Ever since Nestle applied for the permit to increase pumping at the White Pine Springs well (PW 101)in Evart for its bottling operation in Stanwood in 2016, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has been contesting this outrageous water grab. We have argued in public forums, educated across the state about the injustices this grab represents to the people and ecosystems of Michigan, and worked with organizations and citizens who submitted thousands of comments opposing the more than 200,000 gallons a day increase. Failure of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to deny this increase has left two former trout streams badly damaged. We have had a few victories along the way, but without strict enforcement by EGLE, the damage will continue.Continue reading
By some estimates, more than two million people in the United States do not have running water and sanitation in their homes. Water utilities shut off water access to about one out of every twenty people, or close to fifteen million people, every year for nonpayment. Unsurprisingly, this affects racial minorities more than others. This barbaric practice has likely killed tens of thousands of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given how wealthy the United States is, it doesn’t have to be this way. And throughout the pandemic, we’ve caught some brief glimpses of alternatives. Though the federal government declined to pass a national moratorium on water shutoffs, some states and cities passed laws to prevent utilities from shutting off water to people during the pandemic.Continue reading
In a strongly worded proposed decision and order, on December 27, 2021, David Day, the Hawai’i State Department of Health Red Hill case Hearing Officer and Deputy Attorney General announced in a 33-page proposed decision and order that the “imminent peril” caused to the drinking water by the U.S. Navy’s leaking jet fuel tanks in the island of O’ahu outweighs the military’s claims that the tanks are key to “national security.”
On November 28, approximately 19,000 gallons of jet fuel and water leaked from the massive 20 underground fuel storage tanks at Red Hill and contaminated two wells providing drinking water for over 93,000 persons on the U.S. Navy’s water system. Each of the fuel tanks holds 12.5 million gallons of jet fuel and the tank complex sits only 100 feet above Honolulu’s main aquifer.Continue reading
Hawai’i – On Friday, December 24, I went to Aliamanu Military Reservation at Red Hill housing area which is located above the entryway into the main tunnel that leads into the U.S. Navy’s deep, massive, leaking 80-year-old Red Hill underground jet fuel storage tanks complex. These tanks are only 100 feet above the main aquifer of drinking water for 400,000, half the population of the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i.
A recent leak of at least 19,000 gallons of jet fuel and water leaked from a fire suppressant pipe into two Navy operated wells that supply drinking water to over 93,000 residents in the Pearl Harbor-Hickam Air Force Base area. Built during World War II, the tank complex has 20 huge tanks, each measuring 100 feet in diameter and 250 feet high — the height of a 20-story building, or Aloha Tower, a famous landmark for tourist ships in Honolulu harbor.Continue reading
Climate change is only one symptom of a broader ecological crisis; the rapid loss of wild life is equally critical. Most species other than humans and our livestock, (and pets and pests) have had horrifying drops in population within the last 70 years or so, even if they are not yet threatened with extinction. We and our livestock are now 96% of the mass of land vertebrates, leaving all wild creatures together to comprise a mere 4%. At this rate within another generation there may be virtually nothing left but us and our coterie—and we would not survive that, as we depend on a network of life more complex than we can imagine. We’re also seeing the oceans acidifying, filling with plastic and toxins, and warming; topsoil depleted, rivers and aquifers running dry; and the proliferation of nuclear weapons and power plants leaving sites potentially dangerous for thousands or even millions of years.Continue reading
Tribal activists, drinking water advocates, and commercial and subsistence fishers are asking the public to stand with them in the fight for both the Trinity and Sacramento River salmon by supporting a California state process to restore flows in California’s largest rivers, and by fighting a proposal for a twenty square mile reservoir, the Sites Reservoir.
They are asking the public to attend an online Virtual Rally and Public Testimony Training on December 6, a state hearing on the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Bay Delta flows on the December 8 at 9 a.m. and Sites Reservoir related public hearings on December 15 at 6 p.m. and on December 16 at 9 a.m., and the California Water Commission meeting on public funding for Sites Reservoir on December 15 at 9 a.m..Continue reading
Activists with CodePink, in solidarity with Hawaii-based water protectors, on Friday projected images on a submarine tower outside the Navy museum in Washington, D.C., calling for a shutdown of a military fuel storage facility associated with contamination of Oahu drinking water.
Messages displayed on the USS Balao Conning Tower included “Shut down Red Hill tanks,” “Demilitarize Hawaii,” and “Navy is poison.”
In a Saturday statement, CodePink said that the “Navy’s failure to protect its sailors, their families, and the broader community is further justification of the need to demilitarize and decolonize Hawai’i and serves as a testament to the military’s prioritization of ‘business as usual’ over the health and wellbeing of the people.”Continue reading
The survival and development of human society depends on water. In fact, global water demand increased nearly eightfold between 1900–2010 as a result of factors like population growth, economic development and a shift in diet.
