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September-October, 2006 International Water News


October, 2006

Aid donations from Arch Chemicals Inc. help clean up drinking water around the world

There are about 6 billion people on this planet, and about 20 percent of them, or 1.2 billion, don't have clean and safe water nearby. Arch Chemicals Inc. of Cheshire, Connecticut, is trying to do something about that. Arch provides funding to help Susan E. Murcott, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her graduate students' efforts to establish sustainable water-collection, storage and treatment systems in the African nation of Ghana. The company has also donated funds and feeder systems to a group of Malian expatriates known as Eau Lambda that is trying to establish wells and treatment systems in rural areas of that West African nation. The company also is supporting projects in rural villages in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, where villagers have traditionally drawn their drinking water from polluted local rivers. Arch funding and products are used by organizations like the International Center Clean Water Initiative for Latin America to help provide sanitized drinking water to small rural villages throughout Central America. The initiative helps villagers install simple rainwater collection systems and communal water tanks. The water collected in these systems is then treated by feeder systems that dispense chlorine-based sanitizers. Arch's calcium hypochlorite is also the purifying agent in PUR packets, a small plastic pouch or sachet developed by the Procter & Gamble Co. that contains enough powder to sanitize up to 10 liters of water. Procter & Gamble donated millions of the sachets to the East Asian tsunami relief effort and millions more have been distributed to poor families in Haiti and South America. Arch also donated 40,000 pounds of its HTH sanitizers to the Red Cross and National Guard for use in sanitizing contaminated water along the Gulf Coast in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita last fall, Campbell said. Waterbury Connecticut Republican-American_ 10/30/06

Tougher New Zealand drinking-water rules 'would increase rates'

Forcing New Zealand water suppliers to comply with drinking water standards would increase rates and fail to raise water standards where it is needed the most, Local Government New Zealand says. LGNZ representatives told the health select committee yesterday they opposed the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Bill in its present form. The bill aims to tighten regulations and would require drinking-water suppliers to take "all practicable steps" to comply with New Zealand drinking-water standards; at present they to do so voluntarily. In doing so, it hopes to close the door on the potential of a major outbreak of disease through contaminated drinking water, though the Ministry of Health says New Zealand has escaped mostly unharmed to date, apart from 3500 Queenstown people who became sick in 1984.
New Zealand Herald_ 10/27/06

Tainted water still threatens reserves a year after Canada's Kashechewan evacuation: Chief

One year after water infected with E. coli forced the evacuation of a northern Ontario community, aboriginals across the province are still being denied the right to clean drinking water, Kashechewan's Grand Chief said Wednesday. Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy, who represents Kashechewan First Nation, said three of his communities - and a further 30 across Ontario - are currently under a boil-water advisory. Last October, water infected with E. coli led the Ontario government to evacuate about 1,100 residents of Kashechewan to Ottawa, Sudbury, Cochrane, Timmins, Peterborough and Sault Ste. Marie. At least one intake pipe for the community's water treatment plant was downstream from Kashechewan's sewage lagoon. Aboriginal communities in Ontario still struggle with poorly designed water plants or overly modern systems that they can't afford to staff or upkeep, he said. CP/cnews_ 10/25/06

Water woes hit Guinea worm fight in Ghana

Musah Issahaku could not know that the water he drank was teeming with Guinea worm larvae. Now, a bandage on the 12-year-old's leg covers the tip of a white worm up to one metre (3.3 feet) long twisted deep into his flesh. Guinea worm, also known as "the fiery serpent", is contracted by drinking water contaminated with microscopic water fleas carrying larvae. Once in the abdomen, worm larvae grow for around a year before emerging through an agonising blister. Global efforts to eradicate the waterborne parasite have seen the number of cases fall from an estimated 3.5 million in 1986 to 10,674 reported cases last year, according to the Carter Centre, an aid organisation set up by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. It is now endemic in just nine countries, all of them in Africa: Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. Reuters/Scotsman_ 10/24/06

