New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection encourages public to learn more about the potential for lead in water during National Drinking Water Week.  News release  Cape May County Herald

Interactive Map Shows If Your Tap Water Is Contaminated With PFCs

The known extent of the contamination of U.S. communities with PFCs continues to expand with no end in sight. PFCs, also known as PFASs, are highly fluorinated toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, weakened immunity and other health problems.

New research from Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Northeastern University in Boston details PFC pollution in tap water supplies for 15 million Americans in 27 states and from more than four dozen industrial and military sources from Maine to California.
EWG and the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern collaborated to produce an interactive map that combines federal drinking water data and information on all publicly documented cases of PFAS pollution from manufacturing plants, military air bases, civilian airports and fire training sites.

On the map, blue circles show public water systems where PFCs were detected in public drinking water systems – the larger the circle, the more people served by the system. Clicking on a circle brings up detailed information, including contamination levels. Red dots indicate a contamination site in Northeastern's PFAS Contamination Site Tracker. Clicking on a dot brings up detailed information and links to more information and resources from the Institute.

The map, which will be updated as more contamination is discovered, is the most comprehensive resource available to track PFC pollution in the U.S. New Jersey has the most known contamination sites with six, followed by Alabama and New Hampshire with five each and New York with four. Of the 47 locations where the source of the contamination is known or suspected, 21 sources are military bases, 20 are industrial facilities and seven are from civilian firefighting sites. Some locations have multiple sources of contamination. - 6/20/2017


Human Activity Ups The Risk Of Contaminating Valuable Groundwater
A study showed that the Earth's groundwater was polluted with chemicals found in present day rain water. The 12,000-year-old fossil water pollution was quite common and roughly half the reserves tested showed signs of contamination.  Pollution levels are increasing each day with new air and water pollutants being emitted into the environment via automobiles and large scale factories. However, it was thought that at least underground water or groundwater was unaffected.  A new study reveals that this may not be the case. Scientists have found a baffling trace of present-day rain water in one particular groundwater reserve.
Groundwater Pollution
Groundwater contains rainwater and molten ice, which seeps through the soil. Over time this gets deposited underground. This process takes thousands and sometimes even millions of years. For the study, the researchers collected samples of groundwater from a depth of 820 feet under the Earth's surface. The water at this level is known as "fossil", mainly because it is almost 12,000 years old. This fossil water was then tested and the researchers found traces of modern-day rainwater mixed with the ancient sample. The scientists mainly detected tritium — a radioactive isotope of hydrogen — which is generally found in human contaminated waters. It was once thought that the fossil water was impervious to the pollutants on the surface, but the study proved that groundwater pollution is a reality. Tech Times – 4/25/17

Workshop on Setting One International Standard for Desal Costs
The Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) will hold an international workshop on ‘Desalination Costing Towards an International Standard’ at its Muscat, Oman headquarters April 11 and 12. The workshop will cover cost, research and development, regulatory framework, environmental impact and other issues involved with running a desalination plant. Dr. Jauad el Kharraz, head of research at MEDRC told the Muscat Daily, “The major goal is to develop a process for normalizing desalination costs to reliably compare costs from around the world. The main points to be discussed are: The best practices for reported desalination costs, R&D efforts for a lower energetic, economic, and environmental costs in desalination; regulatory framework and its impact on desalination costs; energy consumption and energy recovery systems in desalination plants (design, performance and economics); desalination capital expenditure and operating expenses and desalination project costs.” Muscat Daily_4/09/17

First study finds neonic pesticides in US drinking water
Small traces of the world's most widely used insecticides have been detected in tap water for the first time. Samples taken by scientists in the US state of Iowa showed that levels of neonicotinoid chemicals remained constant despite treatment. However drinking water treated using a different method of filtration showed big reductions in neonic levels. The use of neonicotinoids has increased rapidly since their introduction in the early 1990s. These systemic chemicals were seen as an advance because they are usually applied as a seed coating and are lethal to insects but not to other species. In the US, sales of seeds pre-treated with neonics tripled from 2004 to 2014. However concerns over their environmental impacts have also grown and they have been consistently associated with causing harm to bees. So great has the worry been, that there has been a moratorium on their use on flowering crops in the European Union since 2013. A study in 2015 from the US Geological Survey (USGS) found that neonics were widespread in water samples collected from 48 different rivers and streams in the US. BBC News 4-5-2017

Governor declares end to California’s five-year drought
Gov. Jerry Brown Friday declared an official end to California’s five-year drought thanks to near record rains last fall and this winter. Brown lifted drought emergency orders statewide except for a few San Joaquin Valley counties where dried-up wells still plague some communities. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” Brown said in a statement. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” During the drought, Californians were ordered to cut water use by 25 percent and learned to take short showers, flush less, stop expecting a free glass of water at restaurants and replace front lawns with cactus and other drought tolerant plants. Los Angeles Times 04/08/17

How the Water Industry Learned to Embrace Data
The water industry is using digital technologies and analytics to derive more value from its physical assets. The need for this sector to change and evolve could not be greater: The organizations that manage water supplies around the world are facing critical issues, and water scarcity is chief among them.

