The Stream, August 30, 2019: Clean Water Shortage Raising Ebola Risk in DR Congo

The Global Rundown

Residents of the Democratic Republic of the Congo fear that Ebola may spread more rapidly due to clean water shortages. A plan by New South Wales, Australia, to protect the state’s native fish species is called a “Band-Aid” by critics. Residents of Florida stockpile food and water as Hurricane Dorian nears the state. Indonesia pledges a $40 billion upgrade of Jakarta that will include new water and sewage infrastructure. California’s Tulare County considers constructing a second water canal after land subsidence disrupted the first. A think tank report warns that parts of northern England could face extreme water stress by 2035. 

“We need water wastage to be as socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea.” –Sir James Bevan, chief executive of England’s Environment Agency, in reference to projected water shortages in the nation. A new study by think tank IPPR North forecasts that water demand will outstrip supply in parts of northern England by 2035. The Guardian

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

As Seas Rise, Unchecked Groundwater Use Sinks Coastal Cities   — Life on the coast is already hazardous. Groundwater mismanagement amplifies other risks.

A New Layer of Urgency for the Water Sector – Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of SIWI  — Circle of Blue’s World Water Week interview with Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute.

By The Numbers

$40 billion Amount that Indonesia will use to revitalize Jakarta, according to government officials. Indonesia recently announced plans to relocate the country’s capital from Jakarta to Borneo, but officials emphasized the continued importance of Jakarta as a financial and business center. Providing piped water throughout the city and replacing the sewage system were listed as two priorities. Reuters

In context:
A Sinking Metropolis (published by The Wilson Quarterly)
Capital Flight? Indonesia Leader Suggests Moving Government Out of Sinking Jakarta

$10 million Amount that New South Wales, Australia, says it will employ to save native fish species from drought-related disaster. The plan, which involves fish rescue teams and emergency fish housing, comes in response to several large fish kills in the state last summer. Critics of the plan, however, say it is a “Band-Aid” solution. The Guardian

In context: HotSpots H2O: Massive Fish Kills Fuel Anger Over Murray-Darling Basin Management

60 percent Amount that water capacity in the Friant-Kern Canal in Tulare County, California, has been reduced due to recent land subsidence. The effectiveness of the canal, originally built in 1951, has been compromised by excessive groundwater pumping in the region. The local Friant Water Authority says that building a second, better-engineered canal parallel to the first is the best way to address the problem, at a cost of roughly $350 million. The Business Journal 

Science, Studies, and Reports

Hurricane Dorian, a Category 1 storm as of Thursday evening, is expected to near the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday before making landfall in Florida on Sunday. Residents of Florida are stockpiling food and water in anticipation of the storm, which forecasters say could grow to a Category 4. Reuters

On the Radar

An Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be exacerbated by a lack of clean water. Residents of Goma city say they are unable to wash their hands or practice adequate hygiene due to limited clean water, and fear the shortage could lead to more cases of the deadly disease. Al Jazeera

Coverage from World Water Week

Coverage from World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Pictured, a woman makes coffee near the COWASH station at World Water Week. The Community-led Accelerated WASH (COWASH) is a bilateral funded by the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of Finland. COWASH directly contributes to ensure universal access improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Picture © Cody Pope /Circle of Blue

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