The Global Rundown
Colorado Governor Jared Polis initiates a drought plan for 40 Colorado counties. The Brazilian Senate approves a new sanitation bill intended to jumpstart privatization of water and sewage companies. A Michigan judge calls for a temporary shutdown of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. Environmentalists claim that illegal logging played a role in recent flooding in Ukraine. A new report finds that water conservation has worsened in Houston, Texas over the past four years. Afghanistan employs thousands of workers to help rejuvenate Kabul’s groundwater supply.
“This is a tough job, but I have to do it to earn enough for food, and I have pride that I take part in the reconstruction of my country, this is good for the future of our country.” –Zaker Hussain Zaheri, a resident of Kabul, Afghanistan, who is currently employed by the government to dig rainwater catchments outside of the city. More than 40,000 workers who were laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic are now working to rehabilitate the city’s groundwater supplies as part of a new “green stimulus” project. Reuters
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
North Carolina, In Early Stages of Financial Review, Sees Potentially Large Number of Distressed Water Systems — State officials are developing criteria to identify public water systems at risk of financial failure.
HotSpots H2O: Aid Groups Airlift Water and Sanitation Supplies to Venezuela — The United Nations Children’s Fund last week shipped 90 tons of medicine, water, and sanitation supplies to Venezuela, the third such shipment to the country since the coronavirus crisis began.
By The Numbers
40 Counties in Colorado, out of 64, that are being affected by severe drought. Governor Jared Polis is introducing a task force to survey damages and recommend mitigation measures in the afflicted counties. The Denver Post
200+ Towns and villages in western Ukraine that have been deluged by rains.The flooding left three people dead, breached dams and inundated roadways. Environmentalists claim that the flood was exacerbated by illegal logging in the Carpathian Mountains, which limited moisture absorption on surrounding slopes. The New York Times
Science, Studies, and Reports
The most recent Texas Water Conservation Scorecard, produced by the Texas Living Water Project and grades utilities on the state’s water conservation, showed minimal improvements in conservation since 2016. In Houston, conservation actually worsened, largely due to increased water loss from its distribution system. Houston Public Media
On the Radar
The controversial Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline, which runs through the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, has been ordered to temporarily shut down following a ruling on Thursday by Circuit Court Judge James Jamo. An anchor support for the pipeline sustained “significant damage” last week, according to Enbridge Energy. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who requested the temporary shutdown, is also involved in separate lawsuits calling for the permanent closure of the Line 5 pipeline. Bridge
The Brazilian Senate approved a new sanitation bill on Wednesday, which is intended to usher in the privatization of water and sewage companies across the country. The bill also envisions universalizing the country’s sanitation services by 2033. President Jair Bolsonaro still needs to sign off on the bill for it to become law. 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