The Stream, May 22: Obama Soon to Unveil New Clean Water Rule

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Municipalities in South Africa may soon be required to devote money to water infrastructure, while the United States federal government may soon have more power to limit pollution in the nation’s surface waters. Refugees from Burundi making their home in Tanzania are experiencing a cholera outbreak. Glaciers in the Antarctic have seen a sudden increase in melting since 2009.

“We could spend a lot of money to massively treat the water that we drink, but it makes a lot more sense to protect the source.” – Elizabeth Ouzts, spokesperson for Environment America, on a new rule under the Clean Water Act that President Obama is expected to announce in the coming days. (New York Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

15 percent – Portion of their budgets municipalities in South Africa will have to devote to the maintenance and operation of water infrastructure under a proposed new law. Aging infrastructure and a failure to build new facilities for an expanding population has led to service delivery protests in the country. Bloomberg

3000 – Number of Burundian refugees in Tanzania that have fallen ill with cholera. New cases of the waterborne disease are appearing at a rate of 300-400 per day in an area between Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria. Reuters Africa


Science, Studies, And Reports

Since 2009, 72 cubic miles of water have melted off of glaciers on the southern Antarctic Peninsula, says a report published Thursday in Science. Evidence of the sudden melting was captured via satellite observations, and scientists say the cause is one degree of warming in the surrounding sea over the past 30 years. Smithsonian

On the Radar

On The Radar

In the coming days, President Barack Obama is expected to announce a new regulation under the Clean Water Act that has been in the works for over a year. The regulation would expand the federal government’s ability to limit pollution in the nation’s surface waters. The rule is being met with heavy opposition from business interests such as farmers, the oil and gas industry, and golf courses, and the House of Representatives already passed a bill to block it, with Republican congressmen calling it a example of ‘executive overreach’. New York Times

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