The Stream, December 1: Sickness and Civil War Leave Villagers in Sierra Leone With Only Polluted Drinking Water

The Global Rundown

In the wake of alleged Murray-Darling Basin water theft, the New South Wales water chief calls for urgent meter updates. Bangladesh considers relocating Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char, a flood-prone island off the country’s coast. Denver Water estimates that $600 million may be needed to remove molybdenum pollution from the city’s water supply. The Ebola epidemic and years of civil war leave villagers in Tombohuaun, Sierra Leone, with only polluted spring water to drink. The Delaware River Basin Commission lobbies for a fracking ban in the watershed supplying Philadelphia and half of New York City with drinking water.

“Many children have died because of the water. Too many.” –Mayama Mustafa, a women’s leader and village midwife, in reference to the polluted drinking water of Tombohuaun, Sierra Leone. Years of civil war and sickness have left villagers unable to rebuild the concrete enclosure that once protected their water spring. The dirty water has caused illness and possible stunting in children, among other problems. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

$600 million Amount that may be needed to build a treatment center that can remove molybdenum from Denver’s water, according to estimates by the city’s water supplier. The Colorado Department of Health and EPA officials recently rescheduled a hearing on rising molybdenum levels due to mining, moving it from December 12 of this year to November 2019. The Denver Post

$280 million Amount that Bangladesh plans to invest in developing the low-lying Bhashan Char island, with plans of relocating 100,000 Rohingya refugees there next year. Currently, the island has no infrastructure and floods regularly during the June-September rainy season. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Following allegations of water theft in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, New South Wales authorities commissioned water expert Ken Matthews to review the state’s systems. In his final report, Matthews urged New South Wales to update their water metering and monitoring practices, as well as move forward with the prosecution of non-compliant irrigation activities in the Murray-Darling Basin. The Guardian  

On The Radar

The Delaware River Basin Commission seeks to ban drilling and hydraulic fracturing in a New England watershed that supplies 15 million people with water, including citizens of Philadelphia and New York City. A series of hearings and a public comment period on the ban will take place in January and February respectively, and a final vote on the issue is possible next year. ABC News