Floodgates' opened to water competition
Private water businesses will be allowed to compete with state-owned authorities for the first time under legislation due to be introduced in NSW today.  NSW Minister for Water Utilities David Campbell said yesterday the Water Industry Competition bill "will open the floodgates for private industry recycling projects while providing safeguards for consumers".  He said the legislation would cover the two state-owned water authorities, Sydney Water and Hunter Water. "It will say to the private sector, if you want to get access to the pipes and recycle then we are open for business," Mr Campbell said.  Services Sydney has conducted a long campaign to gain access to Sydney's sewage system and recycle the water for agriculture and environmental services. The sewerage is currently flushed out through Sydney's three ocean outfalls.  Services Sydney last year won its case before the Australian Competition Tribunal for its right to access Sydney Waters pipes. Under the proposal, it would compete with Sydney Water for sewerage service fees.  

The Australian _10/24/06

Water strategy over military strategy

Managing climate change, drought and extreme poverty requires long-term development not outdated strategies of war and diplomacy.  Our political systems and global politics are largely unequipped for the real challenges of today's world.  Global economic growth and rising populations are putting unprecedented stresses on the physical environment, and these stresses in turn are causing unprecedented challenges for our societies. Yet politicians are largely ignorant of these trends. Governments are not organized to meet them and crises that are fundamentally ecological in nature are managed by outdated strategies of war and diplomacy.  Opinion The Guardian_10/23/06

Dublin, Ireland water options include pipeline, desalination - Study

The feasibility study was done by the Dublin City Council and submitted to the Department of the Environment. The options included taking water from Lough Ree on the River Shannon and pumping it to Dublin by means of a 100 kilometre pipeline and the desalination of water from the Irish Sea at North County Dublin and pumping it to Ballycoolin in Dublin 15.
In response to the publication of the new study, Cllr David Healy (GP) claimed the council was charging ahead with design work on new methods of supplying water without seriously considering the benefits of recycling and reducing demand. Cllr Healy went on to say that grey water from sinks, showers and washing machines accounts for 50-80 per cent of all waste water used in a typical house and this could be reused for other purposes, including irrigation.
Harvesting of rainwater, which for most months of the year is in plentiful supply, could also be used to flush toilets, he added. Dublin People_ 10/17/06

Kazakhstan fears 'death sentence' for another giant lake, Lake Balkhash

Lake Balkhash, Central Asia's second largest lake, could meet the same fate as the devastated Aral Sea as heavy metals seep into its once pristine waters and nearby China diverts more and more water, environmentalists warn. In the Soviet-built industrial city of Balkhash, 500 kilometres (310 miles) west of the Chinese border on the shores of the lake, waste from a metallurgical complex is buried within 300 meters (1,000 feet) of the shore of Lake Balkhash, allowing it to seep down and pollute the water. In addition, the principal source of pollution, Chinese and Kazakh industrial and agricultural waste contaminates the main source of Balkhash's water, the Ili river. Scientists warn that the lake is also under threat from desertification -- the slow advance of sands which gradually push back the shore and choke the vegetation. AFP/Yahoo_ 10/15/06

E.coli found in water supply at U.S. base in UK

A routine test uncovered traces of E.Coli at RAF Alconbury, but bioenvironmental engineers carried out frequent hydrant flushing and chlorine dosing and it has now been cleared. As the 2,500 servicemen and their families celebrated Columbus Day yesterday (Monday, 09 October), they were told the water was safe to drink again. They had been warned to boil all water, drink bottled water and throw out ice. It is not yet known how the bacteria got into the system, but Dr Kate King, a consultant in communicable disease control with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Health Protection Unit, said E.Coli in water supplies could result from human or animal excrement getting into the system. She said this could result if material crossed between water and sewerage pipes. Cambridge Evening News_ 10/10/06

