The Stream, December 7, 2021: Failed Manure Storage May Have Caused Water Contamination in British Columbia


  • A town in Australia is denied grant for water supplies.
  • The United Kingdom prepares for Storm Barra as many homes still recover from another major storm.
  • A proposed rule along the Hunter River in New South Wales could impact irrigation for upstream farmers.
  • Canadian officials warn residents of possible water contamination after massive floods swept across British Columbia. 

An Ecuadorian court rules against a mining operation in a protected rainforest.

“The rights of nature, like all the rights established in the Constitution Ecuadorian law, have full normative force. They are not only ideals or rhetorical statements, but legal mandates.” – Judge Agustín Grijalva Jiménez. Ecuador’s Constitutional Court ruled last week that mining in a protected region of the Los Cedros rainforest violates the rights of nature. The decision will force Ecuador’s government to revoke mining permits to state mining company Enami and its Canadian partner, Cornerstone Capital Resources. Ecuador became the first country in the world to include the rights to nature in its constitution.


In Case You Missed It:

HotSpots H2O: Ongoing Madagascar Famine Is Driven By Poverty, Not Climate Change – A new study shows the vulnerability of the world’s poorest nations even without climate breakdowns, its authors say.

What’s Up With Water—December 6, 2021 – This week’s episode covers illegal destruction of wetlands in Uganda, a new mapping project in California, and state officials and conservation groups in Virginia celebrating a massive environmental clean-up project.

Australian Town Denied Grant For Water Supplies, Receives Dance Classes Instead

When the Black Summer bushfires tore through the Blue Mountains community of Bilpin last year, fire trucks didn’t have enough water to put out the flames, causing 12 homes to burn. In the wake of the fire, residents applied for a grant to secure their water supply for future disasters. After the application was denied on a technicality, residents were dismayed to find that a community group from an unaffected area had been granted $300,000 to provide dance classes in Bilpin. One resident who helped apply for the denied grant, Kooryn Sheaves, said that while she saw the merit of the dance classes, water storage would better suit the needs of the community. “We desperately need roadside water storage at our disaster management areas to make us more resilient in bushfires,” she said.


1,600 HOMES

More than 1,600 homes were still disconnected from heat and hot water on Monday in northeast England after Storm Arwen hit the United Kingdom nearly two weeks ago. The announcement comes as the U.K. prepares itself for Storm Barra, which is forecast to make landfall this week with gusts of more than 80mph.


A 10-year-water-sharing plan in New South Wales is coming to an end. A new rule proposed to replace the plan would implement a cease to pump rule based on salinity levels at one station along the Hunter River. Some irrigators in the area say that the proposed rule would impact their land without reason. “I am further upstream,” said irrigator Julia Wokes, “so having a cease to pump rule based on just one number denies the historical use of the river and the businesses that are based on it.”


After heavy rainfall caused severe flooding and destroyed homes and farms in British Columbia, Canada, officials are warning residents in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley of water contamination. The heavy rain may have caused liquid manure storage systems in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley may have overflowed or failed, officials said. Another city, Merritt, has remained under a boil water advisory since residents were returned home after the floods.

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