The Stream, July 25, 2019: 1,000 California Water Systems At Risk of Supplying Unsafe Water

The Global Rundown

Up to 1,000 water systems in California may be at risk of supplying tainted drinking water. A review of Australia’s Barwon-Darling river system calls it “an ecosystem in crisis.” Another record-breaking heatwave strikes parts of Europe. The death toll from flash floods, lightning strikes, and landslides in South Asia is updated again, this time surpassing 660 deaths. Sewage contamination is a concern at many beaches along the U.S. Great Lakes, testing shows. 

“It’s hard to believe that 47 years after we passed the Clean Water Act that we are still concerned with poop in the water when people want to go swimming.” –John Rumpler, clean water program director for the Environment America Research and Policy Center, which gathered water samples from coastal and Great Lakes states in the U.S. last year. The data showed that 76 percent of sites tested along the Great Lakes were contaminated by sewage or fecal matter at least one day in 2018. MLive

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

HotSpots H2O: Eight Water Facilities Attacked in Northwest SyriaEight water facilities in northwest Syria were damaged during skirmishes in recent weeks, disrupting drinking water provision for nearly 250,000 people.

What’s Up With Water – July 22, 2019 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on monsoon flooding in South Asia, drought in North Korea, and water outages in Zimbabwe

By The Numbers

1,000 Community water systems in California that are at risk of delivering unsafe water to customers, according to the California State Water Resources Control Board. Most of the at-risk communities, which constitute about a third of the state’s water systems, are in low-income areas with minimal budget and oversight. The New York Times

In context: In Bid for Cleaner Water, California Seeks Arranged Utility Marriages

660+ People who have been killed by flash flooding, lightning, and other monsoon-related disasters in South Asia, based on updated death tolls. At least 467 people have died in India this month, along with 95 in Nepal, 78 in Bangladesh, and 26 in Pakistan. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, and Reports

The Natural Resources Commission of New South Wales, Australia, declared that the Barwon-Darling river system is “an ecosystem in crisis” in a recent review of the waterway. Management of the Barwon-Darling, which is part of the larger Murray-Darling river system, has been mired in controversy, including problems with water theft and mass fish kills. The commission says urgent reforms and government measures are needed to save the waterway. The Guardian

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

On the Radar

Another heatwave is engulfing parts of Europe, with new record highs being set in parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. Britain, Germany, and France may also break more records by the end of the week, while neighboring Spain and Portugal wrestle with ongoing wildfires. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O: France Endures Hottest Day on Record as Heatwave Parches Europe

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