The Zamzam Mafia

Gangs of mainly Bangladeshis, Burmese, Africans and now even Saudis are exploiting the ignorance of pilgrims in Makkah by running a massive Zamzam water scam to make extra money. Drinking Zamzam water is from among the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and is something Muslims drink when breaking their fast during Ramadan. Pilgrims that come to the Kingdom flock in their thousands to water stations close to the Grand Mosque in Makkah to fill their containers with the blessed water to take back home. However, Arab News has learned that groups of people have taken up positions near Zamzam stations to sell water that is supposed to be available to people for free. In fact, these people sell empty drums in different sizes at prices higher than drums containing Zamzam to coerce pilgrims to buy Zamzam water from them. The sellers are also known to increase the price of Zamzam water extortionately during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Arab News_ 10/9/06

$300 million in federal funds for West Australia's Yarragadee aquifer project

John Howard, who arrived in Perth yesterday for a two-day visit, has told The West Australian he would also look favourably on a proposal to part-fund development of the Wellington Dam — provided it is credible and detailed. It is understood that the Prime Minister, having elevated water to a national priority, is keen to use WA’s well-advanced water proposals to increase pressure on other States to also come up with major projects. Four years in development, the South-West Yarragadee project has a price tag of $617 million: $445 million in building costs and $172 million to upgrade water infrastructure to cope with increased flow. The Yarragadee aquifer would deliver about 45 gigalitres a year to Perth and is considered by some experts to be the only viable major new water source in the short term. The Water Corporation, which has already begun planning a 110km pipeline, wants to get Yarragadee water flowing into households by September 2009. The West Australian _ 10/6/06

Peace at Saudi Arabia's Jeddah water center
The flood of people at the Water Distribution Center in Jeddah’s Aziziya District has been reduced to a trickle.  The crowd and confusion that was seen at the water distribution since the past few weeks has been replaced in the past couple of days with more orderly and expedient water disbursement, especially in the mornings where water delivery could be arranged in 15 minutes.  This is a considerable shift from last week when angry and frustrated people waiting for hours for water coupons and trucks crowded the water distribution center. Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen paid a surprise visit to the Aziziya center earlier this week showing that the authorities were giving the situation high priority.

Last week, non-Saudis were being asked to return in the evening after Saudis had been served. Customers, including women, were being asked to climb up into the trucks and ride along to ensure that the drivers actually delivered the water instead of driving off to sell the water on the black market.  Arab News_10/5/06

Part 3: Often parched, India struggles to tap the monsoon

Every year, India is crippled by floods in some areas, even as it is parched in blighted corners elsewhere. India’s average annual rainfall rate hovers at an abundant 46 inches, as much as Ireland’s. Yet growing water scarcity threatens both farms and cities. With the population hitting 1.1 billion, the amount of water available to each Indian is roughly the same as the amount available to the average Sudanese, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. India’s rains tend to come in short, furious bursts, meaning that much of that water escapes as untapped potential, washing into the sea and wreaking havoc on the fragile villages and flourishing cities that stand in its way. Global climate change threatens to make weather patterns even more erratic. Steadily shrinking Himalayan glaciers will inexorably melt and rush down the flood plains. The southwest monsoon killed 2,545 people in less than four months this year, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Proponents say India must build many more reservoirs to meet its growing water and energy needs. Critics say that big dams have already proved too costly and too destructive, submerging villages and displacing people without adequate compensation. They also argue that dams and irrigation canals, like so much Indian infrastructure, are so poorly maintained and managed that already they cannot hold all they are supposed to. According to government estimates, silt deposits make up 10 percent of total capacity. Because of declining rains, India today fills up its reservoirs two out of every three years. New York Times_ 10/1/06 (logon required)

Part 2: India digs deeper, but wells are drying up

The country is running through its groundwater so fast that scarcity could threaten whole regions, drive people off the land and ultimately stunt the country’s ability to farm and feed its people. With the population soaring past one billion and with a driving need to boost agricultural production, Indians are tapping their groundwater faster than nature can replenish it, so fast that they are hitting deposits formed at the time of the dinosaurs. New York Times_ 9/30/06 (logon required)

