The Stream, December 20: More Criminal Charges Expected Over Flint Water

The Global Rundown

Michigan is set to announce more criminal charges today in relation to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint. The United Kingdom set a record fine for a utility that spilled raw sewage onto beaches four years ago. Thousands of farmers protested in Israel over high water prices and what they say are unfavorable agricultural policies. Rising water prices in California could cause public discontent as the state tries to fund conservation measures, according to Fitch ratings agency. Floods and landslides displaced thousands of people in Fiji.

“The government has made it difficult for us to make a profit from our crops, which makes it harder and harder every year to produce our fruits and products. They have increased the price of water, opened the gates to foreign imports and just don’t have the patience and confidence that we can do whatever is necessary to do our jobs.” –Daniel, an avocado and mango farmer from the Galilee, during a demonstration that drew thousands of farmers to protest against Israel’s agricultural policies. (The Jerusalem Post)

By The Numbers

$2.4 million Amount the United Kingdom fined the Southern Water utility for releasing raw sewage that closed beaches in Kent for nine days in 2012 after heavy rains. Guardian

3,533 people Number displaced to evacuation shelters and tents following floods and landslides in Fiji. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Water prices are rising faster than incomes in California, creating the potential for public resistance as utilities raise rates to fund conservation measures, according to the Fitch ratings agency. Nonetheless, water and sewage bills amount to just 1.6 percent of the state’s median household income. Reuters

In context: Explore Circle of Blue’s annual surveys of water prices in 30 major U.S. cities.

On The Radar

More criminal charges are expected today in Michigan’s investigation into the Flint water crisis. Michigan’s attorney general has already charged nine people in connection to the contamination of the city’s water supply with lead. Associated Press