The Stream, September 24, 2019: Zimbabwe Capital Shuts Main Water Plant Due to Lack of Treatment Chemicals

The Global Rundown

Harare, Zimbabwe, shuts down its main water plant due to a shortage of treatment chemicals. Testing shows that temporary filters are 97 percent successful in removing lead from the Newark, New Jersey, water supply. Mexico’s president criticizes the construction of a large brewery in water-scarce Mexicali. Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Imelda begin to recede in Texas. Drought and conflict push Somalis into Ethiopia.

“Security remains their strongest concern in Somalia but also, the drought is affecting everybody. We are receiving reports from new arrivals about cattle loss, scarcity of water, inability to move around to look for water. Life is becoming very challenging.” —Muhammad Harfoush, a UNHCR representative, in reference to ongoing migration of Somalis seeking refuge in Ethiopia. Several thousand Somalis have crossed the border this year, and the number is expected to rise as drought worsens in Somalia. UNHCR

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By The Numbers

97 percent Success rate of temporary filters in removing lead from tap water in Newark, New Jersey, according to preliminary test results from 300 homes. The city, which has grappled with lead water contamination for the past several years, is in the process of replacing all lead service lines. Until then, Newark officials say filters and bottled water will be available to residents. Reuters

60 People who were evacuated from Huffman, Texas, after a bayou overflowed due to rainfall from Tropical Storm Imelda. Torrential rainfall struck Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana late last week, leaving at least four people dead. Floodwaters are now starting to recede. AP

Science, Studies, and Reports

Harare, Zimbabwe, shut its main water treatment plant on Monday, citing a lack of revenue to purchase necessary treatment chemicals. The drought-stricken city has already been experiencing electricity and water outages due to low water levels in the country’s dams. The closure of the water plant raises the risk of further shortages as well as the likelihood of waterborne disease outbreaks. Reuters

On the Radar

A $1.5 billion brewery project in Mexicali, Mexico, near the U.S. border, has drawn criticism from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador due to its potential impact on the area’s water resources. The brewery, which was planned prior to Lopez Obrador’s presidency, is being developed by beer producer Constellation Brands Inc. Constellation says the brewery will not negatively impact local water resources, but activists and locals fear otherwise. Reuters

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