Feel like there’s been a huge rise in big environmental accidents happening recently? That’s probably because there has been – the Environmental Ministry has revealed that accidents rose 98% in the first six months of the year, mostly because of higher demand for energy and minerals. “Fast economic development is leading to increasing conflicts with the capacity of the environment to absorb” demands, the ministry said. To combat the problems, it has started a nationwide investigation of drinking water and mine tailing ponds this year, as well as setting up databases on violations, strengthened regulations and is encouraging residents to report complaints. It has identified a “large number of culprits” and will be doling out punishment – and hopefully, this will mean what pristine waters are left won’t be swept up in these harsh times.