Entries by Circle of Blue

Torrential Rainfall and Flooding Hit Yemen Amid Conflict and Covid-19

Amid ongoing conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, torrential rainfall and subsequent flooding have displaced thousands in Yemen. Many roads are inaccessible, water supplies are polluted, and basic amenities have been cut, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The country’s infrastructure and health systems are already overwhelmed. On top of that, floods […]

Philadelphia Mayor: Stop Flushing Protective Gear

Hygienic supplies from the coronavirus pandemic are clogging the sewer system in Philadelphia. Residents, apparently, are flushing face masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment, or PPE, down their toilets. This is in addition to sanitary wipes, which also clog sewer system machinery. Countless utilities across the country have indicated that wipes are clogging their […]

In Covid-19 Response Plan for Iraq, UN Migration Agency Aims to Expand Hygiene Services

The International Organization for Migration released its Covid-19 response plan for Iraq. The organization intends to help the country stabilize its healthcare system and prevent the spread of the virus among high-risk populations: refugees, internally displaced people, and the poor. “The COVID-19 outbreak threatens to paralyze an already fragile system and impact the many communities […]

First Confirmed Covid-19 Case in Lebanon Refugee Camp

A Palestinian woman from Syria is the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in a refugee camp in Lebanon, the Associated Press reports. She was taken to a government-run hospital in Beirut, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said. Wavel camp, where the woman lived, is in the Bekaa Valley region of eastern Lebanon. It houses […]

Water Utility Industry Report Estimates Nearly $14 Billion in Revenue Loss from Pandemic

An industry-commissioned report estimates that U.S. drinking water utilities will lose $13.9 billion in revenue due to fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The accounting includes revenue losses from declining commercial use, nonpayment of bills, fewer connection fees charged to new development, and a slight rise in personnel expenses. The tally also includes anticipated revenue increases […]

International Organization for Migration Seeks Perspectives on Covid-19, Migration, and the Environment

The International Organization for Migration is asking researchers and people working in the field to share their experience on the connection between the new coronavirus, human migration, and the environment. Questions in which the IOM has interest include: Environmental implications of Covid-19-related patterns of movement Water as a key to shape and understand the relationship […]

More Members of Congress Support Water Aid

The number of supporters in Congress for utility assistance in the next Covid-19 package continues to grow. One hundred ten Democratic members of the House and Senate sent a letter today to congressional leaders, requesting financial aid to utilities and the people they serve during the coronavirus pandemic. The letter asks for emergency funding for […]

Industry Survey Indicates Revenue Challenges for U.S. Water Utilities

A rising number of water utilities expect that the coronavirus pandemic will result in financial repercussions. Two-thirds of water utilities say that changes in water demand and customer payments during the coronavirus pandemic will cause cash flow problems within the next two months or more. That’s one of the takeaways from a survey of more […]

Handwashing in a Time of Covid-19: A DIY Los Angeles Story

In Skid Row, an area on the eastern edge of downtown Los Angeles, more than 2,700 people live unsheltered on the street. City leaders, concerned that the new coronavirus could spread rapidly in the absence of adequate hygiene, ordered 250 public handwashing stations in mid-March.

IRC Warns of Covid-19 Risks in Vulnerable Countries

The International Rescue Committee warns that fragile countries are “ill equipped to handle an unprecedented pandemic on their own.” The report from the respected humanitarian organization focuses on vulnerabilities in South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, as well as conditions in camps for refugees and displaced people.

Amid Food Industry Shifts, Farmers Dump Milk

Demand for dairy products at the grocery store is soaring, with milk purchases up 53 percent in the week that ended March 21 compared to the same period last year, according to Nielsen data. After years of falling prices, farmers ought to be elated with the clamor for milk, butter, and cheese. But as Reuters reports, food supply chains face financial and technical barriers to shift production to cater to a suddenly inflated retail market.

The Stream, July 1: Colombia Struggles to Clean Up Rivers After Oil Pipeline Bombing

The Global Rundown Colombia is struggling to contain an oil spill and safeguard water supplies after rebel forces attacked an oil pipeline last week. Researchers tracked the virtual destinations of groundwater used to grow food in the United States. Perth, Australia, will begin pumping larger quantities of groundwater to supplement its water supply. In India, […]