YOUR GLOBAL RUNDOWN
- Democrats and Republicans in the Congress urge federal agencies to address PFAS pollution in the United States.
- An oil company is found liable for oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2006 and 2007.
- Indigenous and environmental groups sue the US Forest Service to block a proposed copper mine in Arizona.
- India’s central government increases spending on urban water supply in its 2021-22 budget.
A British water treatment plant is discharging untreated sewage into a nearby river.
“The Environment Agency told Thames Water in 2014 and 2020 to do something about this, that there was a problem here with groundwater ingress. But more than six years later, here we are in 2021 and it is still happening.” – Paul Jennings, chairman of the River Chess Association. The Guardian reports that Thames Water, a water utility, has been discharging untreated sewage into the River Chess, in southeast England. The discharge has caused untold harm to infant trout and habitats in the river, campaigners say. A spokesperson for Thames Water admitted that groundwater ingress is a problem and said the company would continue working with the River Chess Association to monitor water quality in the river.
IN RECENT WATER NEWS
In Case You Missed It:
HotSpots H2O: In Ethiopian Conflict, Water Insecurity and Disease Risk Escalate – Destruction to infrastructure in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia has left people without access to clean water and increased the risk of fatal diseases.
What’s Up With Water – February 1, 2021 – This week’s episode covers the resolution of a water supply issue between the state of the Georgia and the Army Corps of Engineers, a multi-million dollar plan from the Biden administration to avoid climate disasters in the United States and a bill introduced in Chicago to address water affordability and residential water debt.
Court Rules Multinational Company Liable For Oil Spills in Niger Delta
A Dutch court ordered the Shell Petroleum Development Company to compensate a small group of residents in Nigeria for oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2006 and 2007. The New York Times reports that the court found the subsidiary of the British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell allowed oil leaks to occur and failed to clean up the area that had been contaminated. The case could pave the way for more cases against the oil company in the Niger Delta, where oil spills damage the environment every year.
TODAY’S TOP WATER STORIES, TOLD IN NUMBERS
Indigenous and environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service to prevent a proposed copper mine in Arizona, Al Jazeera reports. The mine could potentially produce 120,000 tons of ore per day, prompting concerns over water quality and water supplies in the region.
India’s central government will allocate $39 billion over the next five years to increase the number of urban residents who have household water tap connections, Outlook India reports. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her 2021-22 budget address that the goal is to connect 28.6 million households in urban areas to piped water. It is an expansion of the government’s Jal Jeevan mission, which was initiated in 2019 for rural areas. The budget for the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation was increased by more than three-fold to help carry out the task of expanding urban water access.
ON THE RADAR
Members of a bipartisan caucus in Congress are urging the Biden administration to take immediate steps to remediate PFAS contamination across the United States, MLive reports. In a letter sent to President Joe Biden last week, 132 members of Congress called out several federal agencies for being slow to address the problem. Members of the Congressional PFAS Task Force have specifically targeted the Department of Defense and the Pentagon, pleading with the agency to support regulation that could clean up PFAS contamination at hundreds of current and former military bases.
Jane writes The Stream and covers domestic and international water issues for Circle of Blue. She is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Multimedia Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Grand Valley, she was the host of the Community Service Learning Center podcast Be the Change. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jane enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time outdoors.