A new device is capable of removing 95 percent of the arsenic in water within five minutes by using organic material like barley husks or coconut shells as a filter, the Guardian reported. Non-government organizations in Canada and Bangladesh are working to install the device in Bangladesh communities, where arsenic poisoning is a serious threat.
A survey of drinking water access in India found that 88 percent of rural households and 95 percent of urban households have access to an “improved source” of water, the Times of India reported. Some experts, however, questioned the validity of the results and the definition of an “improved source” of water, which included bottled water.
Water and Energy
An internal report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency could reopen an investigation of drinking water in a Texas community where natural gas drillers were accused of causing contamination, the Associated Press reported. The report comes more than a year after the EPA decided that the natural gas company no longer had to supply residents with alternate drinking water supplies.
Saudi Arabia is investing $US 4.4 billion in desalination projects to improve water supplies for its rapidly growing population and energy industry, Bloomberg News reported. One of the projects to be funded, the Ras al-Khair plant, will be capable of processing 1 million cubic meters of water each day.
Thousands of homes were either flooded or without electricity in southern England over Christmas after heavy rain storms hit the area, the Guardian reported. More rain is expected today, and the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency issued 83 flood warnings.
Floods and mudslides in southeastern Brazil killed 18 people and forced 48,000 to evacuate their homes, Xinhua reported. Fifty cities in the state of Espirito Santo have declared a state of emergency, and the governor called the storms the worst natural disaster in the state’s history.