The Stream, January 25: Cape Town Officials Move “Day Zero” Forward to April 12

The Global Rundown

Cape Town, South Africa, moves “Day Zero” forward by nine days as dams levels continue to diminish. Water-related recreational activities sicken millions in the U.S. each year, new research shows. Rivers across Europe continue to overflow due to persistent rainfall and melting snow. Richmond, California, becomes the ninth U.S. city to sue big oil companies over rising sea levels. Villagers in Mozambique are forced to journey long distances to collect dirty water during the dry season.

“Going to collect water is not fun…I miss school every other day or so, to collect water. I don’t feel good because I am absent from school.” –Eudicia, a 12-year-old from Muassi village, Mozambique, in reference to the difficulty of gathering water during the country’s dry season. Across Mozambique, 21 million people lack basic sanitation and nearly 15 million have no access to clean water. Many are forced to make long, exhausting journeys every day to collect unsafe water. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

9 Number of U.S. cities that have sued big oil companies for damages caused by rising sea levels, which the cities claim are linked to emission-driven climate change. Richmond, California, became the ninth city to file suit, arguing that Chevron and other energy giants have knowingly produced planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions for the past 50 years. Reuters

77 days Length of time until Cape Town, South Africa, runs out of water, according to the most recent update by city officials. A 1.4 percent drop in dam levels over the past week prompted the city to shift “Day Zero” up by nine days, to April 12. News24

In context: Cape Town’s “day zero” approaches.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Water-related recreational activities lead to more than 90 million cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory, ear, eye and skin-related illnesses in the U.S. each year, according to a new study by the University of Illinois. The illnesses result in $2.9 billion per year in medical expenses and costs related to time away from work and school. Chicago Tribune

On The Radar

Rivers throughout Europe continue to flood their banks, including the Seine and the Rhine, which are approaching record-high levels. Further flooding is likely after a week of heavy snowfall in the Alps. Al Jazeera