The Stream, February 20: Despite Easing Restrictions, Cape Town Residents Still Carefully Conserving Water

The Global Rundown

Residents of Cape Town, South Africa, continue to conserve water even as restrictions relax. The water supply in Dayton, Ohio, is deemed safe after a water main break affected 100,000 residents. Tribal leaders in the Philippines resist construction of a dam on the Kaliwa river. New water filters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are only partially removing PFAS contaminants. Roughly 18 trillion gallons of water have fallen in California this month, according to the National Weather Service.

“One question in the survey was about why they saved water and we gave them various options such as ‘because it is the right thing to do’ and ‘because of peer pressure’ and so on, but the reason most people gave is that they changed out of fear.” Christine Colvin, senior manager of WWF’s freshwater program, in reference to a survey among Cape Town’s WWF office staff. Last year, careful water conservation in Cape Town helped avert a “Day Zero” crisis. Now, water restrictions in the city have been relaxed substantially, but residents are still using 40 million liters less water than they are allowed to each day. News24

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.

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By The Numbers

18 trillion gallons Water that have fallen across California in the month of February, according to the National Weather Service. The precipitation has greatly eased drought in the state, although more than 52 percent of California is still facing abnormally dry conditions. KTLA

100,000 Residents of Dayton, Ohio, who were affected by a major water main break last week. The city was put under a temporary boil-water advisory, and repair efforts were slowed by high water levels in the Great Miami River. Officials announced on Tuesday that the safety of Dayton’s water was not compromised during the incident. U.S. News & World Report

Science, Studies, And Reports

Levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) spiked in Ann Arbor, Michigan, drinking water in October 2018, prompting officials to install carbon filters in the city’s water system. Recent results show that PFAS levels are falling, but the filters have not completely solved the city’s PFAS problem. MLive

In context: PFAS: What You Need To Know.

On The Radar

The Dumagat people in the mountainous northern Philippines are fighting against a dam planned along the sacred Kaliwa river. The government hopes the reservoir will improve water security in Manila, the country’s capital, but Dumagat tribal leaders say damming the river will destroy their way of life and endanger the ecosystem of the Kaliwa watershed. Al Jazeera

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