The Stream, November 3, 2021: U.S. EPA Criticizes Michigan Officials For Lack of Action In Benton Harbor


  • Water experts at COP26 are urging world leaders to increase data sharing for better water management.
  • A city in Oregon is suing to keep Google’s water use a secret ahead of a major vote to lend the tech-giant more water to cool its data centers.
  • As temperatures climb and ground water supplies dwindle, Jordan’s water crisis is getting worse.
  • One well supplying water to a small farm town in California is contaminated with pesticides. The other ran out of water.

The U.S. EPA calls for better water management practices from Benton Harbor, Michigan officials amid a years-long lead crisis.

“The people of Benton Harbor have suffered for too long.” – U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan. The United States Environmental Protection Agency released an administrative order this week identifies several deficiencies in the city of Benton Harbor’s water system. The Detroit News reports that the order directs the Michigan city to improve its corrosion control formula and monitor residual disinfectants in its water more rigorously, in addition to better informing city residents of high lead levels in water. For more than three years, lead levels in Benton Harbor’s water supply have exceeded state and federal action standards, but official have been slow to deal with the crisis.


Climate Change Grips Trout Streams Across the Nation: How Anglers Are Responding

A slow emergency is brewing in the peaceful waters of the Au Sable River.

Michigan’s unusually warm winter temperatures, followed by a historic drought and one of the hottest summers on record are warming the river. When the water is warm, much of the trout population flees to the river’s tributaries, instinctively searching for oxygen-richer waters.

It’s a story that’s playing out nationwide. The carcasses of spawning salmon, weakened by warm waters and low oxygen levels, are piling up and rotting in the Klamath River in California. Drought reduced once-raging Montana trout streams to a trickle this summer. Steelhead in the Columbia River are at an all-time low. As anglers survey the damage, they are taking up the call to protect these environments from more harm.

In Case You Missed It:

HotSpots H2O: The Philippines’ Largest Wetland Faces Prospect of Drilling – The newly autonomous Bangsamoro government has invited investors to pursue drilling projects in a marsh critical for both Indigenous peoples and wildlife.

What’s Up With Water – November 1, 2021 – This week’s episode covers the start of COP26 in Glasgow, a political power shift in Sudan that could fuel tensions over a major dam in the region, and Circle of Blue’s coverage of state and local ballot measures in the United States related to water.

COP26: Water and Climate Leaders Stress Need For Integrated Water Management

A coalition of water and climate experts at COP26 are calling for integrated action from world leaders to preserve water supplies around the world. The National News reports that the coalition leaders stressed the need for increased data and information sharing through integrated water-climate management.



Ahead of a City Council vote on a $28.5 million water deal with Google, the city of The Dalles, Oregon has filed a lawsuit in an effort to keep the tech giant’s water use a secret. The Associated Press reports that Google is considering two new server farms in The Dalles. Google officials say it need more water to cool its data centers, but neither the city or Google will say exactly how much more. The new lawsuit seeks to overturn an earlier ruling from the Wasco County district attorney, who ruled that Google’s water use is public record and needs to be made available.


Jordan’s water crisis is worsening as drought deepens and groundwater sources are drying up. In South Ghor Municipality in the southern Jordan Valley, farmers have begun pumping groundwater from the spring to supplement limited water supply from the government, which only runs for about 17 hours every two days, Al Jazeera reports. Jordan is the second most water-scarce country in the world, according to UNICEF.


Two wells supply water to the small farm community of Teviston, California. For years, and – according to Reuters – maybe decades, one well has been contaminated with pesticides. At the beginning of last summer, the town’s other well went dry amid record drought in the American West. In June, the town won a $3 million settlement from pesticide producers Dow Chemical Company and Shell Oil Company and distributors that will pay for a water treatment plant. This will resolve the town’s dilemma of choosing between safe and affordable water, attorneys familiar with the case say. In the meantime, residents have been left to rely on bottled water.

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