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Water

Draining The World Of Fresh Water

The thirst of humans and our technology for water, according to two important studies, is bottomless and accelerating, even if the precious liquid itself is finite on this planet. One study shows that human activity has massively altered the world’s flow of surface water and imperilled water cycles critical for life as varied as fish and forests. The other confirms that in many places on Earth aquifers and groundwater wells are being pumped and mined faster than they can be replenished. The concept of the technosphere helps to explain the forces in play.

How To Stop To Israel’s Genocidal Starvation Of Palestinians

Gaza has been under a blockade for over 15 years that created bare subsistence conditions for Palestinians, but since October 7, 2023, the noose has been tightened. Palestinians are dying of starvation and dehydration in addition to the massacres committed by Israeli soldiers. In Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC-Pal) has been struggling to provide water and materials to Palestinians to grow food and has been purchasing produce to provide to families in need. Clearing the FOG speaks with Fuad Abu Saif, director of UAWC-Pal, about their work and the global days of fasting in solidarity with Palestine. The next one is April 13. Click here to donate to the UAWC-Pal. Clearing the FOG also speaks with USAF Airman Larry Hebert, an active duty member of the military who began an open-ended hunger strike on March 31 to press the Biden administration for a ceasefire and an end to the starvation of Palestinians.

Thousands Have Lived Without Love, But Not One Without Water

By November 2023, it was already clear that the Israeli government had begun to deny Palestinians in Gaza access to water. ‘Every hour that passes with Israel preventing the provision of safe drinking water in the Gaza strip, in brazen breach of international law, puts Gazans at risk of dying of thirst and diseases related to the lack of safe drinking water’, said Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, UN special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. ‘Israel’, he noted, ‘must stop using water as a weapon of war’.

Alberta’s Brutal Water Reckoning

Alberta’s water reckoning has begun in earnest. Snowpack accumulations in the Oldman River basin, the Bow River basin and the North Saskatchewan River basin range from 33 to 62 per cent below normal. A reduced snowpack means less summer water for the fish and all water drinkers. Ancient glaciers that feed and top up prairie rivers in the late summer melted at record speeds last year, the hottest on global records. Many indomitable ice packs, such as the well-studied Peyto Glacier, are disappearing altogether, wasted by the desiccating hand of climate disorder.

Ancient Wisdom To Face Challenging Times

Traditional knowledge held by local and indigenous communities about managing forests and trees is disappearing globally due to various pressures. Policies promoting development often ignore traditional forest management practices that historically provided food security for these communities. The degradation of land, caused by deforestation, overgrazing, or urban development, alters precipitation patterns, impacting the availability of groundwater during the dry season and intensifying floods during the rainy season. However, amid this loss, a glimmer of hope emerges. Flashes of ancient wisdom guide towards reintegrating oasis agricultural techniques. Palm groves, treasures of a forgotten heritage, hold abandoned agricultural knowledge, much like the ruins of ksour settlements.

Baltimore Buried These Streams; An Artist Is Bringing One Back

Listen carefully nearby certain storm drains in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood, and you might be able to hear the echo of Sumwalt Run, flowing 30 to 40 feet below. The creek disappeared from Baltimore’s landscape in the early 20th century when the city built a new sewer system. Sumwalt Run became a concrete culvert, moving springwater and storm runoff through Baltimore’s sewers into its harbor. It’s one of dozens of “ghost rivers,” as local artist Bruce Willen calls them, in the city: buried streams that still “haunt” the urban landscape and its residents by contributing to downstream water pollution and flooding.

Plan To Clean Up Radioactive Fracking Waste Ends In Monster Lawsuit

In rural West Virginia, largely hidden among steep hills, stands a $255 million facility designed to transform fracking waste into freshwater and food grade quality salts. Proponents hailed it as one of the most important environmental projects undertaken by the oil and gas industry in recent U.S. history. But local conservation groups and residents remained skeptical from the start, warning that the plant could leak toxic waste into water and air, harming human health and ecosystems in a largely forested region where tight-knit communities live close to the land.  The facility, called Clearwater, was built by the Denver, Colorado-based oil and gas extraction company, Antero Resources, and an affiliate of Veolia, the multinational French waste, water and energy management company.

