The Stream, April 2, 2020: China Tailings Dam Leak Contaminates 110 Kilometers of Hulan River

The Global Rundown

A leak from a tailings dam at a molybdenum mine in Heilongjiang, China, taints water up to 110 kilometers (68 miles) downstream. The U.S.-based brewer Constellation Brands Inc accepts the results of a public vote in Mexico calling for the cancellation of a brewery in the town of Mexicali. Ecosystems in the United Kingdom break down amid repeated flooding. California rolls out new regulations on State Water Project deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. An Australian human rights group urges a review of pollution caused by a large copper mine in Papua New Guinea

“Polluted water from the mine pit flows unabated into local rivers, turning the riverbed and surrounding rocks an unnatural blue.” –A report by the Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne, Australia. The report alleges that a copper mine run from the early 1970s until 1990 by Bougainville Copper (BCL), a unit of Rio Tinto Ltd., contaminated drinking water for 12,000 to 14,000 people in the Jaba-Kawerong valley. Although the mine was shuttered 30 years ago, the human rights report argues that the contamination is still affecting local communities, and that Rio Tinto should be involved in addressing the issue. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Covid-19 – Water: Live Blog — The volume of Covid-19 news can be overwhelming. We’ve started a live blog, updated throughout the day, to help you sort through it. It’s a library for how water, sanitation, and hygiene connect to the pandemic, both in the US and globally.

HotSpots H2O: U.S. Federal Judge Calls for Full Environmental Review of Dakota Access Pipeline — Last week, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg struck down federal permits for the Dakota Access pipeline, calling for a full environmental review of the controversial crude oil line that Native American tribes and other activists have opposed for years. 

What’s Up With Water – March 30, 2020 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on waste dumping in Malaysia, a new ruling on environmental permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the first round of bids for construction of a major canal on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey. 

By The Numbers

36,000 Residents of Mexicali, Mexico, out of a total population close to 1 million, that participated in a public vote to determine the fate of a large brewery being constructed by the U.S.-based Constellation Brands Inc. Around three-quarters of voters called for the project, which has raised environmental concerns, to be cancelled. Constellation accepted the decision this week. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O: Public to Decide Fate of Contested Brewery in Northern Mexico

110 kilometers (68 miles) Stretch of river that was contaminated after a tailings dam leak at a molybdenum mine in Heilongjiang, China. Water containing waste molybdenum ore flowed into the Hulan river following the spill, which occurred Saturday. An industry source says that molybdenum itself is not toxic, but that oil present in the tailings dam mix could pose a threat to aquatic life. Reuters 

Science, Studies, and Reports

Repeated flooding is proving detrimental to some United Kingdom ecosystems, experts warn. Along the Lugg River, the meadows surrounding are turning anoxic from months of flooding, and a wide range of plants and animals are being killed or threatened. Scientists say the climate is shifting too quickly for ecosystems to properly adapt, something that could lead to a devastating loss of wildlife. The Guardian

On the Radar

After the Trump administration relaxed endangered species protections in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the state crafted its own set of regulations for use of the delta water, which were unveiled this week. Protections for endangered fish species remains a key issue, one that conservation groups still argue has not been adequately addressed. Other water users claim that the regulations are too strict. Los Angeles Times


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply