The Stream, October 12: U.S. Congress Approves $6 Billion Water Projects Bill

The Global Rundown

The United States Congress approves a wide-ranging water projects bill, which includes funding for wetlands restoration, infrastructure improvements, and flood prevention measures. Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, India, leaving at least eight people dead. Health officials fear that Hurricane Michael floodwaters could carry a variety of bacteria and viruses. A trial over water rights to northern Arizona’s Little Colorado Basin gets underway. A regional “water cop” watches for water theft in southwestern Colorado. Humanitarian workers deliver water to remote areas of earthquake-hit Sulawesi, Indonesia.

“The affected communities have limited access to clean water, which is important to reduce the risk of possible epidemics. In some areas, people have to walk up to two kilometres just to get water.”–Timothius SP Benu, a water and sanitation specialist, speaking on water access in remote areas of Central Sulawesi. Many small communities are still without water and other amenities following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Sulawesi two weeks ago. Aid agencies are working to provide water, food, and medicine to the quake victims. MSF

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By The Numbers

8 to 12 feet Height of Hurricane Michael’s storm surge, which hit several communities in the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. The aftermath of the massive storm is likely to pose health risks for weeks, say officials, who warn that floodwaters can contain bacteria and viruses. Cholera, Hepatitis A, and vibriosis are among the dangers. USA Today

60 to 100 Calls that Dave Huhn, the “water cop” of Montezuma County, Colorado, receives each month to settle water-related disputes. Huhn is well-versed in water laws and specializes in responding to violent and nonviolent conflicts over the resource. The most common water issue in the arid region is theft. NPR

Science, Studies, And Reports

The United States Congress approved a vast bill that would fund more than $6 billion in water projects over the next decade. America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which now must be signed by President Donald Trump, would finance various projects including wetlands restoration in areas hit by Hurricane Harvey and water quality improvements in Flint, Michigan. The bill also includes upgrades to harbors and coastal areas across the country. PBS Newshour

On The Radar

A trial is underway in one of Arizona’s longest-running court cases, which focuses on water rights to the Little Colorado Basin. The trial will review thousands of claims to the basin’s streams, springs, and aquifers, and is expected to last for several years. U.S. News & World Report

Spotlight: India

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

Cyclone Titli made landfall in Odisha, India, on Thursday morning, with recorded wind speeds of 150 kmph (95 mph). As of Thursday evening, eight people in neighboring Andhra Pradesh had been killed in storm-related incidents, and at least half a million people were without power. The New York Times

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