But in China, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, the vital resource is running out. The country’s 1.4 billion population needs water to thrive but it has become limited and unevenly distributed.
After decades of urbanisation and pollution, the country is now faced with both water shortages and flooding – only made worse by the effects of climate change.
And pollution is making water quality worse, meaning much of the water available is unusable. Insufficient management of local resources plays a part too.Continue reading
For at least the past five years the Okinawa Prefectural Government has been monitoring the amount of foreign substances in Okinawa’s water. In 2016 Okinawans discovered high levels of toxic chemicals originating from U.S. Kadena Air Base in the drinking water of the densely populated region of central Okinawa, home to some 450,000 people (ANN News). The chemicals are referred to as PFOS, PFAS, and PFOA, and are linked to a plethora of serious health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, stunted development, immune diseases, cardiovascular problems, and hepatic issues, among others (CDC). They are referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not breakdown and instead accumulate over time (EPA).Continue reading
Masafer Yatta, Occupied West Bank – Last weekend, around 600 Israeli, Palestinian and international activists marched across Masafer Yatta in the Occupied West Bank to deliver a water tanker to Palestinian villagers. Their message was clear: Water is a human right, and Israel is depriving Palestine of this basic necessity.
Amid a sea of rippling Palestinian flags, demonstrators walked alongside a tractor transporting the water tanker from the village of At-Tuwani. The protesters did not reach their intended destination. Instead, they turned back at the village of Mfakara in order to avoid a confrontation with the Israeli Army waiting for them atop a nearby hill.
“Water is a right for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white or Jewish or Arab,” Adam Rabee — an activist with Combatants for Peace (CFP), one of the march’s organizers — told MintPress News.Continue reading
Lerma/Coyotepec, Mexico – In the San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan Otomí indigenous community, in the state of Mexico –adjacent to the country’s capital–, access to water has been based on collective work.
“Public services come from collective work. What we have done is based on tequio (free compulsory work in benefit of the community), cooperation. The community has always taken care of the forests and water,” Aurora Allende, a member of the sector’s Drinking Water System, told IPS.
In San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan, a town of 18,000 people in the municipality of Lerma – about 60 kilometres west of Mexico City – some 10 autonomous community water management groups are responsible for the water supply in their areas.
The first community system emerged in 1960 to meet local needs.Continue reading
Ohio – My city sits on the western edge of a body of water that has figured large in the nation’s history, Lake Erie. My wife and I are fortunate to live in the part of Toledo where the lake is literally our front yard.
Grade school history classes, consisting mostly of memorizing wars and generals, taught that in the first battle for Lake Erie a small American fleet of wooden ships built in Erie, Pennsylvania, by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, defeated the British in the War of 1812 and that’s the reason Michigan and Ohio are not the southern boundary of Canada.
Later, I witnessed a second battle for Lake Erie in the 1960s and ’70s when outraged citizens demanded industries and cities quit dumping waste and raw sewage that threatened to turn the world’s 11th largest body of fresh water into a thick, fetid stew unable to sustain life.Continue reading
A new study correlates poorer surface water quality with nearby hydraulic fracturing but finds that the impacts aren’t major enough to be considered harmful by federal regulators. However, the researchers noted they weren’t able to study “potentially more dangerous” substances related to fracking because of a lack of data.
While some published studies have already linked groundwater contamination with hydraulic fracking activity, one of the researchers behind the study, Christian Leuz of the University of Chicago, said through a press release that their work was the “first large-sample evidence showing that hydraulic fracturing is related to the quality of nearby surface waters for several U.S. shales.”
The study, published in the journal Science, found “small but consistent” increases in the concentration of nonbiodegradable salts in watersheds where new hydraulic fracturing activities were taking place.Continue reading
Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sanders, and House Budget Committee Chairman Yarmuth: “We, the undersigned 218 organizations, oppose the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that promotes privatization, and we urge you to reject it and water privatization in all its forms and fight for a bold, uncompromising infrastructure package that provides real federal funding at the level our communities urgently need.”Continue reading
On May 17, the City Council of Mesa, Arizona, approved the $800 million development of an enormous data center — a warehouse filled with computers storing all of the photos, documents and other information we store “in the cloud” — on an arid plot of land in the eastern part of the city.
But keeping the rows of powerful computers inside the data center from overheating will require up to 1.25 million gallons of water each day, a price that Vice Mayor Jenn Duff believes is too high.“This has been the driest 12 months in 126 years,” she said, citing data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We are on red alert, and I think data centers are an irresponsible use of our water.”
Duff was the only Mesa City Council member to vote against the development.Continue reading