Part 1: Water crisis grows worse as India gets richer
New Delhi:  In the richest city in India, with the nation's economy marching ahead at an enviable clip, middle-class people are reduced to foraging for water. Their predicament testifies to the government's astonishing inability to deliver the most basic services to its citizens at a time when India asserts itself as a global power.  The crisis, decades in the making, has grown as fast as India in recent years. A soaring population, the warp-speed sprawl of its cities, and a vast and thirsty farm belt have all put new strains on a feeble, ill-kept water and sanitation network.  The combination has left water all too scarce in some places, contaminated in others and in cursed surfeit for millions who are flooded each year. Today the problems threaten to stand in the way of India's ability to fortify its sagging farms, sustain its economic growth and make its cities healthy and habitable. At stake are not only its economic ambitions, but also its very image as the world's largest democracy.  International Herald Tribune_9/28/06

Sixty percent of Angolans drink inappropriate water

Elsa Ramos, Angola`s head of the National Department of Water, said 60 percent of Angolan population drinks and uses inappropriate water in their multiple domestic needs.  According to Ramos, in order to reverse the situation, the Government has to build and repair all infrastructures destroyed by the war that devastated the country for decades.  She said as well that four years after the conflict in Angola, the central Government is doing its best to secure the supply of appropriate water to the populations, no matter where they are.  Elsa Ramos, made the disclosure during the opening of a workshop attended by members of the provincial Government, district and commune administrators, representatives of UNICEF and European Union to Angola.  ReliefWeb_9/27/06

Germans tell London Mayor Livingstone: 'Don't mention the toilet'

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, complained today that his attempts to persuade Londoners to flush less water down their toilets had been complicated by the fact that Thames Water's German owners preferred not to talk about the subject.   The London Mayor said that Londoners had reduced their water consumption by around 8 per cent during the recent shortages and said that compulsory water metering was now inevitable.  "I think Londoners are ready to say we must meter our water. I am quite happy if the Government want to devolve power to me I'll do it," he said.  Mr Livingstone told delegates that a third of water in homes is flushed down the toilet, and repeated his call for people to help cut water usage: "You really don't need to flush the toilet when you have just had a pee."  He said he had approached Thames Water about promoting the idea but he was told the company's owners, RWE, were German and were not keen on talking about toilets in public.  Times Online_9/27/06

Water crisis hits peak in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as many welcome holy month of Ramadan without water

Hundreds of people thronged the water distribution center in order to get coupons for tankers. The crisis created a black market in which water was sold at more than SR500 per tanker. Normally, the cost of a tanker is about SR115. The problem expanded to residential area and much of southern Jedda and many Saudi women said they had to spend hours at the distribution center to get water. Some of them, especially the elderly, fainted as a result of pushing and shoving. Abdul Rahman Al-Muhammadi, director of the water department in Jeddah, attributed the crisis to a water shortage. “We need at least one million cubic meters of water daily and at present we receive only 650,000,” he said. “Everybody knows that Jeddah is an expanding city and the shortage occurs during the peak seasons of Ramadan, Haj and the beginning of the academic year,” he said, adding that only 15 percent of residential districts were affected. He said a study conducted by a French company had called for renovating water networks to stop leakages and also for revising water tariffs. Arab News_ 9/24/06

Clinton global conference opens with US clean water initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa
Many of the world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations General Assembly debate are also participating in the Clinton Global Initiative launched last year by former President Bill Clinton.  Mr. Clinton started the Initiative last year to bring leaders of government, business and private groups together to find tangible solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.  Three days of discussions are focusing on four topics: energy and climate change, global health, poverty and religious ethnic and conflict.  Last year the Initiative generated $100 million for HIV/AIDS programs. But Mr. Clinton says smaller budget projects are equally important, especially when time and talent are donated.  The initial pledge came from US First Lady Laura Bush who announced a major commitment from the US government and two private foundations to bring clean water to sub-Saharan Africa.   Voice of America_9/20/06


