The Global Rundown
Newark, New Jersey, faces widespread lead contamination in its drinking water. The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, where water access is growing increasingly dire, puts pressure on Houthi rebels to return to peace talks. Salty drinking water leads to health problems in India’s West Bengal. The World Bank and other organizations pledge up to $9 billion to improve irrigation across Africa. The Indian state of Maharashtra declares drought in 151 talukas.
“The parallels to Flint are fairly clear: The city was denying a problem even though its own data was showing problems. Newark is not as extreme as Flint but still a serious problem.” –Erik Olson, an official at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in reference to similarities between the Flint, Michigan water crisis and the current situation in Newark. For more than a year, officials in the city have been dismissing evidence that the city’s water system is contaminated with lead. In the wake of a new study, officials are finally beginning to tackle the issue, and have distributed water filters to thousands of residents. The New York Times
In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
What’s Up With Water – October 29, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a weekly snapshot. Coverage this week includes: the European Parliament’s ban on single-use plastics and the boil-water notice in Austin, Texas.
HotSpots H2O, October 29: Amazon River Development Imperils Indigenous Communities – The Amazon watershed is peppered with conflict, often between developers and indigenous communities.
By The Numbers
$9 billion Amount that the World Bank, along with the African Development Bank and other organizations, has pledged toward improving irrigation in Africa. The funding will go toward mapping aquifers and boosting irrigation infrastructure across the continent. Reuters
151 Talukas (sub-districts) in Maharashtra, India, where drought has been officials declared. The declaration will allow the state to demand assistance from India’s central government. The declaration, however, has drawn some criticism from other talukas in Maharashtra, which say they are also suffering from drought. Economic Times
Science, Studies, And Reports
Waterways in coastal West Bengal, India, are becoming increasingly salinated–a development that poses health risks, according to researchers. Prolonged contact with the tainted water has left many residents, especially women, with skin diseases and reproductive tract infections. According to one health economist, exposure to the water may also be linked to a rise in uterine cancer and eye problems. Reuters
On The Radar
The Saudi-led coalition is sending thousands of troops to Hodeidah, Yemen, which is controlled by Houthi rebels. The coalition hopes to pressure the Iran-aligned Houthis into returning to U.N.-led peace talks. Millions in war-torn Yemen are suffering from acute food, water, and healthcare shortages. Reuters
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter