The Stream, September 3: Disease Looms with Syria’s Water Infrastructure on the Brink

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A group of scientists from Yale spent three years counting the world’s trees. Public water in Flint, Michigan is picking up lead as it travels through old pipes and fixtures. Syria‘s water infrastructure is reaching a tipping point.

“Over the next two years we will begin to see in cities like Aleppo potentially the rise of these big health epidemics that we haven’t seen in this context until now – typhoid, cholera and so on.” — Patrick Hamilton, International Committee of the Red Cross operations coordinator for the Near and Middle East, on the consequences of failed water systems in Syria. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

3 trillionTotal number of trees in the whole world, as estimated by research published today in the journal Nature. This is seven times the number previously estimated. Researchers from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies led the study which used satellite imagery along with ground-based data. The number of trees has been reduced by 46 percent since the beginning of human civilization. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

Researchers from Virginia Tech have discovered that the public water supply in Flint, Michigan is corrosive enough to eat away at lead piping and to leach lead into the water. Of 120 initial water samples taken, 20 percent exceed the U.S. EPA ‘lead action limit’ of 15 parts per billion. Virginia Tech was first contacted by a Flint resident concerned about the water supply. MLive

On the Radar

On The Radar

The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that Syria is at increasing risk for epidemics like typhoid and cholera as its water infrastructure sustains more and more damage. The ICRC has been assisting since 2011 when the Syrian conflict began, trying to keep public water systems working, but utilities are now at risk of being damaged permanently. Reuters

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