The Stream, October 22, 2019: Caracas, Venezuela, Water System Rife with Bacteria, Testing Shows

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)

In context: HotSpots H2O: Worst-Ever Power Outage Deepens Venezuela Water Insecurity

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. 

HotSpots H2O: Hundreds of Thousands Still Without Water In Embattled SyriaMore than 400,000 people in northern Syria are short of water amid a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish forces in the region.  

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)

In context: In Australia, Echoes of Past, Glimpses of Future As Country Braces for Hot, Dry Summer.

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) 

In context:
Voices From Detroit: Life Without Water.
Price of Water 2019: Even Without Federal Infrastructure Deal, Cities Continue to Invest

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)

In context: HotSpots H2O: Egypt and Ethiopia Spar Over Nile River Dam in Latest Round of Talks

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply