The Stream, October 5: Officials Fear Collapse of Earthen Dam in Arizona After Tropical Storm Rosa Rainfall

The Global Rundown

A Native American community in Arizona is evacuated as an earthen dam threatens to fail following rains from Tropical Storm Rosa. Electricity and communication networks are restored in earthquake-hit Palu, Indonesia, but food and water remain in short supply. Zimbabwe vaccinates more than 1 million people amid its worst cholera outbreak in years. A woman in Bihar, India, is shot and killed while trying to draw water from a pond. Heavy rains fall in Australia, but the precipitation is not enough to quench the country’s drought-stricken interior. Residents of Detroit, Michigan, demand an end to water shutoffs.

“How dare anybody remove water, which is a human right, from the people of this community. It’s a death sentence for people not to have water.” –JoAnn Watson, a pastor and former Detroit City Councilwoman, in reference to recurring water shutoffs in Detroit. This spring, more than 17,000 residential customers faced shutoffs, despite efforts by non-profits, religious leaders, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Board to assist low-income residents with their water bills. Currently, income-based water rates are illegal in the state of Michigan. The Detroit News

In context: When the Water Is Shut Off.

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

1.4 million People vaccinated against cholera in Zimbabwe. The country is working to contain the largest outbreak of the waterborne disease in decades, which has left 49 people dead so far. Reuters

1,424 Latest death toll from Indonesia’s earthquake and tsunami, which struck the island of Sulawesi a week ago. Basic services, including electricity and mobile networks, are slowly being restored in Palu, the hardest-hit city. Several rural areas remain unreachable, however, and shortages of food and water continue. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Rainfall in excess of 25 millimeters (1 inch) fell in parts of Australia on Thursday, bringing much-needed rain to the tinder-dry country. Although the precipitation will help fill dams and revive pastures, officials say it is far from enough to combat Australia’s months-long drought. Reuters

On The Radar

Menagers Dam, a century-old earthen dam in remote Arizona, has been on the verge of overflowing for several days as rains from Tropical Storm Rosa inundate the region. A dam failure would swamp the Native American community of Tohono O’odham, which has been evacuated. Water levels behind the dam have begun to recede, but officials remain concerned about the dam’s structural integrity. Arizona Daily Star

Spotlight: India

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

Members of a Dalit community in Bihar, India, were shot at on Wednesday for trying to retrieve water from a pond for paddy irrigation. The perpetrators, part of the area’s dominant Yadav group, killed one woman and left two others critically injured. On Thursday, protestors took to the streets, demanding compensation for the killing. News18

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