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Michigan Health Director Charged Over Flint Deaths

FLINT, United States

The State of Michigan has ordered the state's Director of Health and Human Services to stand trial for the deaths of two men from Legionnaires' disease in 2015.

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Catastrophic Consequences Of Kerala Flooding Avoidable?

DELHI, India

Experts have claimed that the devastation caused by monsoon floods in Kerala, India would have been less severe if dam water had been released in preceding months. Catastrophic flooding killed at least 370 people and displaced 780,000 in the south western state.

South Africa: Lack Of Investment Blamed For Vaal River System Contamination

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

The Water and Sanitation Committee of the parliament of South Africa reported this week that "lack of investment in maintenance of the sewage infrastructure” by the Sedibeng District and Emfuleni municipalities has led to the crumbling infrastructure and contamination of the Vaal River System, a tributary of the Orange River and vital source of irrigation water for some of South Africa’s riches

USEPA Receives $9.1 Billion USD In Letters Of Interest For WIFIA Water Infrastructure Loans

WASHINGTON, United States

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced this week that it had received 62 letters of interest (LOIs) collectively requesting $9.1 Billion USD in loans from a wide range of prospective borrowers in response to the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program’s 2018 Notice of Funding Availability.

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European Expats Will Fundraise For Pakistan Dams

LAHORE, Pakistan

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar is to visit the United Kingdom and other European countries to speak to expat Pakistanis about water scarcity in the country and discuss fundraising for dam building in Pakistan from overseas Pakistanis.

Emergency Fuel Supplies For Gaza Water, Sanitation Are Critically Low: UN

GAZA, Palestinian Territory

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Jamie McGoldrick, called August 20 on the donor community to immediately fund the procurement of emergency fuel to prevent essential services in the Gaza Strip from shutting down completely.

Lagos State Looks To PPP For Water Supply

LAGOS, Nigeria

The Water Corporation of Lagos, Nigeria has denied that the government plans to privatize water supply in Lagos State. The Corporation's Managing Director Muninu Badmus said August 17 that while a public-private-partnership (PPP) model was under consideration, but no contract has been awarded as the initiative was still in the bidding stage.

Tiny Australia Town Takes On Drinks Giant Asahi Over Water Extraction

SYDNEY, Australia

A group from the rural community of Stanley (pop. 400) in the north east of Australia’s Victoria State has launched an online petition asking Japanese brewing and soft drinks giant Asahi Beverages to stop extracting water from the Stanley plateau.

Stanley farmers argue that Asahi's water extraction adversely impacts local fruit and nut production.

Drinking Water Despatched To Kerala After Worst Monsoon Flooding For 100 Years

PUNE, India

The government of India has pledged $71 Million USD for victims of what Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called "(India's) worst floods in 100 years".

Future Fracking Practices Will Require Far More Water Than Previously Estimated

DURHAM, United States

A dramatic increase in fracking's water footprint in the United States from 2011 to 2016 indicates that future hydraulic fracturing practices will require far more water than previously estimated. A new report from Duke University has found that the water use per fracking well increased up to 770 Percent over the period and, importantly, that the toxic wastewater produced in the first year of a well's production jumped to 1440 Percent.

If this rapid intensification continues, fracking’s water footprint could grow by up to 50-fold in some regions by the year 2030 -- raising concerns about its sustainability, particularly in arid or semi-arid regions in western states, or other areas where groundwater supplies are stressed or limited.

South Africa PM Launches Initiative To Eradicate Pit Toilets In Schools

PRETORIA, South Africa

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a new initiative August 14 aiming to eradicate reliance on pit toilets in the country's schools. In South Africa it is estimated that more than 3,000 schools still use pit toilets or have no sanitation at all.

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Tribunal Ends 50 Year India Water Dispute

BENGALURU, India

The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal ended a 50 year water dispute among the Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka August 14. According to the tribunal's final verdict, Goa will get the largest share of water followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Coastal Europe Must Adapt To Avoid "Catastrophic Flooding" This Century

BRUSSELS, Belgium

Coastal Europe faces unprecedented flood risk unless timely adaptation measures are taken, according to new research. Coastal floods could impact up to 3.65 million people every year in Europe by 2100, compared to around 102,000 today. One in three EU citizens lives within 50 km of the coast.

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Mexico: Manatee Deaths Mystery On Ramsar Convention Site

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico

More than 25 dead manatees have been discovered in the wetlands of Tabasco, Mexico in the last three months, while fishermen have also reported fish deaths in the Bitzal River.

Officials and researchers have not been able to find a singular cause of the animal deaths. 

Mexico has been a signatory to the international Ramsar Treaty on wetlands conservation since 1986, with Tabasco's "Pantanos de Centla" wetlands, including the Bitzal river, listed as a wetlands area of international importance. 

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, named after Ramsar, Iran, where it was signed in 1971, describes its mission as “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.

Climate Change Responsible For China Glacial Lake Burst

BEIJING, China

Climate change is responsible for the August 10 burst of a glacial lake in China's wetern Xinjiang Uigur autonomous region, campaigners have said.

The burst released floodwater into the Yarkant River Basin and there has been local evacuation, but no casualties have been reported, according to Chinese state media.

Paris Pissoirs Piss Wars

PARIS, France

New eco-friendly urinals have been placed across the city center of Paris to reduce the incidence of public urination on the streets prompting mixed reaction from Parisians.

While some have welcomed the arrival of the bright red "uritrottoirs" (pavement urinals) as an innovation that might help rid the French capital of unpleasant sights and smells, others are calling for the new urinals to be removed and are planning to submit a petition.

Topped with plants, the dry, organic urinals do not use water but are filled with straw which can be easily composted, according to manufacturers Faltazi. For all intents and purposes, the boxes are odor-free urinals, disguised as flower pots.

The recent installation of one of the boxes on Ile Saint-Louis, not far from Notre-Dame cathedral, has prompted particular hostility from Parisians.

Local mayor, Ariel Weil, said: "If we don't do anything, then men are just going to pee in the streets. If it is really bothering people, we will find another location".

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US Grants Jordan $166 Million USD For Water Network Improvement

AMMAN, Jordan

The US and Jordan have signed grant agreements totaling $166 Million USD to rehabilitate Amman’s water resources and to install smart meters.

The grants, announced August 8, support Jordans’ 2016-2015 water strategy that seeks to generate additional water amounts and reduce Jordan’s water loss from the current 43 per cent to 25 per cent by the year 2025.

South Africa Considers Ban On Microbeads

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs is to consider a total ban on manufacture, importation and use of microbeads – the tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics, toothpaste and sandblasting.

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Toxic Algae Threaten Sweden's Drinking Water

STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Toxic blue-green algae blooms are creating problems at Swedish water treatment plants as Europe's heatwave persists. The blooms thrive at higher temperatures and water purifiers are at risk of failing to filter toxic substances that have large accumulations of cyanobacteria. Drinking water containing excessive amounts of cyanobacteria can cause stomach problems and liver damage.

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