Entries by Circle Blue

Afghanistan Green Jobs Program Targets Kabul’s Groundwater Depletion

Afghanistan’s government is employing some 40,000 workers to construct water-retention systems designed to alleviate a supply squeeze in the capital of Kabul. The workers are jobless because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Groundwater levels in Kabul, one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, fell by about a meter per year over the last two decades. With unemployment […]

Pandemic Puts Local Climate Investments at Risk

Officials from 13 states and cities are telling members of Congress that the coronavirus pandemic may cause them to miss a September 2022 deadline for spending $1 billion in federal funds on climate resilience projects, the New York Times reports. Unless Congress extends the deadline, any unused funds must be returned and the projects could […]

New Jersey Cities Get Extension for Filing Sewage Control Plans

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is giving 21 communities an extra four months to submit plans for controlling sewage overflows, NJ Spotlight reports. Combined sewers carry both sewage and stormwater to treatment plants. Heavy rains can cause the system to exceed its capacity. When that happens, excess liquid […]

Disaster Experts Develop Covid-19 Guidelines for Water-Related Emergencies

The coronavirus pandemic is adding layers of complexity to already difficult decisions about emergency response in the face of storms, floods, droughts, and other water-related disasters. Earlier this month Cyclone Amphan made landfall in Bangladesh and eastern India. The category 5 storm forced around 3 million people to flee their homes. With this scenario in […]

Report Assesses State Responses to Water Shutoffs during Pandemic

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia ordered a statewide or district-wide ban on shutting off water during the coronavirus pandemic. Two other states secured voluntary commitments from all water utilities within their borders not to shut off water. Some states extended the repayment period for overdue bills. Others suspended fees charged for late payment. […]

First Covid-19 Case Reported in World’s Largest Refugee Camp

The new coronavirus has been detected in the world’s largest refugee settlement, raising concerns about the virus spreading quickly in crowded and unsanitary conditions. Officials from Bangladesh and the United Nations announced that a Rohingya refugee in a camp in southern Bangladesh tested positive for Covid-19. The person was taken to an isolation center, Reuters […]

California Water Groups Ask Congress for Aid

California water groups sent a letter to the state’s representatives in Congress asking for financial assistance to water utilities and the people they serve during the coronavirus pandemic. Signed by 59 organizations, the letter makes four main requests for Congress’s next emergency relief bill: $100 billion over five years for the federal government’s low-interest loan […]