Water must go to those who deserve it most, the rich
Recently the Business Council of Australia published its report Water Under Pressure that advocates the use of the market to solve water problems.  Ah yes, the magic of the Market. It can turn water scarcity into a myth with the cling of a cash register. Ask the Business Council. All you have to do is put a high enough price on it and there will be plenty of water to go around, well, at least plenty to go around to those who are able to pay for it. Those who will inevitably bleat about the cost and how they can't afford it, clearly don't value it enough.  The Market makes sure that a scarce resource is allocated to the highest value uses. If a Toorak resident is willing to spend more to water his manicured garden than a Broadmeadows mother is willing to spend washing her dishes, then clearly he values the water more.  Without the Market, water is easily affordable and accessible to everyone so the Government has to put in place rationing and pesky restrictions to limit its use. In a Market there are Choices. If you are well off you can have 24-hour running water for whatever tickles your fancy. If you are poor you can choose between water and other optional items such as food and petrol. If you don't like it you should get off your butt and work harder.  The Age_9/21/06

Australia told to reform water systems

Australia is the driest continent, but chronic water problems in its cities and rural areas are the result of poor management rather than water scarcity, a new report said Monday. As Australia braces for another searing summer and a worsening drought, a report for a business lobby group said rather than restrict water use, governments should fix water supply flaws, which would boost the economy by as much as A$9 billion. Since 2002, Australians have endured one of the worst droughts in recorded history, with governments imposing restrictions on householders watering their gardens and banning people from using hoses to wash their cars. The long dry spell has given rise to multi-billion dollar proposals to "turn the rivers around" and pipe water thousands of kilometers from the wet tropical north to the drought-affected southeast where most of Australia's 20 million people live. Reuters/ABC_ 9/18/06

Scottish Water worst in UK - again

Scottish Water's service to its customers is still worse than the poorest-performing water company in England and Wales, the industry regulator said yesterday. Although Scottish Water has narrowed the gap, the watchdog found the company was still lagging 39 per cent behind the worst supplier south of the Border. Scottish Water managed to improve its drinking-water quality, its unplanned supply interruptions and its response to written complaints and billing inquiries. However, sewer flooding had increased and customer-service response by phone had deteriorated. The report from the Water Industry Commission for Scotland described the response to customers who complained of suffering low water pressure as "poor". The findings, contained in a report on customer service, is the first of a series of detailed reports on Scottish Water to be published over the next two months. The Scotsman_ 9/16/06

Thames Water unveils 1 bln stg reservoir plan
The country's largest water supplier, German-owned Thames Water, said on Thursday it was proposing to build a 1 billion-pound reservoir near London in a bid to cope with rising demand.  The firm, a unit of German utility RWE, said the reservoir -- the first to be constructed in the country in a quarter of a century -- would be built near Abingdon in Oxfordshire, holding up to 150 million cubic metres of water.  Thames Water, the worst offender for leaky pipes among all of the country's water suppliers according to sector regulator Ofwat, is also proposing that water meters be fitted to homes on change of occupancy.  Thames Water has been criticised for its failure to meet leakage targets set by Ofwat and was recently ordered to spend more replacing more sub-standard pipes.  Reuters_9/13/06

Botswans advised to share expertise on water management

Delegates at the two-day workshop on the strengthening of River Basin Organisations (RBO) in Botswana have been advised to share expertise and experiences if they want to utilise transboundary water resources equitably and reasonably.  Speaking at the workshop in Gaborone, Dr Horst Vogel, coordinator of the international cooperating partners (donors), said that in view of the challenges facing transboundary water resource management in the region, there is need for networking amongst these organisations. MmegiOnline_9/13/06

Ecology expert urges Calgary to reduce water consumption

"I think Calgary should grandfather water meters on every building in the city," said David Schindler, a University of Alberta ecology professor and speaker at the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy at the Banff Centre on Saturday. "They should be requiring low-flow toilets and low-flow shower heads. They should probably totally eliminate using drinking water for watering lawns and gardens," he said. "There are some really practical things that really would impose no hardship on anyone to do." Schindler, who earlier addressed water experts from around the globe about the effects of global change on the Saskatchewan River basin, had high praise for the province's newly unveiled water management plan. Goals for southern Alberta are to reduce water consumption by 30 per cent by 2015. Calgary Herald_ 9/10/06

