The Stream, April 21: Cholera-Contaminated Water Is Haiti’s Unresolved Crisis

Water Contamination
Cholera in Haiti’s waterways is a persistent and neglected crisis nearly four years after United Nations peacekeepers allegedly introduced the disease following the devastating 2010 earthquake, The New York Times reported. Clinics treating those affected by the disease have been closing, and large funding shortfalls are leaving communities without necessary water purification tablets and medical supplies.

Exxon Mobil will be required to abide by a court ruling that ordered it to pay $US 105 million for contaminating groundwater in New York City after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal, Reuters reported. A substance used as an additive in gasoline leaked into groundwater from the company’s tanks in the city’s Queens neighborhood in 2009.

Oil Pipelines

First Nation communities in British Columbia are fighting the construction of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta to the Pacific coast, Reuters reported. Oil leaks and consequent water contamination from the pipeline are primary concerns, though the company says the line would be its safest ever.

In the United States, the White House has delayed its decision about the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Alberta oil sands crude to the Gulf of Mexico and has also raised concerns about water, the Guardian reported. There is speculation that the delay is due to midterm elections in November, which could be affected by a decision on the controversial project.

Budget cuts in Australia could defund the National Water Commission, an advisory body that helps the national government study water issues, the Guardian reported. Cutting the commission is estimated to save $US 30 million over four years, but environmental groups say that it could lead to more conflicts over water management across the country.

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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