Because of changes in our lifestyles, including increased consumption of grain, meat, and cotton clothes, growth in water consumption per capita has doubled over the last century. And demand is increasing. According to a 2016 report from the UNEP-hosted International Resource Panel, water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030. During the same period, according to the World Economic Forum, water infrastructure faces a huge $26 trillion funding shortfall. If not addressed, water scarcity will squeeze food and energy supply chains, and stall economic growth. Harvard Business Review- 3/27/17

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.

PG&E plan to sell Mendocino County hydropower projet unsettles North Coast water system. The Press Democrat


Tentative Plans to Truck 200,000 gallons of low-level radioactive waste from Vermont to Idaho
About 200,000 gallons of low-level radioactive waste water could be trucked from Vermont to Idaho under plans being considered by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The waste water comes from the Entergy Nuclear Operations’ Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, which closed in 2014. The water would be trucked to US Ecology Idaho’s site near Grand View, Idaho, about 40 miles south of Boise. The NRC didn’t say when it will make a final decision. AP/KTVB_4/07/17

Bottled Water News

Bottled water donated by Nestle arrives in Flint, Mich.


Hamilton, Canada board of health votes to ban the sale of bottled water and sugary drinks in city arenas, rec centers and other facilities. City council will consider the ban May 23.


Permit denial won't end Nestle water plant's bid for more water
A township planning commission's permit denial is not stopping a northern Michigan bottled water company's plans to expand and withdraw significantly more groundwater.

Nestle Waters North America officials, in a statement Wednesday, seemed to indicate the company will now consider other options for moving groundwater, after the Osceola Township Planning Commission on Tuesday denied a permit to install a proposed booster station to facilitate movement of the additional groundwater withdrawal the company is requesting. "The installation of the booster pump was preferable since it has less of an impact than the alternatives of either constructing a second water pipeline or using tanker trucks to transport the additional water," said Arlene Anderson-Vincent, natural resources manager for Nestle's Ice Mountain Natural Spring Water plant in Stanwood in Mecosta County.
The request has prompted vehement public opposition, with many particularly outraged that Nestle gets the groundwater for nothing more than a $200 per year DEQ permit. Detroit Free Press 4/19/2017


Contaminated Drinking Water

Great Lakes water used for drinking water or beer contains tiny plastic particles in what is a widespread problem, a new study has found.


Last resort: Halifax-area resident first Nova Scotian prosecuting companies for water contamination
Marlene Brown doesn’t know what’s coming out of her tap, but she knows it isn’t good. The Harrietsfield resident has been fighting to have clean water for more than a decade. The now-closed nearby construction debris recycling facility, RDM Recycling, has been leaking dangerous contaminants like uranium and cadmium into the groundwater, seeping into Brown’s and other people’s wells.

In addition to the contamination, Brown said the wells haven’t been tested since Water Monitoring Program stopped looking at the water of 18 Harrietsfield homes in December 2015. For over a year, Brown hasn’t known the extent of what’s contaminating her water. Despite an order from the province in 2010, a cleanup still hasn’t happened.

Brown walked in to Halifax provincial court on Wednesday morning with East Coast Environmental Law (ECELAW) members, and lawyer Jamie Simpson to lay charges against the companies she says are polluting her water, in what she called a last resort since government hasn’t taken action. This is the first time private prosecution has been used in Nova Scotia to enforce environmental laws. The group said the cleanup is estimated to cost $10 million. Halifax Metro – 4/26/17

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


Cyclone Mekunu temporarily shuts Sembcorp Salalah Water and Power Co.'s electricity and desalination plant in Oman.  May 27, 2018 Channel News Asia


The temporary desalination plant in Strandfontein in drought-stricken Fape Town, South Africa now is deliering desalination water to the dity's system.   May 21, 2018


Melbourne, Australia's Wonthaggi desalination plant could cost tax-payers an eye-watering $649 million in annual operating charges   May 20, 2018

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) signs agreement worth about U.S. $52.5 million with GE Power to upgrade gas turbines at the Jebel Ali Power & Desalination E Station   May 20, 2018


Three Cape Town, South Africa, Desal Plants Will Come Online in May


Industrial units in India's Kutch district face severe water shortage


Hunter Water says a temporary water desalination plant at Belmont, Australia remains “an emergency measure.”


India's Jal Sanchay water conservation drive to continue for 3 years, including 10 desalination plants long the Saurashtra coast.

International News

Afghanistan is experiencing its lowest rainfall in years, causing widespread drought and leaving 2 million people facing food shortages while thousands of people have left their homes because they lack water, Afghan and UN officials said.    May 28, 2018


NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) to launch two sportscar=sized satellites to track changes in earth's water and ice.  May 21, 2018 AFP/


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


New York to put up $343,000 to repair and upgrade local wastewater collection systems around Lake George, a popular Adirondacks tourist destination.  May 27, 2018 AP/San Francisco Chronicle



Flushable wipes causing major issues at Muskegon, Michl wastewater plant. Detroit Free Press


H2O Innovation Inc. Secures Five New Water and Wastewater Projects in North America Totaling $4.1 million  news release Water Online


New water, wastewater rules from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources still pending.  The Monett Times


Sewer fees to rise in Apple Valley, Calif.  Victorville Daily Press


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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