Mountains underrated as sources of drinking water: International expert

Bruno Messerli of the University of Bern presented a case study at an international water forum in Canada. Mountains need to be thought of as rocky water towers and protected by government, Messerli said. That must involve more of an effort to implement the Kyoto accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy, being held this year in the Rocky Mountain resort of Banff, has brought together more than 50 of the world's foremost experts on water conservation and management. Mountains account for 20 to 50 per cent of runoff in humid-temperate regions. In semi-arid and arid areas that contribution rises to between 50 and 90 per cent of the water supply. What is alarming, said Messerli, is a three-degree increase in the temperature in the Rocky Mountains over the last three decades. He warned it's possible that future climate warming with its effects on glaciers, snowpacks and evaporation will combine with cyclic drought and increasing human activity to cause a water crisis. CP/CNews_ 9/8/06

ADB ready to invest $3 billion in water and power sectors
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has offered investment of $3 billion in water and power sectors in Pakistan during the next three to five years, but questioned transparency in utilisation of funds.  The federal government has also sought $6.46 billion investment from the bank for the construction of Diamer-Basha dam for which a working group comprising concerned federal ministries and development partners would be established to work out financing modalities.  Paktribune.com_9/8/06

World Bank lends Uttaranchal $120 mln for rural water
The World Bank approved a $120 million credit for improved rural water supply and sanitation in Uttaranchal covering 1.2 million people who either have no or only partial service, the development bank said late on Tuesday.  "Water-related diseases are a major health problem for the rural population in Uttaranchal, particularly for infants and children," World Bank acting country director Fayez Omar said. "This project will generate sustainable access to water and sanitation services, which in turn will help reduce water-borne diseases in underserved rural areas."  Uttaranchal has prioritized rural water supply and sanitation as an important part of its development agenda and expects to achieve universal coverage of safe and potable water and sanitation by 2012, the World Bank said.  The World Bank's concessionary lending arm, the International Development Association, made the 35-year loan which has a 10-year grace period.  Reuters_9/6/06

Eritrea: Underground water reservoirs constructed in Africa's Denkalia sub-zone

Three underground water reservoirs have been constructed in the administrative areas of Arano and Suduhela, South Denkalia sub-zone, aimed at conserving river water during the rainy seasons.  Accordingly, a 400-cubic meter reservoir has been constructed in Ar'ano, while another two, each with a capacity of holding 200 cubic meters of water, in Suduhela. The local inhabitants of the two administrative areas would now have better access to potable water supply.

The Southern Red Sea region administration is exerting efforts to tackle water supply problem. One of the means employed is the construction of under ground water reservoirs in those areas where digging of wells is very difficult to undertake. AllAfrica_9/6/06

Progress 'too slow' toward worldwide access to safe water: UN

Urbanisation and population growth are threatening one of the UN's most ambitious millennium development goals, two UN agencies warn in a report. The UN had hoped to halve the number of people without access to clean drinking water and sanitation by 2015. But progress has slowed due to population increases and unexpectedly high migration to urban areas, say the World Health Organisation and Unicef. They estimate some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack clean drinking water. Some 2.6 billion people have no sanitation and, every year, 1.6 million children under the age of five die because of such a lack of access. The report by the WHO and Unicef, the UN children's fund, reveals that an additional 300,000 people would have to be provided with water supplies every day for the next 10 years to achieve the goal on clean water. On sanitation, the goal will not be reached unless 450,000 people get services every day from now until 2015. And, as with the other millennium development goals, sub-Saharan African is lagging behind. BBC News_ 9/5/06

Read the report

China to invest billions in drinking water for 300 million rural residents

China will invest billions of dollars over the next 10 years to provide drinking water for 300 million rural residents who face shortages or are without access to clean water, local media reported on Tuesday. Increasing industrial waste and sewage discharge, as well as heavy use of pesticides and fertilizer, has resulted in drinking water being contaminated in many parts of the countryside, the report said. China is home to one-fifth of the world's population but only 7 percent of its water resources. Reuters_ 9/5/06

