The Stream, February 9: Hepatitis Outbreak In Chad Linked To Dirty Water

The Global Rundown

Aid groups are undertaking large-scale efforts to chlorinate water in Chad to help control a deadly outbreak of hepatitis E. Water conservation measures in California will remain in place despite extensive rain and snowfall. Protesters in Peru are blocking roads to demand the government provide them with a sewage system. Raising the water table in farmed peatlands could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom. A UK plan to ban microplastics should be extended to include more products, environmental groups say. Farmers in Ecuador continue to try new methods to protect watersheds around Quito.

“Little by little, we’re going to see the impact the alpacas have, but they’re easier to manage than sheep and the degradation is less.” –Henry Carrera, vice president of the Comuna Espejo co-operative in Ecuador. The co-operative is experimenting with alpacas as part of an ongoing initiative to preserve watersheds around Quito. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

11 people Number killed in an outbreak of hepatitis E in Chad’s Salamat region, where it has likely sickened hundreds more, according to the Medecins Sans Frontieres aid group. The illness spreads through contaminated water, making chlorination a key part of containment efforts. Reuters

154 percent of normal Current snowpack levels in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains after weeks of rain and snow. Nonetheless, state officials announced that water conservation measures will remain in place at least until May. San Francisco Chronicle

3 days Duration, so far, of a protest in Challhuahuacho, Peru that blocked roads near the Las Bambas copper mine. Residents are demanding a sewage system and hospital for their town. Reuters

In context: Learn how protests in Peru halted the massive Conga mine project last year.

Science, Studies, And Reports

The United Kingdom could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by raising the water table in peatlands that have been drained and converted to agriculture, according to researchers at the University of Sheffield. A modest increase in the water table — 20 centimeters in the experiment — would cut emissions while maintaining crop production, they found. Science Daily

On The Radar

A government plan to ban tiny plastic microbeads from certain products in the United Kingdom does not go far enough, according to environmental groups. They argue that sunscreen and make-up should be included along with face washes, toothpastes, and other hygiene products because these items are often washed down sinks as well, posing a risk to waterways. Press Association