U.S. Water Infrastructure
The U.S. federal judge overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy will not impose a requested 6-month moratorium on water shutoffs for city residents who are behind on their water bills, The Detroit News reported. Judge Steven Rhodes said there is no law guaranteeing residents a right to water service, and called the water shutoff plan “commendable and necessarily aggressive.”
Existing systems of water infrastructure and management in the United States are insufficient for continuing to provide economic and social services, according to a new report from the Wisconsin-based Johnson Foundation at Wingspread. The report outlines the results of a 6-year study of solutions to fresh water challenges in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is increasingly focusing on threats to infrastructure posed by climate change, such as rising sea levels and floods, Reuters reported. Department officials say they are working on providing tools to help cities become more resilient in the face of these changes.
South Africa’s aging water and electrical infrastructure needs better management to ensure supplies of the vital resources, according to Mlungisi Johnson, a member of the national Congress, Bloomberg News reported. Johnson called for a plan to protect infrastructure, especially from vandalism, following two weeks of water outages near Johannesburg.
Iran’s religious leaders are calling for residents to conserve water in the hopes that religious devotion will change behavior when other conservation efforts have largely failed, the Los Angeles Times reported. Beset by drought and mismanagement, Iran faces severe water shortages in the capital, Tehran.
Yemen may be on the edge of civil war, and political conflict is creating an even tighter food supply situation in the country, Reuters reported, citing the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Yemen’s food security is already precarious—about 90 percent of its water is dedicated to agriculture and half of its irrigation supplies go to growing qat, a narcotic.