The Stream, February 14, 2020: Detroit City Council Asks Michigan Governor to Declare Public Health Crisis Over Water Shutoffs

The Global Rundown

The Detroit City Council calls on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to declare a public health crisis over the city’s ongoing water shutoffs. This January was the hottest ever recorded across the globe, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The environmental fallout in the Gulf of Mexico from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was far worse than previously thought, finds a new study. Minnesota lawmakers seek a $293 million bond to update the state’s stormwater infrastructure. Nearly half a million people in Chile are without direct access to drinking water as a decade-long dry spell continues. 

“We have a governor that is willing, I believe, to address the issue. The timing is right.” –Mary Sheffield, Detroit City Council President Pro Tem, in reference to frequent and ongoing water shutoffs in the city. In the past seven years, Detroit has turned off water to almost 150,000 homes over late payments, with shutoffs sometimes lasting for months. The Detroit City Council is urging state Governor Gretchen Whitmer to declare a public health crisis over the shutoffs. Detroit Metro Times

In context:
Voices From Detroit: Life Without Water

Water Affordability Is A New Civil Rights Movement in the United States

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By The Numbers

206 million gallons Amount of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s Macondo well in 2010 following a rig explosion. The disaster, dubbed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, left 11 workers dead and impacted water quality along hundreds of miles of coastline. A new study published in the Science Advances journal found that the footprint of the disaster may have been 30 percent larger than originally thought. The Guardian

10 years Length of time Chile has been in drought, the longest dry spell on record in the country. Nearly half a million people are now living without direct access to drinking water. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, and Reports

Data gathered by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration shows that last month was the warmest January ever recorded, with average temperatures the highest in 141 years of record-keeping. Overall, global land and ocean surface temperatures were 2.5 ºF (1.14 ºC) higher than the 20th-century average for the month of January. The Guardian

On the Radar

Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz is proposing a $293 million bond program to update water infrastructure in the state. Abnormally high precipitation last year overwhelmed several urban stormwater systems, a problem that could become more frequent amid a changing climate. If approved, the funding would equip stormwater systems to better handle large deluges of rainfall. MPR News 

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