The Stream, October 26: 1.4 Million U.S. Citizens Experienced Water Shut-offs in 2016, Study Finds

The Global Rundown

More than one million U.S. citizens had their water shut off in 2016, an analysis finds. The European parliament approves a ban on single-use plastics in hopes of slowing pollution in seas and other waterways. Nearly 280,000 children in Basra, Iraq, are at risk of waterborne disease, according to aid groups. The Southeastern U.S. is mostly drought-free, but dry conditions are worsening in the states of Alabama and Georgia. A super typhoon strikes water infrastructure on the Northern Mariana Islands.

“Many homes have been destroyed, our critical infrastructure has been compromised, we currently have no power and water at this time and our ports are inaccessible.” –Joey Patrick San Nicolas, mayor of the island of Tinian. Typhoon Yutu, a devastating storm with sustained winds of more than 168 mph (270 kph), slammed into the Northern Mariana Islands on Thursday. The islands, which are U.S. territories, are located in the Western Pacific. Reuters

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By The Numbers

500,000 U.S. households that endured water shutoffs in 2016, based on data gathered by nonprofit group Food & Water Watch. The shutoffs impacted an estimated 1.4 million people. Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, were among the cities with the highest shutoff rates. AP

In context:
When the Water Is Shut Off

Voices From Detroit: Life Without Water

280,000 Children in Basra, Iraq, that could be affected by cholera, diarrhea, and rashes due to water pollution, according the the Norwegian Refugee Council. Basra’s sanitation system is nonfunctional, and its waterways are packed with debris and contaminants. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

The latest assessment by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that drought is easing in the southeast, but is worsening in Alabama and Georgia. Meteorologists say rainfall caused by Hurricane Willa could help ease dry conditions. U.S. News & World Report

On The Radar

The European parliament voted to ban single-use plastics, including items like plastic straws and cotton swabs, in an effort to minimize pollution in oceans, rivers, and fields. In order for the ban to become law, it still needs to be approved by EU states, but lawmakers are hopeful the ruling will be finalized by the end of 2018. The Guardian

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