The Stream, March 6: 1.7 Million Children Die Each Year From Unsafe Water and Environments, WHO Finds

The Global Rundown

Unsafe water, air, and other environmental factors contribute to the deaths of 1.7 million children each year, according to the World Health Organization. The major Sao Francisco River water transfer project in Brazil hit another snag when one of its dams partially collapsed. Sewage and poor treatment continue to hamper water quality in Pakistan’s Sindh province. The mayor of Flint, Michigan says the city’s water treatment plant will not be up and running for another two years. Government officials in New Delhi hope a pilot project in one of the city’s wealthy neighborhoods will be another step toward safer and more reliable water supplies for all. A drought in Sri Lanka could cost the government millions of dollars. South Africa’s Western Cape province must address water management issues to avoid shortages within the next two years, according to government and private experts. An investigation seeks to pinpoint the cause of a sewage spill in Mexico that polluted the Tijuana River and coastal waters.

“Studies show that we’re going to run out of water by 2019. Population growth is obviously one of the things we’re going to need to manage.” –Anton Bredell, the minister of environmental affairs for Western Cape Province in South Africa. Government officials and experts from the World Wildlife Fund say the province must act now to improve its water management and infrastructure to avoid shortages. (Eyewitness News)

In context: Learn more about water choke points in South Africa.

By The Numbers

1.7 million young children Number who die each year from illnesses linked to polluted water, air, and other unsafe environmental factors, according to a World Health Organization report. Reuters

541 million liters Amount of sewage U.S. officials estimate were released into the Tijuana River last month. The spill polluted coastline in both Mexico and the United States, and its cause is under investigation. Reuters

2 years Time until Flint, Michigan will be ready to treat its own drinking water for lead, according to an estimate by the city’s mayor. The city currently receives water from the regional Great Lakes Water Authority. CNN

$264.7 million Potential cost of a deep drought in Sri Lanka that has already forced the country to import rice due to failed harvests. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

More than 70 percent of water samples taken from Pakistan’s Sindh province were unfit for human consumption, according to a survey by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources. Contamination from sewage and industrial effluent, as well as poor treatment capabilities, are persistent challenges hampering the region’s water quality, researchers said. Dawn

On The Radar

Residents in northeastern Brazil may have to wait several more weeks to receive water from the Sao Francisco River transfer system, a project that has already taken more than a decade to build. A partial collapse at one of the dams holding water along the canal route will require repair before the system can be completed. Reuters

In context: Read more about water supply challenges and drought in Brazil.

A continuous supply of clean tap water is the goal of a new pilot project in New Delhi’s Navjivan Vihar neighborhood. Government officials inaugurated the project on Sunday as part of a citywide effort to improve the quality and consistency of drinking water services. Hindustan Times