The Stream, September 10: Water Shortage Deepens Syrian Humanitarian Crisis

A sudden water shortage is the latest hardship blighting the city of Aleppo, already facing a humanitarian crisis. A main pipe burst during fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters, The New York Times reported.

On Friday, 12 people died in clashes between cattle herders and farmers in southeastern Kenya over land and water, The New York Times reported. The fighting between two tribes in the Tana River delta was an extension of a massacre last month.

Fracking and Ethanol
The United Nations’ food and agriculture director joined some meat industry representatives calling for an immediate, temporary suspension of the United States’ corn-based ethanol fuel mandate. Pumping 43 percent of this year’s corn crop into gas tanks, as the mandate requires, would strain corn prices driven up by this summer’s drought, National Geographic reported.

California’s fracking wells consume an average of 620,808 liters (164,000 gallons) of water each—markedly less than the 17-22.7 million liters (4.5-6 million gallons) consumed by some wells in Pennsylvania and Texas. California’s geology lends itself to vertical drilling wells, which require less piping and water than their horizontal counterparts, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

To Fluoridate or Not To Fluoridate?
Portland is the largest U.S. city with no plan to fluoridate its water, and debate rages as the city council is set to vote on a commitment this week. Arguments pit supporters citing fluoride’s dental health benefits against opponents pointing to potential negative effects on brain development and I.Q., The New York Times reported.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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