Weekly Water Report Latin America & the Caribbean Stories

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Another Brazil Dam In Imminent Danger Of Collapse, Evacuations Ordered

SO PAOLO, Brazil

Communities in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais have been ordered to evacuate after independent auditors found that another dam, Sul Seprior, operated by mining giant Vale, SA, was in imminent danger of collapse. Following the January 25 Brumadinho dam (also operated by Vale) disaster, which killed around 130, Vale, the world’s biggest iron ore mining company, announced that it would dismantle 10 dams similar to the Sul Superior tailings dam, also in Minas Gerais state.

Chile Tests Floating Solar Panels At Mine Operations Sites

SANTIAGO

A floating island of solar panels is being tested in Chile as a way to generate clean energy and reduce water loss at mine operations. The experimental Las Tortolas power-generating island is being run by the giant Anglo American mining company at its Los Bronces mine, as the government pushes to put Chile at the forefront of renewable energy use in Latin America and the world.

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Power Crisis Shuts Down Caracas Water Services

CARACAS, Venezuela

Intensifying the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela, a power black out has put operations of water utilities at risk. Caracas began to “go dry” March 11with water services almost nonexistent in large parts of the capital.

Replace The Mexico-US Border Wall With An Energy–Water Corridor?

WASHINGTON DC, United States

A group of US academics have proposed that the US and Mexico collaborate on a large scale energy, water, industry, and education park. The venture would be constructed along the nearly 2,000-mile arid and semi-arid mutual border and would benefits both sides, mitigating illegal immigration and providing an alternative to the proposed physical wall between the neighboring countries.

"Future Energy, Water, Industry and Education Park (FEWIEP): A Secure and Permanent US- Mexico Border Solution" posits that the border corridor has extensive solar and wind resources but is very short in water supply. In a purported “win-win” proposal, the project features wind farms, solar farms and water desalination, providing numerous educational opportunities and jobs. $1.1 Billion USD in addition to US Department of Homeland Security appropriations is requested for establishing FEWIEP.

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Peru Success Story In Managing Glacial Lake Floods Risk

LIMA

During the past 70 years, Peruvian engineers virtually eliminated the risks posed by glacial lake floods. But climate change and a political blind eye are increasing the dangers once again. In the past few decades, however, the increasingly warming climate has caused the volume of the glacial lakes in Cordillera Blanca to expand rapidly.

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Mexico: Referendum Approves Controversial Power Project, Activists Say Vote Was "Illegal And Rigged"

MEXICO CITY, Mexico

A referendum in Mexico appears to have given the go-ahead to the controversial Integral Morelos Project (PIM), an infrastructure initiative that includes two thermoelectric power plants, a gas pipeline and an aqueduct in the country's central region.

Three Hundred Died: Iron Ore Mining Giant Knew The Dam Was Troubled. Industry Group To Develop International Standard For Mine Tailings Facilities

Brasilia, Brazil

A manager at the world's largest iron ore mining company is reported to have told authorities that the corporate's executive board knew there had been a "decrease in security" at the Brumadinho dam in advance of the catastrophic January burst that caused an estimated 300 deaths.

Mexico Environmental Activist Killed

MEXICO CITY, Mexico

A Mexican environmental acivist was murdered last week following his political activism against a controversial carbohydron pipeline to be routed through his community.

Samir Flores Soberanes was murdered at his front door February 20 according to local reports. The killing occurred three days before a public referendum on the Morelos Comprehensive Project which includes gas, two thermoelectric plants, a gas pipeline to supply the plant with natural gas from Tlaxcala state and an aqueduct. The mostly indigenous communities around the Popocatepetl volcano, including Flores’ town of Amilcingo, have concerns about health, safety and water supply, and have been protesting the project since 2011.

Mexico Greenlights Fracking, But Where Will They Find The Water?

MEXICO CITY

Mexico’s national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, got the go-ahead to use hydraulic fracturing for up to eight exploratory wells to tap into the country’s natural gas reserves, raising the question of whether further use of the drilling practice is on the horizon. Access to water will prove to be one of the biggest challenges in expanding hydraulic fracturing in Mexico.

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Chile Files Water Infraction Charges Against Lumina Copper

SANTIAGO

Chile's Superintendency of the Environment (SMA) filed charges against Lumina Copper on Tuesday for infractions to the provisions established in its Resolutions of Environmental Rating (RCA), both at the Caserones mine and the Electric Transmission Line necessary for the development of the project.

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Jamaica Water Commission Completes Waste Water Systems Rehab

KINGSTON

More communities across the island are benefiting from improved sewerage service, as the Government moves to build, replace or decommission facilities serving these areas.

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Urban Industries Cause Belize Smelly Water Problem

BELMOPAN

Belize Monday said it is working towards addressing the unpleasant stench that is affecting the residents in the capital and has blamed the wastewater emanating from several industries operating “within close proximity to each other”.

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Israel Supplies Brazil With Atmospheric Water Generation Technology

TEL AVIV

Brazil will receive 10 generators that use Israeli technology to produce pure, clean-drinking water from ambient air, according to Brazilian Minister of Science Marcos Cesar Pontes.

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Brumadinho Dam Disaster: Death Toll Rises; Operator's Share Price Drops; Fears Of Downstream Health Crisis; Was There A Previous Leak in 2018?

BRASILIA, Brazil

As the death-toll rises to at least 142, with 199 still missing following the January 25 collapse of the Brumadinho Dam in Brazil, reports have emerged of weaknesses in the structure being identified last year.

Brazil Iron Ore giant Vale SA has announced that it will dismantle 10 dams similar to the iron ore tailings dam in the Minas Gerais state, which collapsed releasing a deadly flood of mining waste.

95 Water Treatment Plants Have Been Abandoned In Oaxaca, Mexico

OAXACA

Of 150 wastewater treatment plants constructed in Oaxaca by previous state governments, only 25 function properly, 30 function but with deficiencies and 95 have been completely abandoned, the State Water Commission (CEA) said.

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Brazil Dam Disaster: 84 Dead, 276 Missing, River Turns Brown, Mine Executives Arrested, 10 Similar Dams To Be Dismantled, Echoes Of Samarco

Brasilia, Brazil

Brazil Iron Ore giant Vale SA has announced that it will dismantle 10 dams similar to the tailings dam in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, which collapsed January 25 releasing a flood of mining waste that killed at least 84 people, with a further 276 currently reported missing.

Fabio Schvartsman, CEO of Vale, the world’s largest iron ore miner, said it would temporarily suspend operations using those dams and spend $1.3 Billion USD to decommission them over the next three years. "We decided the company should, once and for all, do what it takes to remove any doubt about the safety of Vale's dams," Schvartsman said.

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Another Brazil Mine Dam Collapses, Disaster Unfolds: Breaking News

WARRENTON, VA

It is being reported that att least 200 people are missing after another dam burst at a Brazilian mine and caused severe flooding in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, CNN reports. Aerial footage from CNN showed the city of Brumadinho covered in mud.

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