Category Archives: Water

Extreme water stress affects a quarter of the world’s population, say experts

by Emily Holden and Vidhi Doshi, The Guardian, Tue 6 Aug 2019

Qatar, Israel and Lebanon top list of places with worst shortages, as climate crisis threatens

A quarter of the world’s population across 17 countries are living in regions of extremely high water stress, a measure of the level of competition over water resources, a new report reveals.

Experts at the World Resources Institute (WRI) warned that increasing water stress could lead to more “day zeroes” – a term that gained popularity in 2018 as Cape Town in South Africa came dangerously close to running out of water….

read more and follow links at The Guardian

map including the highest stress area (and potentially highest conflict between countries) areas, the Middle East and Northern Africa, from World Resources Institute:

New Maps Show How Groundwater Affects Lakes and Rivers

100 years of pumping has reduced stream flows by 50 percent in some areas

by Jason Daley, Sierra magazine, 7/2/19

[N.b.: this is the bottom line of West Chester Green Team’s earlier article “Rain gardens / green infrastructure / Stream Protection Fee“: Our community, county and country need to see that water runoff goes back into the aquifer. Chester County does not have a problem right now, due to lots of rainfall; see much interesting data at Chester County Water Resources Authority. But the point is to be ready for any future droughts by getting our water recharging systems in place, as well as reducing excess runoff and toxic matter flowing into streams. And our municipalities do rely on the aquifer for water for human use, whether directly by pumping or indirectly by drawing water from streams.]

Photo by John_Brueske/iStock

On the surface, it’s pretty obvious how humans have altered lakes and rivers over the past century; dams have turned rivers into strings of reservoirs, the Mississippi River is more or less a concrete-lined sluice, and artificial ponds have proliferated by the thousands. Less apparent, but perhaps just as important, is how tapping into the groundwater systems that underlie the United States has impacted those streams and lakes as well. Now, a new detailed study in the journal Science Advances shows how much groundwater pumping has impacted those water bodies, in some cases reducing their flows by half. …

read more at Sierra magazine

Today is World Water Day

Water by Wendell Berry

I was born in a drouth year. That summer
my mother waited in the house, enclosed
in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind,
for the men to come back in the evenings,
bringing water from a distant spring.
veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank.
And all my life I have dreaded the return
of that year, sure that it still is
somewhere, like a dead enemys soul.
Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me,
and I am the faithful husband of the rain,
I love the water of wells and springs
and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns.
I am a dry man whose thirst is praise
of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup.
My sweetness is to wake in the night
after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.

DRN defeats motion to dismiss complaint against Sunoco for Clean Water Act violations

email from Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 2/28/19

On February 12th, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network defeated a motion to dismiss filed by Sunoco Pipeline L.P., allowing the case to proceed. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s complaint was filed in June 2018 against Sunoco for their failure to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES permit) for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project and the Wild and Scenic Delaware River.

“Our government officials have not required pipeline companies like Sunoco to comply with the pollution permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, they have allowed the companies to evade this mandate of the law entirely,” stated Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Read more in pdf: Sunoco_MTD_Denial_2.13.2019_

Riverkeeper case can proceed

by Bill Rettew, Daily Local News, Feb 13, 2019

PHILADELPHIA—On Feb. 12, 2019, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) defeated a motion to dismiss filed by Sunoco Pipeline L.P., thus allowing the case to proceed. DRN’s complaint was filed in June 2018 against Sunoco for their failure to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES permit) for the Mariner East 2 pipeline project.

Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network released the following statement: “Our government, both state and federal, has been complicit in helping to advance the dirty fracked has industry despite its traumatic impacts on our water, air, forests, climate and future generations. When it comes to pipelines, not only is the law stacked against us, but our state and federal agencies have twisted themselves into pretzels to find ways to help pipeline companies advance the full power of the laws that should apply.

“The Clean Water Act is one place where this is abundantly clear. Our government officials have not required pipeline companies like Sunoco to comply with the pollution permitting requirements of the Clean Water Act, they have allowed the companies to evade this mandate of the law entirely. Had Pennsylvania mandated compliance with state and federal permitting requirements from the get go, we would not have had the devastating impacts we see today.”…

read more at Daily Local News

Petition to Protect the Delaware River

Protect one of PA’s greatest natural treasures: the Delaware River

Over the past few decades we’ve made real headway working to restore the Delaware River.

But that progress is at risk as the Trump administration is working to overturn key protections for our waterways.

We need our leaders at the state-level to step up and protect the Delaware River–and all of our waterways–when federal officials won’t. Ask Governor Wolf to join this crucial effort to make sure we can have a clean and healthy Delaware River for our kids and future generations.

sign the petition at PennEnvironment