The Stream, November 11: Scientists Look to Wastewater to Track Public Health

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Scientists in New York City are studying health and disease outbreaks through wastewater, while hundreds are ill with a waterborne disease in Portugal. Peru’s Conga gold mine is gaining community support, and Canada fined an oil company for water pollution. Land investors in Egypt are suing over a lack of water, while floods in Uganda have displaced thousands of people. Researchers suggest ways to improve technological innovation in the water sector.

“It’s hard to imagine that in 20 years, every city won’t be monitoring sewage as an information platform.”–Eric Alm, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on the potential to use sewage as a looking glass into public health and disease outbreaks. (The New York Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

160 people Sickened in a Legionnaires outbreak near Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. Four have died from the disease, which is spread through water vapor. Reuters

16,000 people Displaced by floods along the River Semliki in western Uganda following strong storms. Xinhua

$132,000 Fine that oil company Sinopec Canada will pay for spilling contaminated water into an Alberta stream in 2012. The company spent $8.5 million to clean up the spill. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

The water sector has largely failed to embrace technological advances due to factors like the artificially low cost of water and complicated water laws, Stanford University researchers found. The researchers released a report outlining ways to boost innovation and investment in the sector. Stanford News

On the Radar

On The Radar

Mining company Newmont is making headway in talks with local communities to get public approval for its stalled $5 billion Conga gold mine in Peru. The company is now pursuing a “water first” approach for the mine. Bloomberg

A Kuwait-based company that purchased large tracts of land in Egypt is suing the country because it has failed to provide the water necessary to grow crops on the land. Daily News Egypt

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