The Stream, January 12: Much of Africa’s Groundwater Vulnerable to Pollution, Study Finds

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A new study warns that groundwater across much of sub-Saharan Africa is vulnerable to pollution. Thailand is considering diverting transboundary rivers to alleviate future droughts, and China is planning to develop more water-intensive textile factories in the arid Xinjiang region. Michigan’s governor announced plans to request federal aid for a water crisis in Flint, and insurance companies in England said costs from this winter’s floods could total nearly $2 billion.

“We are not sure whether the capacity of the facility could meet all the demand and protect the environment from damage. Compared with Guangdong, where our fabric mill sites are, Xinjiang’s water is very scarce.”–Zhao Yang, general manager of three cotton spinning factories in Xinjiang, China, an arid region where the Chinese government plans to create 1 million textile jobs by 2023. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$1.7 billion Cost of the damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles caused by extensive flooding in England over the past month, according to the Association of British Insurers. Press Association

59 percent Proportion of districts in Thailand that are currently experiencing water shortages. The country is planning to divert water from two transboundary rivers–the Moei River and the Mekong River–to bolster its resilience to future droughts. Bangkok Post


Science, Studies, And Reports

Groundwater reserves in much of sub-Saharan Africa are relatively shallow, leaving them more vulnerable to pollution, according to a study by researchers at the Université Catholique de Louvain’s Earth and Life Institute. Future studies of the soil in these areas will provide more information that scientists hope will help protect groundwater sources. SciDevNet

On the Radar

On The Radar

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced plans to request federal aid to address a lead-contaminated drinking water crisis in Flint, the state’s seventh largest city. Both the city and the state government have declared a state of emergency. Reuters

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