The Stream, October 27, 2021: EPA Releases Action Plan To Improve Water Quality on Native American Reservations


  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency releases a plan to improve water infrastructure and sanitation for Native American tribes.
  • A massive precipitation event in California triggers flooding and mudslides.
  • Heavy rains in Vietnam force thousands to evacuate.
  • A new app aims to reduce the number of failed water systems in Africa.

An internship program in Ontario, Canada trains Indigenous youth to become certified water operators.

“Clean, running water isn’t a luxury. Everyone deserves it. Everyone needs it.” – Jamie Lee Parenteau, a member of the Ojibway First Nation and a newly certified water operator. The Welland Tribune reports that a new internship program through the Canadian non-profit Water First and Indigenous Services Canada trains Indigenous youth to become certified water operators in northwestern Ontario. According to Water First, 40 percent of First Nations communities in Ontario are under a boil water advisory. The program aims to resolve these deep-seeded water quality issues among Canada’s First Nations communities.


2021 Election Preview: New York Considers Right to Clean Water

New Yorkers have a chance to enshrine environmental protections in their state constitution, potentially reviving a legal movement that flourished in the United States a half-century ago.

Voters in the November 2 election will be asked whether to amend the state’s foundational document by inserting language that would protect individual rights to unimpaired ecosystems.

If New Yorkers approve the amendment, it would resurrect a constitutional environmental rights movement that arose in the 1970s, when public pushback against the health and ecological damages of unchecked industrial contamination became too great to ignore.

In Case You Missed It:

What’s Up With Water – October 25, 2021 – This week’s episode covers an effort to save a threatened species of salmon in California, heavy rains across India’s Himalaya region, and South Africa’s plan to remove invasive pine trees and preserve vital watersheds.

HotSpots H2O: Flooding Is Latest Strain on South Sudan – Torrential rainfall is battering one of the world’s poorest countries, laying bare its weak infrastructure.

EPA Releases Action Plan To Improve Water Quality For Native Americans

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a plan earlier this month to guide to improve water infrastructure and sanitation for Native American tribes. Over the next three years, the agency plans to boost tribal outreach, expand tribal authority to administer water-quality programs, and provide support to address threats from water contaminants like lead, according to Grist.


170,000 PEOPLE

An atmospheric river in central and northern California inundated the region with record-setting rain, triggering flooding and landslides. According to The Washington Post, the rain and wind left up to 170,000 customers without power in California on Sunday. The rain was an intense change of pace for the drought-stricken region. The city of Sacramento, which had not recorded rain in 212 days, recorded 5.44 inches of rainfall in 24 hours on Sunday, making it the wettest day on record. Meteorologists predict similar precipitation events will continue throughout the coming weeks.

4,500 PEOPLE

Heavy rains in central Vietnam triggered flooding and forced thousands to evacuate this week, Reuters reports. In Quang Ngai province, at least 4,500 people were evacuated last weekend. More rain is expected throughout the region this week, officials said.


In 2019, the company Well Beyond developed an app allowing communities in Africa to diagnose problems with their water systems and maintain them on their own, Forbes reports. The app’s goal is to reduce the number of water systems in Africa that fail due to poor maintenance, according to the company. Within the app, customers have access to diagnostic and maintenance support and a variety of training modules on water, sanitation and hygiene.

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