The Stream, January 30, 2020: Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Deluged by 32 Inches of Rain in 4 Weeks

The Global Rundown

In less than a month, 32 inches of rain deluge Brazil’s sixth-largest city. A group of six banks provides a $650 million loan to Kuwait to finance a water treatment plant. A no-confidence vote against the Bulgarian government over a recent water crisis fails. Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives propose $760 billion in infrastructure spending over the next five years. Banned chemicals, including pesticide DDT, are found in the tissues of dolphins swimming in waters flowing to the Great Barrier Reef

“With PCBs, DDT and HCBs – these have been linked to mass mortality events. We know they have health implications and can affect the dolphins’ immune system and make them more susceptible to other diseases. These elements have been banned from Australia and many other countries, but because they are persistent contaminants they survive for a long period of time.” –Dr. Daniele Cagnazzi, a marine ecologist at Southern Cross University, in reference to banned chemicals found in the tissue of dolphins swimming in water near the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers found the chemicals in 68 percent of dolphins tested, and said that concentrations have risen in comparison to previous tests. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

$760 billion Size of a proposed infrastructure planning bill introduced by U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday. Water is one type of infrastructure emphasized in the five-year plan, along with roads, bridges, internet expansion, and electric grids. Reuters

$650 million Amount that a consortium of six local and international banks has agreed to loan Kuwait for wastewater treatment plant. The 26-year loan will provide funds for the Umm al-Hayman Company for Waste Water Treatment project. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has received an unprecedented 32 inches (81 centimeters) of rain in the past 27 days, including 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) in a 24-hour period last week. The torrential rains have caused deadly flooding and landslides, with a death toll of 53 people as of Wednesday afternoon. The Washington Post

On the Radar

A no-confidence vote lodged against the Bulgarian government over a recent water crisis failed to pass on Wednesday. The town of Pernik, Bulgaria, has been facing severe water outages for several months, and former Environment Minister Neno Dimov was recently ousted over the crisis. Reuters

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