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
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
North Carolina Panel Approves Bailout for Indebted Sewer System — Cliffside Sanitary District, which serves around 75 customers, is under state control because of financial hardship.
Who Pays? PFAS Lawsuits, Legislation Raise Question of Pollution Liability — Wastewater utilities, whose facilities are a conduit for chemical pollution, object to Democratic proposals in Congress that could hold them liable for the cost of PFAS removal.
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
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