The Stream, June 8: Researchers Find Plastic Pollution in Antarctic Snow and Ice Samples

The Global Rundown

Researchers find microplastics and hazardous chemicals in snow and ice samples taken from Antarctica. The Red Cross pulls 71 staff members out of Yemen amid security concerns, disrupting water, food, and surgical aid. Thames Water plans to pay £65 million ($87 million) to customers after failing to curb excessive leakage. Phoenix, Arizona, struggles to provide its sprawling suburbs with water. Turkey delays filling the Ilisu Dam after neighboring Iraq expresses concerns about water shortages.

“As of this moment, Tigris waters are being transferred to Iraq without touching a drop of it in Ilisu. With the second decision to postpone, we have shown once again that we can put our neighbour’s needs ahead of our own.” –Fatih Yildiz, the Turkish ambassador to Iraq, following Turkey’s decision to stop filling the Ilisu Dam at Iran’s request. The dam lies on the Tigris River, one of Iraq’s main water sources. Turkey will resume filling the dam in July. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Tehran Faces Crisis As Iran’s Water Supply Runs LowTehran, the capital and largest city, could soon be the epicenter of Iran’s water crisis.

What’s Up With Water – Special Edition: The Price of Water 2018 – Circle of Blue’s annual survey of water rates in 30 U.S. cities found the slowest rate of increase since the survey began in 2010. Reporter Brett Walton discusses financial trends that affect water bills for tens of millions of U.S. households.

By The Numbers

£65 million ($87 million) Amount that Thames Water, Britain’s largest water company, is set to return to customers after it failed to cut back on leaks. Each customer will receive £15 ($20) back over the course of two years. Thames Water has vowed to improve its leakage issues in the future. The Guardian

71 Number of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) staff members that were pulled out of Yemen as threats and security incidents escalate. The staff members helped run water, food, and surgical assistance programs in the war-torn country. The New York Times

In context: HotSpots H2O, May 7: Yemen Risks Another Cholera Outbreak During Rainy Season, Ramadan.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Greenpeace researchers have detected traces of microplastics and hazardous chemicals in snow and ice samples taken from Antarctica. The researchers say that the samples, which were gathered during an expedition earlier this year, are further proof of the world’s pervasive plastic pollution. The Guardian

On The Radar

Phoenix, the United States’ fifth-largest city, is home to 1.63 million people–and the number is expected to rise to 2.2 million by 2030. The desert city, which receives only 8 inches of rain each year, is struggling to find a sustainable water supply for its expanding suburbs. Phoenix currently draws its water from aquifers and surrounding rivers, but these sources are being quickly depleted. Reuters

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