The Stream, May 28: Water Shortages Make Botswana Hurry Along Zambezi Pipeline

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Water shortages are forcing Botswana to hurry construction of a pipeline, and Detroit is resuming water shut-offs this week. Rapper Jay-Z got a lecture on the price of water from the City of Denver’s water municipality, and scientists in Arizona have traced the origin of a cancer-causing chemical in drinking water.

“There has been a rethinking of the initial idea, looking at the drying up of Gaborone Dam and other sources. This is a priority and we must bring that water all the way down to the south.” – Kgomotso Abi, Botswana’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, on the country’s plans to hasten construction of a pipeline to bring water from the Zambezi River. (Bloomberg News)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$US 48.9 million – What is currently owed to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in unpaid water bills. The DWSD resumed shutoffs for some overdue customers on Tuesday. The City is encouraging residents to contact them for financial assistance or to set up payment plans. An investment bank recently donated $1 million to a fund to help Detroiters pay their water bills. WXYZ Detroit

7 years – Reduced timeline on building a pipeline in Botswana to carry water from the Zambezi River to the dry south of the country. The project was originally scheduled for completion in 2030 and was meant to deliver water to commercial agriculture in the northwest, but recent water shortages in the southern capital and surrounding areas have forced the country to rearrange its plans. Bloomberg News


Science, Studies, And Reports

Scientists at Arizona State University have identified the source of a cancer-causing chemical sometimes found in drinking water called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is produced when methadone, a prescription drug that — like so many others — finds its way into waste water, reacts with a common waste water disinfecting agent. That treated, NDMA-containing waste water then usually ends up in somebody else’s drinking water supply chain downstream. PBS News Hour

On the Radar

On The Radar

Denver’s water supplier wrote an open letter to rapper Jay-Z this week, scolding him for comments he had previously made about ‘free’ tap water. The rapper was trying to contrast water, which he believes is free, with downloaded music, which he believes people should pay for. Denver Water criticized Jay-Z for not understanding the value of water and reminded him that there are people who cannot pay their water bills. Time

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