The Stream, August 9: Millions Lose Water Access in Aleppo

The Global Rundown

Fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo damaged critical infrastructure this week, cutting electricity and water supplies to more than 2 million residents. Proposed regulations in China could impose stricter cleanup requirements for mining companies. The long-term costs of the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan could total nearly $400 million. Farmers in Tanzania are finally set to receive compensation after being evicted from their land to protect hydropower resources. A new index assesses the water sustainability of 50 major global cities. Scotland’s environment agency is shifting its focus to address the wasteful use of resources, rather than pollution.

“The major threat to the environment now is that humanity is overusing the planet as a resource base.” –Terry A’Hearn, chief executive of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, signaling a shift in the agency’s priorities from tackling traditional problems like air and water pollution to addressing the overuse of natural resources. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

2 million people Number in Aleppo, Syria who lost electricity and public water access this week after attacks damaged critical infrastructure. The United Nations has called for a stop in the fighting to allow humanitarian assistance. UN News Centre

$395 million Estimated long-term social cost of lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University. The estimate takes into account possible losses in economic productivity and increased reliance on welfare and the criminal justice system due to the neurological and behavioral problems associated with lead exposure. Time

600 farmers Number in Tanzania who will be compensated by the country’s government 10 years after they were forced off their land in the Ihefu Basin in order to expand a national park. The park expansion was meant to protect water supplies in the Great Ruaha River, a primary source of hydropower. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Rotterdam, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam are the most sustainable cities globally in terms of water, according to the 2016 Sustainable Cities Water Index released by Arcadis. The index assesses cities’ resilience to natural disasters and weather shocks, the efficiency of their water management, and their water quality. New Delhi, Mumbai, and Manila scored the lowest out of the 50 cities that were analyzed. Arcadis

On The Radar

Mining companies in China could be required to treat more than 85 percent of their wastewater, among other provisions, if new draft rules issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection go into effect. The rules would apply to metal mining, including for copper and tin, but would not apply to coal. Reuters