The Stream, September 6: Detroit Schools Install Water Coolers After Lead and Copper Found in 34 Buildings

The Global Rundown

The Detroit school system replaces drinking fountains with water coolers after lead is detected in several schools. Flood alerts are issued across five of India’s northern states. Tropical Storm Gordon makes landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border. Another wave of protests over a lack of basic services breaks out in Basra, Iraq. A new report by the United Nations calls for urgent action to combat climate-related crises. The El Niño weather phenomenon is expected to return to Colombia in November, likely bringing drought.

“There will be a precipitation reduction, there will be drought. That will directly affect those that supply water: aqueducts, the energy sector, in the health sector, irrigation areas.” –Ricardo Lozano, Colombia’s Environment Minister, in reference to the return of the El Niño weather phenomenon in the country. Colombia relies heavily on hydroelectric dams for its energy supply, and was almost forced to ration power during the 2015-2016 El Niño. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Recovery Begins in Kerala, Where Historic Flooding Killed Hundreds — More than 1 million Kerala residents were displaced by the worst flooding in a century.

Toxic Water, Toxic Crops — India’s Public Health Time Bomb — Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food.

By The Numbers

34 Number of schools is Detroit where unsafe levels of lead or copper have been detected in recent months. In response, the district has replaced drinking fountains with water coolers as the new school year begins. Officials say that the contamination is due to aging infrastructure, not the source water system. MLive

5 Number of protestors killed in Basra, Iraq, on Tuesday, during a demonstration over poor public services. Thousands in Basra are continuing to protest, saying that the city’s salinated drinking water is proof that the government has neglected infrastructure in southern Iraq. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

The United Nations recently released the 2018 New Climate Economy report, which concluded that “bold climate action” could lead to $26 trillion in economic benefits by 2030, as well as a decrease in climate-related crises. According to the report, the shift to sustainable growth would create millions of low-carbon jobs, decrease deaths from air and water pollution, and help restore degraded farmland. UN News Centre

On The Radar

Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall early Wednesday morning near the Alabama-Mississippi border. Although the storm never became a hurricane, it brought heavy rains and wind across the Gulf Coast, and also lead to the death of one child. Chicago Tribune

Spotlight: India

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

Heavy monsoon rains are expected in northern India through September 7, prompting flood alerts in five Indian states. The central water commission (CWC), which issued the alerts in various parts of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan, urged local officials to take precautions with releasing excess water from dams. The Times of India

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