In Pictures – World Water Day 2017
Some 650 million people, or one in 10 of the world’s population, do not have access to safe water, putting them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death. Dirty water and poor sanitation can cause severe diarrheal diseases in children, killing 900 under-fives a day across the world, according to United Nations estimates – or one child every two minutes. The Express Tribune 3/22/17

UN in push for universal access to clean drinking water by 2030


  • 663 million people have no safe drinking water in or near their homes
  • More than 2 billion do not own a toilet
  • Almost 1 billion people don't use toilets
  • Hundreds of children under age 5 die every day from sanitation-related illnesses.

On World Water Day, March 22, the U.N. will ask governments to spend the money necessary so that by 2030, all poor people can have what people in wealthier societies take for granted: uncontaminated water and working toilets in or near their homes. It’s unclear how much progress is possible. According to the World Bank, it could cost about $114 billion a year to reach the 2030 goal. Foreign aid, by itself, isn't expected to cover the cost.  3/17/17 


Americans Prefer Bottled Water To Carbonated Soda

Americans now drink more bottled water than carbonated soft-drinks, amid concerns for health effects of sugary drinks, according to Industry tracker Beverage Marketing Corp.
In a latest report, bottled water became the largest beverage category by volume in 2016 in the U.S., surpassing sodas.
In the country, total bottled water volume grew to 12.8 billion gallons last year from 11.8 billion gallons in 2015. Bottled-water consumption reached 39.3 gallons per capita, while carbonated soft drinks were at 38.5 gallons. However, soda still generated more revenue of $39.5 billion in retail sales last year, compared to $21.3 billion for water.Beverage Marketing projected that bottled water would hit the 50-gallon per-capita consumption mark by the middle of next decade, while carbonated soft-drink per-capita consumption had exceeded 50 gallons in 2006. AP/www.nasdaq.com_3/10/17

Around the U.S.

New York to Fix Water Contamination Plume on Long Island

The state of New York has begun a new study to determine how to eliminate a contamination plume affecting 250,000 people in the town of Bethpage on Long Island. The plume was created decades ago by chemicals discharge from a Gruman plant that manufactured planes and weapons for the U.S. Navy. Basil Seggos, commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, said Feb. 17 the state during the next few months will determine the extent of the plume and how to eliminate it. WABC-TV_2/17/17

West Virginia Boil Water Alert Lifted
A boil water warning has been lifted for more than 320 residents of Boone County, West Virginia after West Virginia American Water determined a contamination threat had been fixed. Backflow from a church bathroom Friday went into the Camp Creek and Julian-area water systems, triggering a “Do Not Use” notice that stayed in effect until Saturday. Water quality tests confirmed residents no longer need to boil their water, the company reported. WSAZ-TV_2/19/17

Florida Loses to Georgia in Water Wars Ruling

In a major setback to Florida, a special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court sided Tuesday with Georgia in a decades-old legal fight over water flow from the Chattahoochee-Flint river system into the Apalachicola River.

The lawsuit is the latest development in a decades-old “water war” between the two states, which has led to $72 million in legal costs for Florida, from 2001 to this year, according to the House Appropriations Committee.

Ralph Lancaster, a Maine lawyer appointed by the nation’s highest court to oversee the case, said Florida has not proven “by clear and convincing evidence” that imposing a cap on Georgia’s water use “would provide a material benefit to Florida.”  “Because Florida has not met its burden, I recommend that the court deny Florida’s request for relief,” Lancaster wrote in a 137-page report.

The recommendation, which heads to the U.S. Supreme Court, is the result of a 2013 lawsuit filed by Florida alleging that Georgia diverts too much water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee- Flint river system and that the diversions have damaged Apalachicola Bay and Franklin County’s seafood industry.  Georgia countered that any limits on its water use will undermine its economy, including the growth of the Atlanta area and the state’s agriculture industry in southeastern Georgia.  A key finding in Lancaster’s report was that, since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — which controls water flow through the region in a series of dams and reservoirs — was not a party to the lawsuit, he could not devise a settlement between Florida and Georgia without the Corps’ participation.  “Because the Corps is not a party, no decree entered by this court can mandate any change in the Corps’ operations in the basin,” Lancaster wrote. “Without the ability to bind the Corps, I am not persuaded that the court can assure Florida the relief it seeks.”  Miami Herald_2-14-17


Nevada Looks to the Future of its Water
The driest state in the U.S. is trying to plan ahead to avoid serious shortages. State Engineer Jason King denied his office wants to take away domestic well rights. The state has a more than century-old “first in time, first in right” water law that puts those with the oldest water rights at the head of the line to receive allotments in times of drought. About 20 percent of Nevada’s 256 groundwater basis are considered “severely over appropriated,” meaning less water is available than has been allocated. Las Vegas Review-Journal 2/14/17


