The Stream, October 19: One Million Puerto Ricans Still Do Not Have Clean Drinking Water

The Global Rundown

A month after Hurricane Maria, desperate Puerto Ricans resort to drawing water from a Superfund site contaminated with industrial chemicals. Officials in Karachi, Pakistan craft the city’s first-ever flood management plan following devastating floods in August. Norwegian company Statoil launches a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland. Large-scale water projects helped fuel Africa’s migration crisis, a Yale report concludes. A federal judge orders Flint, Michigan to select a long-term drinking water source by next week. 

“If I don’t drink water, I’m going to die. So I might as well drink this water.” –A resident of Puerto Rico, in reference to gathering water from a dangerous Superfund site. The site is known to be contaminated with industrial chemicals linked to cancer, but water remains so scarce in Puerto Rico that some residents are taking the risk. Nearly 1 million Puerto Ricans still do not have reliable drinking water at home. CNN

In context: Today’s Facebook live broadcast at 12pm EDT – U.S. Waters: How Water and Power Shortages Threaten Lives in Post-Disaster Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

By The Numbers

$2.8 billion Amount in damages caused in Pakistan by deadly flooding in late August. The devastating event, which left an estimated 40 people dead, is prompting authorities in the city of Karachi and the Sindh province to draw up a flood management plan. A key component of the plan involves clearing the city’s storm drainage system, which is currently clogged by trash and illegal construction. Reuters

$251.34 million Cost of the world’s first floating wind farm, which was launched by Norway’s Statoil and sits off the coast of Scotland. The technology involves Hywind wind turbines, which are anchored to the seabed and can be built in depths of up to 800 metres. Statoil hopes the new technology will encourage the expansion of offshore wind power in addition to cutting energy costs. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A recent report published by Yale Environment 360 explores how large-scale water projects, such as big dams and diversion schemes, have affected Africa’s migration crisis. In several cases, water projects that were intended to boost economic growth ended up destroying wetlands, forcing people to leave their homes. Yale Environment 360  

On The Radar

United States District Judge David Lawson ordered the city of Flint, Michigan to select a long-term drinking water source by Monday of next week. The Flint City Council has been deliberating whether to sign a 30-year deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority or to come up with another long-term solution. CBS News

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.