The Stream, May 28, 2021: Australian Coal Mine’s Water Withdrawals Need Deeper Analysis, Court Says


  • Australia’s government should have conducted a more thorough analysis of the impacts of water withdrawals for the controversial Carmichael coal mine, a court rules.
  • Study shows fish farms in British Columbia can transmit a virus to wild salmon.
  • An outburst of mucus-like marine algae is blanketing Turkey’s Sea of Marmara
  • The African Development Bank approves a new water policy that will shape the bank’s lending.

A water utility in Mississippi is taking over small systems and improving their operations.

“It’s like night and day. When Black Bayou took over, the water come on, the water keep going.” — George Reynolds, who is 60 years old and lives in an unincorporated community in the Mississippi Delta. Black Bayou Water Association is a water utility that has been acquiring small systems in Mississippi and improving their operations. Gulf States Newsroom reports that Black Bayou took over Reynolds’ former water provider in 2017. The utility was founded in 1988 with 350 customers and now has about 2,700. Black Bayou estimates that water bills are slightly higher — about $20 a month more expensive than comparable neighboring systems — but service is better.

In context: In Bid for Cleaner Water, California Seeks Arranged Utility Marriages
In Louisiana, Officials Pursue Fixes for Indebted, Failing Water Systems


In Case You Missed It:

50 Years and Billions Spent: Universal Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Draws Closer to Epic Goal
After months of research and interviews with dozens of authorities on five continents, WASH Within Reach unravels the complexity of a global sector that now spends over $20 billion a year and is on its way to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: clean water, safe sanitation, and hygiene for everyone on Earth by 2030.

‘Sea Snot’ Clogs Turkey’s Sea of Marmara Shores

An outburst of marine algae called phytoplankton is blanketing the Sea of Marmara, the Washington Post reports. The phytoplankton are covering Turkey’s shorelines in thick, mucus-like discharges that have depleted the nearshore waters of oxygen and killed thousands of fish. Marmara connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea. Though the outbreaks have occurred periodically throughout history, scientists say their size and frequency in recent years bear the fingerprints of environmental changes that are conducive to algal growth. The buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere is warming the water as well as the air. And runoff of farm nutrients and untreated wastewater act as growth hormones.


12.5 Billion Liters

Amount of water that mining group Bravus intended to withdraw annually from a river in Queensland for the controversial Carmichael coal mine. A federal court decision called into question whether that water will be available. The Brisbane Times reports that the court ruled that the national government should have done a more thorough analysis of the impacts of the planned water withdrawals. The conservation group that brought the lawsuit called it a victory. But Bravus said that the ruling will not affect the mine’s development, saying it had acquired water from another source for operations.


The African Development Bank approved a new water policy that will shape the bank’s lending programs. The policy focuses on four principles, the first being that water security at the household, national, and regional levels is fundamental for “inclusive growth.” The policy also highlights the importance of transboundary waters, stating that the bank will use them to leverage regional cooperation and integration.

Fish farms in British Columbia are capable of transmitting a virus to wild Chinook salmon, according to a new study. The Seattle Times reports that though the study proves transmission, further work is needed to assess whether the wild salmon develop heart and skeletal muscle impairments from piscine orthoreovirus, or PRV.

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