The Global Rundown
Testing reveals that unsafe bacteria is contaminating the water supply of a million people in Caracas, Venezuela. Towns in New South Wales, Australia, brace for “day zero” as water dries up. Detroit, Michigan, plans to launch a new program to aid residents who are struggling to pay their water bills. Dozens of elephants die in Zimbabwe amid severe drought. Egypt renews calls for an international mediator in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute.
“This is not drinking water. It’s a public health hazard.” –Juan Carlos Castro, a doctor in Caracas, Venezuela, in reference to the city’s toxic tap water. It has been several years since the Venezuelan government released water quality data, prompting The New York Times to undertake an investigation of their own. Commissioned researchers took 40 water samples from across the city, and found that one-third of samples fall below national standards, and around a million people are exposed to dangerous bacteria in their water supplies. (The New York Times)
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
What’s Up With Water – October 21, 2019 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on Venezuela’s faltering water system, proposed new dams in Australia, and new rules to protect California groundwater from nitrate pollution.
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Leaky Sewers Plunge Small North Carolina Towns into Financial Crisis — State confronts challenge of affordable, reliable sewer service for some of its poorest communities.
By The Numbers
97.2 percent Proportion of New South Wales, Australia, that is currently experiencing drought. If current conditions continue, 40 water storage locations across the state are set to run dry within six months, leaving many towns at risk of a “day zero” scenario. (The Guardian)
55 Elephants in Zimbabwe that died from starvation due to extreme drought, according to the country’s wildlife agency. The animals were found dead near water holes in Hwange National Park. (Reuters)
On the Radar
Detroit’s water and health departments, along with the University of Michigan, plan to launch a campaign to aid residents who are at risk of water shutoff. The pilot program, which begins next year, will offer financial counseling, utility help, and other services to 70 low-income households. (The Detroit News)
Egypt says it will continue pressing for an outside mediator to resolve stalled negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. In recent weeks, the three nations have engaged in tense talks over the dam, and Egypt now says that the discussion is at a standstill. Ethiopia has denied that the talks are stalled, and is accusing Egypt of trying to bypass the negotiation process. (Reuters)
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter