Water problems around the world
Americans exposed to contaminated drinking water
American media reports that millions of Americans may be exposed to contaminated drinking water systems that are dangerous for their health. An interactive map, a collaborative effort by Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, and Northeastern University's Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, documents toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS at publicly known pollution sites across the U.S., including public water systems, military bases, military and civilian airports, industrial plants, dumps and firefighter training sites. The researchers found at least 610 drinking water sources in 43 states contain potentially unsafe PFAS levels, and estimate that more than 19 million people are exposed to these man-made chemicals that have been linked to birth defects, increased risk of thyroid disease, infertility and reduced immune responses in children, writes U.S. News.
India is reeling under historic drought. Acute water shortages across much of India have seen hundreds of villages evacuated with up to 90% of local populations fleeing in some water scarce areas. Long term human and economic threats loom large as crops have withered and died, leaving livestock starving and with little to drink while major crops, such as maize, soya, cotton, sweet lime, pulses and groundnuts have suffered.
Sydney is facing its first water restrictions in a decade as drought grips New South Wales with falling water levels in city dams, prompting the state government to bring in water restrictions.
Plastic accounts for 60% of litter in English and Welsh canals with more than half a million plastic items reach oceans from waterway network each year, according to new research from the Canal & River Trust – a charity that looks after 2,000 miles of canals and river navigations.