The Stream, October 3: Yemen’s Cholera Outbreak Surges, With 10,000 New Cases Each Week

The Global Rundown

Yemen’s cholera outbreak accelerates again, with 10,000 new cases being reported each week. Indonesia rushes to distribute aid to survivors of its recent earthquake, which has left more than 1,300 dead. Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are discovered in the Tucson, Arizona, water supply, but officials deny “contamination.” In the United Kingdom, the minister in charge of water encourages consolidation of the nation’s water companies. Wildfires across the globe pose an increasing threat to water supplies. Untreated sewage dirties the Ganga (Ganges) River in Uttar Pradesh, India. Raising the wall of Australia’s Warragamba Dam could cause “irreversible” damage, according to a group of scientists. 

“These natural areas are of the highest conservation value in Australia that should be preserved at all costs.” –A joint letter from a group of 20 Australian scientists and environmentalists. The letter criticizes plans by New South Wales to raise the Warragamba Dam wall by 14 metres, which scientists believe would heavily inundate the Blue Mountains world heritage area. Proponents of raising the wall say that it will help prevent catastrophic flooding in nearby Sydney. The Guardian

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Infographic: Household Wells in the United StatesThirteen percent of Americans, some 42 million people, use a household well for their water supply.

HotSpots H2O, October 1: Protestors Fight Privatization In Water-Stressed El Salvador — Many residents, especially those in rural areas, lack steady access to safe water.  

By The Numbers

10,000+ New cholera cases being reported in Yemen each week. The outbreak has rapidly accelerated in recent weeks, with more than 30,000 new suspected cases  in September. Humanitarian organizations say that the spike in cases is linked with damages to water and sanitation infrastructure in Hodeidah port. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, September 24: Yemen at ‘Tipping Point’ of Famine as Violence Obstructs Food, Fuel Access.

30 parts per trillion Largest concentration of PFCs found in parts of the Tucson, Arizona, water supply. Despite established links between PFCs and several illnesses, Tucson Water is hesitant to say the city’s water is “contaminated” because the concentration does not exceed the EPA health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion. Arizona Public Media

1,347 Official death toll from Indonesia’s recent earthquake and tsunami, as of Tuesday evening. Thousands of quake victims remain desperate for food, clean water, shelter, and medicine. BBC

Science, Studies, And Reports

In North America and beyond, wildfires are becoming more frequent and destructive. According to researchers, these fires pose dangers for rivers and water supplies. Intense wildfires can damage the ecology of waterways by exposing them to sun, intensifying erosion, and releasing toxins, like mercury, from trees and soil.  Yale Environment 360

On The Radar

Therese Coffey, the United Kingdom minister in charge of water, is advocating for the consolidation of the UK’s 25 private water companies. Such consolidation, she said, could help guarantee supply and regulate infrastructure. Bloomberg

Spotlight: India

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

Thirty-one samples of water from the Ganga (Ganges) River were recently collected in Uttar Pradesh, India, and 19 failed to pass quality tests. The contamination is largely caused by the release of untreated sewage into the river, officials say. The Hindustan Times

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