The Stream, August 28: Half of Schools Worldwide Lack Clean Drinking Water, Toilets

The Global Rundown

Nearly half of the world’s schools lack clean water and proper sanitation facilities, according to international health experts. Officials lift a month-long water advisory in Parchment, Michigan, which began in late July due to the discovery of PFAS in the city’s municipal water system. India and Pakistan plan to discuss their river-sharing disputes this week. Water bodies in Israel approach record-low levels. Dozens of indigenous groups in Canada remain under long-term boil water advisories. Conditions in Caracas, Venezuela, continue to deteriorate amid acute water shortages.

“Water is a Right.” –The slogan of protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, who have staged several demonstrations against the city’s water shortages, which are largely due to government mismanagement. The shortages are impacting nearly all Caracas residents, as well as hospitals, schools, and other establishments. Many people have gone for weeks at a time without water. Bloomberg

In context: HotSpots H2O, July 23: Chaos Engulfs Venezuela as Mismanagement and Drought Cut Water Access.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Toxic Water, Toxic Crops — India’s Public Health Time Bomb — Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food.

HotSpots H2O, August 27: Gaza Fuel Shortage Could Shut Down Hospitals, Water, and Sanitation FacilitiesFuel, medicine, and other essentials are running low in the Gaza Strip, threatening to force the closure of hundreds of health, water, and sanitation facilities.

By The Numbers

75 Number of long-term water advisories impacting more than 50 indigenous communities in Canada. The water sources of these communities are polluted or difficult to access, forcing residents to boil or buy their water. Despite promises to address the issue, the Canadian government has yet to provide clean water to the affected communities, prompting innovative grassroots solutions. BBC

20 times Amount that per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) levels in the municipal water system of Parchment, Michigan, exceeded federal health standards. The city issued a drinking water advisory last month when the PFAS was discovered, and has since connected Parchment to water from the city of Kalamazoo. The advisory was listed on Monday, August 27. MLive

Polluted and depleted, many of the world’s aquifers are grievously wounded, from India and Bangladesh to Michigan and California. How do we respond to a crisis that is so hard to see? Join Circle of Blue’s H2O Catalyst call live from World Water Week in Stockholm today at 7AM PT/10 AM ET.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Almost half of the world’s schools lack clean drinking water, toilets, and handwashing facilities, impacting nearly 900 million children. The unsanitary conditions increase the risk of diseases among children, global health experts warn. Many of the worst facilities were seen in Sub-Saharan Africa and East and Southeast Asia. Reuters

On The Radar

After five years of drought in Israel, many of the country’s water bodies are nearing all-time lows, including the Sea of Galilee. According to Israel’s Water Authority, drought is likely to continue in the Sea of Galilee basin and other parts of the country, despite coming winter rains. The Jerusalem Post

In context: Israel’s Mediterranean Desalination Plants Shift Regional Water Balance.

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

India and Pakistan will meet this week to discuss several river-sharing disputes for the first time since Pakistan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan took office. The talks will take place in Lahore, Pakistan, starting on August 29. Bloomberg

In context: Crucible in Kashmir: India and Pakistan’s Struggle Over Water

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