Don't ditch dams, World Bank water boss says

Rich countries should not keep less developed ones poor by fashionable trends that oppose dams and water management infrastructure, a top World Bank water resources chief said on Monday. Australia, the driest inhabited country in the world, would not be the rich, developed country it was today if dams and water infrastructure had not been built, David Grey, senior water adviser at The World Bank, said in an interview. A Columbia University seasonal storage index, which shows the amount of water needed to produce food and service other areas of the economy, shows that most poor countries have only 20-30 percent of the storage they need. Rich countries are "over-invested" at 200 percent, Grey said. Reuters/Independent On Line_ 9/4/06

Karachi, Pakistan: Hospitals getting filthy water

Contaminated water is being supplied to all major hospitals of the city increasing the possibilities of outbreaks of viral infections among the patients and hospital staff. A survey revealed that there was no water treatment plant in any of the government hospitals and the underground and on surface water reservoirs of all these hospitals had not been cleaned for years. The recent monsoon showers have further aggravated the situation as sewage-mixed rainwater that remained accumulated at these hospitals for many days, got mixed up with the underground water reservoirs, apparently resulting in further contamination of the water, which is to be supplied to the hospitals. A doctor at the Civil Hospital Karachi said that the underground and overhead water tanks of the hospital had not been cleaned for over a decade. DAWN_ 9/3/06

Water from Australia's Shoalhaven River saves Sydney from worse drought restrictions; Others who use the river worry about what that means to them

Since April 2003, Sydney has taken one-fourth of its water from the Shoalhaven. It is estimated that without water from the Shoalhaven, Sydney's dam levels would be at about 25 per cent, instead of 41 per cent. Sydney now plans to take more water more often from the Shoalhaven. In a fight for water between greater Sydney and the towns along the Shoalhaven, there can be only one winner. Shoalhaven residents fear that if Sydney runs out of water, it is their river that will be sacrificed. The Australian_ 9/2/06

Canadian resort town businessman says water crisis is over
The water crisis in Tofino, a Vancouver Island resort town, is over, says a local businessman who contributed C$50,000 (US$45,000; €35,000) to start trucking in fresh water from a neighboring town.  Tanker trucks from the nearby community of Ucluelet arrived Thursday evening to start pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons (liters) of water into the community's dangerously low reservoir, Chris Le Fevre said.  Earlier Thursday, Tofino's council approved a water-pumping plan during an emergency meeting, pending approval by health officials. Mayor John Fraser said he would make a formal announcement Friday.  Health officials have yet to officially endorse the water plan, but Le Fevre was adamant the system works and he was moving water with full approval.  "I don't care what City Hall says, I care what a practical resolution is and I'm a positive thinking guy," said Le Fevre. "I know we can satisfy health authorities. We haven't been doing anything without authority."  International Herald Tribune_9/1/06

Special to WaterWebster  

Water for Life:

CARE’s Work to End the Global Water Crisis

By Tarin Harris

Have you ever tried to survive for one day without water and sanitation?

Most of us in the developed world rarely have to face such a situation; and if so, we become very quickly concerned, because we expect water and sanitation to always be there. However, for 1.5 billion people in the developing world, the answer to such a question is yes, day after day.

“If you’ve ever been without water for 24 hours, you know what an impact it has on your life,” said Peter Lochery, Senior Advisor, Water and Sanitation Sector, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE).

The link between water and sanitation and quality of life is palpable. Access to safe water and sanitation increases school attendance, improves health, and gives people more time and energy to generate an income.  “Quantity and quality of water gives you multiple benefits, and by the time you start adding the impact of sanitation and hygiene, those benefits double,” said Lochery.

According to Lochery, a water expert with over 35 years of experience in the sector, keeping people in the community at the center of a water program is the way to attain and sustain proper access.

Also read Peter Lochery's 2006 recommendations for the "Strategy of the United States to provide affordable amd equitable access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries" as required by PL 109-121 “Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005”


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