Dam crisis is wake-up call for aging California water system

In the mountainous folds of California lie hundreds of dams that played a vital role in making it America's wealthiest and most populous state. The Oroville Dam crisis this week, in which nearly 190,000 residents were abruptly evacuated from a valley below the tallest U.S. dam, illustrates the safety risks of the Golden State's aging infrastructure in increasingly populated areas. Sixty-four California reservoirs, or around 5 percent of the state's total, are restricted to holding less than their rated capacity due to earthquake risks and other concerns, a state dam safety official said.  California Department of Water Resources engineer Eric Holland, in the Division of Safety of Dams, said restrictions on capacity affected 64 reservoirs out of the 1,250 dams overseen by the agency. He said he was not allowed to identify specific dams, but that Oroville was not on the list. He did not describe what the state was doing to improve its dams, which are owned by private companies, local governments, the federal government, public utilities and the state. Reuters_2-14-17

California Still on Drought Restrictions In Spite of Downpours
California is recovering from a six-year drought but the State Water Resources Control Board Feb. 8 rejected proposals to declare the drought over, saying it will revisit the issue in May. One of the wettest seasons on record has pulled much of Northern California out of the drought but aquifers remain low in other parts of the state and lower rainfall in Southern California continues the official drought status. Even so, the state’s snowpack is at 184% of average for this time of year and parts of both Northern and Southern California have recorded record rainfall. Los Angeles Times_2/8/2017

Contaminated Drinking Water

Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water May Reach More Than 6,000 Residences in Pittsburgh: KDKA
More than 6,000 Pittsburgh homes or apartments may unknowingly be receiving lead-contaminated drinking water because of untested water service delivery lines, according to an investigation by television station KDKA. Replacing the city’s lead-contaminated lines is moving slowly and it will be up to home and apartment owners to pay for new lines connecting their buildings to new city lines, which can be very expensive. Alex Thompson, chairman of the Pittsburgh water system, said the law has to be changed so public workers can replace the complete lines. Currently, they aren’t allowed to work on private property. KDKA/CBS Pittsburgh_3/3/17


Growers Oppose Desal in Drought-stricken Area of South Africa
Desalination is one of the last options a South Africans regional government leader said will be considered in a drought-stricken province. Dam levels are below 35% in the Western Cape area. Growers in the area which supplies much of Cape Town’s fresh produce said the government should concentrate on preserving the aquifer. EWN_2/16/17

International News

Neighbors Create a Water Supply in Combat-Battered Mosul Iraq
More than three months of street fighting wrecked the water and sewage systems in eastern Mosul but neighbors pulled out their shovels, sledge hammers, drills and other tools to dig their own wells. New York Times_2/16/17


Stone Brewing creates beer with recycled water
San Diego, California’s Stone Brewing is breaking new ground by becoming the first to try making beer using water that "comes from the toilet." Stone Brewing Senior Manager of Brewing and Innovation Steve Gonzalez created the beer that uses recycled water, and it ended up being one of his favorites. He was skeptical, at first, to brew it with recycled water from the Pure Water San Diego program. Now, Gonzalez said, "Among the pale ales that I've made, it's probably in the top three." Gonzalez said those who drink the beer will "get some caramel notes, some tropical fruit notes. It's a very clean tasting beer." For those who may be on the fence about giving the Full Circle Pale Ale a sip, Gonzalez said: "Try it first, I suppose. You won't be disappointed." The Full Circle Pale Ale is not for sale yet, but Stone Brewing is hoping to make it available soon.

The Pure Water San Diego program will eventually clean enough wastewater to provide one-third of San Diego's water supply.  3/16/17


Patented New Wastewater Treatment Technology is Turned On in Unity Saskatchewan

The Town of Unity, located in Saskatchewan, has fired up a first-of-its-kind-in-Canada wastewater treatment system, and they have high hopes for the technology. In fact, the community's administration believes that the results of the treatment system will surpass the "release of water to a fish-bearing environment" standards. The new wastewater treatment system is manufactured and distributed in Canada by Tecvalco Ltd.  "The Unity project is an integral first for use of the MemFree system on wastewater treatment in Canada," noted Tecvalco president Mike Menger. Marketwired- 1/30/17


And Finally

Bringing Water to Kenya’s Drought-stricken Wildlife
Herds of elephants, buffalo and zebras know what it means when they spot the blue tanker truck. They even can tell about what time it will arrive. Kenyan pea farmer Patrick Mwalua couldn’t bear the sight of weak and thirsty animals in a drought-stricken wildlife sanctuary in southern Kenya. So, for six months he’s delivered life-saving water to the herds.”We are the voice of the animals,” he says. AFP/Daily Mail 3/4/17






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