The Global Rundown
Questions arise over the use of human waste sludge on U.S. farmland due to evidence that the practice is polluting drinking water and sickening livestock and humans. Two communities in Michigan are under drinking water advisories after high levels of lead are found. Ethiopia accuses Egypt of maintaining a “colonial era” hold on the Nile River as a spat over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam continues. California faces the aftermath of PFAS contamination caused by toxic firefighting foam from several state military bases. Volunteers encourage residents of New Delhi, India, to prioritize water conservation.
“The team of volunteers and a plumber fix the leaks but also make people aware of the need to save water if the city is to be spared the dire predictions of experts.” –Somnath Bharti, leader of a water-saving campaign launched in New Delhi, India, after predictions that the city could run out of groundwater by 2020. The group fixes leaks, promotes peaceful water sharing, and educates residents on the importance of water conservation. The Guardian
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
What’s Up With Water – October 7, 2019 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on India’s late monsoon, worldwide groundwater pumping, and new PFAS regulations in New Hampshire.
HotSpots H2O: India’s Monsoon Season, Wettest in 25 Years, Comes to an End — Following a slow start, India was deluged this year with its heaviest monsoon rains in a quarter century.
By The Numbers
2 Communities in southern Michigan where lead levels in some households surpassed new state standards, according to recent test results. The city of Birmingham, along with White Lake Township, are now under water advisories, and some homes will be receiving filters. Detroit Free Press
21 Military bases in California that have been contaminated by toxic firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals. At six of the bases, the pollution threatens local drinking water supplies. Lawmakers say they are doing all that they can to provide “alternative drinking water” to affected households. Los Angeles Times
Science, Studies, and Reports
“Biosolid” sludge, the remnants of human sewage after the wastewater has been removed and treated, has become a common fertilizer on fields across the U.S. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients in the sludge help grow crops and lawns, but the sewage can also be mixed with thousands of different man-made chemicals throughout the treatment process. Evidence is mounting that the sludge may be contaminating water and causing illness, and the U.S. EPA says that it has no way to properly regulate biosolids due to the myriad pollutants that may be present. The Guardian
On the Radar
Tensions continue to flare between Egypt and Ethiopia over the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister called Egypt’s proposal for filling the dam an attempt to maintain “colonial era” control over the Nile River. 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