The Stream, May 3: Wet Wipe Pollution Reshapes Riverbeds Across Britain

The Global Rundown

Increasing contamination from wet wipes disrupts riverbeds in Britain. Rising sea levels threaten Florida’s Everglades and coastal communities. Los Angeles, California, looks for sustainable water solutions as the city’s major water sources decline. Flash floods in Somalia impact nearly 500,000 people. Drought spreads throughout the western U.S., raising fears of summer wildfires.

“If you don’t take an active role in making the forest fire-safe for your house, you’re going to lose it.” –Lester Karplus, a Colorado resident, in reference to clearing trees and other measures to help protect his home from forest fires. Currently, much of the western U.S. is experiencing drought, raising fears of a dry summer and potential wildfires. In some Colorado counties, local government are funding fire prevention efforts. NPR

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – April 30, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a snapshot for the start of the workweek. Listen to this week’s edition to hear coverage on water access in India, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and water withdrawal from Lake Michigan.

HotSpots H2O, April 30: Spotlight on Herder-Farmer Conflict in West AfricaAn ongoing wave of deadly clashes in Nigeria is being perpetrated by “killer herdsmen.” The violence seems to be rooted in scarce resources.

By The Numbers

5,453 Number of wet wipes found in a 116-square-meter area of the Thames River during a clean-up last month. Environmentalists say that the wet wipe pollution, which has increased in recent years, is reshaping riverbeds and canals across Britain. The Guardian

175,000 Number of Somalis displaced from their homes by flash floods over the past week. The flooding, which has impacted nearly a half-million people, is some of the worst in several decades. Aid organizations are prioritizing water, sanitation, hygiene, and health as they respond to the crisis. All Africa

Science, Studies, And Reports

Researchers have found that rising sea levels pose a direct threat to Florida’s mangroves, located in the state’s Everglades wetlands and nearby coastal areas. Sea levels are pushing the mangroves inland, where they have hit an impassable man-made levee. According to researchers, the trees are likely to be gone within 30 years, disrupting the state’s ecosystem and increasing its vulnerability to hurricanes. The Guardian

On The Radar

Los Angeles, California, relies heavily on the San Joaquin river delta, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the Hoover Dam for its water supply, but all three sources are declining as temperatures rise and rainfall lessens. To help preserve its tenuous water supply, the city hopes to begin recycling wastewater, capturing rainwater, and making better use of local water sources. Al Jazeera

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