The Global Rundown
Invasive species in South Africa consume shocking amounts of water. African island states call for help in combating the health effects of climate change, including a rise in water-related illnesses. California voters reject a $9 billion water bond in the U.S. midterm elections. Pope Francis says water is a basic human right, not merchandise. New regulations in Chennai, India, attempt to minimize unauthorized groundwater extraction by private tanker firms.
“A resident called and even threatened suicide if I didn’t send a water tanker. Water is like that. We can’t live without it.” –Sarvanan Parthasarthy, the owner of Jai water supply, one of the private tanker firms that went on strike last month in Chennai, India, following new restrictions on groundwater extraction. The local government cannot provide adequate water for Chennai’s residents, so private firms have emerged to fill the gap. Private tankers, however, often draw groundwater without authorization, complicating the city’s water shortages. Reuters
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
2018 Election: Voters Reject Stricter Rules for Oil, Gas, and Mining — Water protections and spending were at stake in state and local ballot initiatives.
By The Numbers
54 percent Proportion of California voters who rejected a $9 billion water bond on the ballot in Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections. Proposition 3, which proponents say would have fixed infrastructure and improved statewide water access, is the first California water bond to be rejected since 1990. Sacramento Bee
23 percent Proportion of deaths in Africa that are linked to the environment, according to the World Health Organization. African island states are calling for help as warmer temperatures spark water scarcity, food insecurity, and unpredictable weather patterns. These changes are exacerbating health issues, and leading to a rise in mosquito-borne and waterborne diseases. Reuters
In context: Water a Key Factor in Zika Virus Spread.
Science, Studies, And Reports
Invasive species use a startling amount of South Africa’s water, according to a new study. Researchers say that non-native plants consume more than 100 million liters of water per day, which equates to a fifth of daily water usage in the city of Cape Town. This number could triple by 2050 if invasive trees, shrubs, and other plants are left unchecked. Scientific American
On The Radar
At a water management conference on Thursday, Pope Francis affirmed clean water as a human right that should not be considered “merchandise.” He added that it is “enormously shameful” that millions of people die each year due to a lack of clean water. AP
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