcity.

“It’s completely contaminated, they killed the river. It’s dead.” Angoho, a member of the Pataxo indigenous tribe, in reference to mining waste in the Paraopeba river following Brazil’s recent tailings dam collapse. Officials say dangerous levels of lead, mercury, and other heavy metals are poisoning the river. Residents of the area have been warned to stay at least 100 meters away from the river, which is the main source of food and water for the Pataxo tribe. Al Jazeera

In context: What’s Up With Water – Brazil’s Water After Rupture of Mining Waste Dam.

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By The Numbers

8,000 Water lines that have been replaced in Flint, Michigan, since the city’s water crisis began in 2014. Thousands of lines still need replacement, however, and a majority of last year’s excavations occurred at homes with copper lines. Going forward, the city has agreed to use a scientific model to help better determine which homes have lead and steel water lines. Detroit Free Press

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.

$8.5 billion Amount that has been spent on Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin Plan since 2010. The plan, which is supposed to help restore healthy flows in the sprawling river system, has been mired in controversy from the start. Recently, a report found that water flows at key sites have actually declined since the plan began. The Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Several Caribbean nations are among the most water-stressed in the world, according to the World Resources Institute. On many islands, the problem is worsening as rainfall diminishes and aquifers run low. Caribbean nations are considering water-scarcity solutions such as desalination, wastewater conversion, and atmospheric water generation, but in many cases, the cost of such projects is too high. Forbes

On The Radar

California Governor Gavin Newsom has voiced support for a one-tunnel California Delta project, as opposed to the two-tunnel plan championed by his predecessor Jerry Brown. Constructing a single delta tunnel would save money, but could also require a new set of environmental reviews, slowing the already-delayed project. The Sacramento Bee

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