Prisoners Strike At Oak Park Heights Canteen

Oak Park Heights, MN — Just days after prisoners at the Stillwater prison staged civil disobedience actions by refusing a staff lockdown, incarcerated workers at the nearby ‘level 5’ MCF-Oak Park Heights prison canteen have staged a work strike, according to activists who regularly stay in touch with prisoners. The use of segregation, or sending prisoners to ‘the hole,’ has increased in recent years. Oak Park Heights administrators sent prisoners there 694 times in 2018, according to state Department of Corrections (DOC) data. The Twin Cities branch of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) sent out a press release on the Oak Park Heights work stoppage.

US Military Has New Capacity In Hawaii And Australia To Store Red Hill Fuel

The May and November 2021 fuel leaks of 19,000 gallons of fuel at the 80-year-old Red Hill fuel storage facility into the drinking water aquifer of Honolulu gave toxic exposure to over 93,000 persons.  Many are suffering from toxic poisoning that will have lifelong effects.  27,000 gallons of fuel had “leaked” in January 2014. Some families who have lived in the 19 residential areas served by the Red Hill well report they have had health conditions for many years prior to the November 2021 spill that went directly into the Red Hill well. They feel that these health issues may be attributable to the leak in 2014, nine years before.

Biden Infrastructure Report Pushes ‘Disastrous Water Privatization’

An under-the-radar report by U.S. President Joe Biden's National Infrastructure Advisory Council should not go unnoticed, said the national watchdog Food & Water Watch on Thursday, as buried in the document is a call for the privatization of U.S. water systems, which progressive lawmakers and civil society groups have long opposed. On page 15 of the 38-page report, the advisory council said the federal government should "remove barriers to privatization, concessions, and other nontraditional models of funding community water systems in conjunction with each state's development of best practice."

Why Cities Are Opening Their Rivers And Lakes To Swimming

As recently as the 1940s, New Yorkers swam in floating pools in the Hudson and East Rivers. A safer alternative to swimming directly in the river, the municipal baths kept residents cool in hot summer months until they were closed over sanitation concerns. Now, as the city contends with life-threatening heat, can New Yorkers once again turn to the rivers to stay cool? The team behind +Pool, an initiative to bring a floating swimming pool to the East River, is betting on it. The organization’s proposed cross-shaped, Olympic-size pool would differ from its historic predecessors in one significant way: filtration.

WILPF Stands Against Radioactive Water Release From Fukushima Daiichi

The government of Japan will start releasing wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant on Thursday, 24 August 2023. This wastewater has tritium which contains radioactive substances. WILPF is strongly opposed to this and considers this release of radioactive materials as an act of harm that could further contaminate the environment, and adversely impact the people and marine life in and around the Pacific nations. WILPF is a feminist peacebuilding organisation, we believe that environmental justice is one of the key pathways to peace and a just world. We must act now to protect the environment and people who share the Pacific Ocean. Read our open letter below and share as widely as possible. This is the time to act.

25% Of World’s Population Under Extreme Water Stress

One fourth of the planet’s population in 25 countries experiences extremely high water stress annually, using nearly all of their available water supply on a regular basis, according to new data from the World Resources Institute (WRI)’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. Additionally, about four billion people live in conditions where they have high water stress for a minimum of one month out of the year, a report from WRI said. High water stress puts the lives, food, jobs and energy security of people in peril, as water is necessary for the essentials of human survival like agriculture, electricity production and the maintenance of human health.

South Koreans Protest Against Fukushima Nuclear Water Release

On Saturday, thousands of South Koreans marched in Seoul to protest Japan's plans to dump radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. Protesters are concerned about the risks to food security and marine ecosystems that the release of nuclear wastewater could cause as early as late August. Previously, on Friday, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) found leaks in a hose used at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to transfer nuclear-contaminated wastewater. TEPCO conducted a probe after higher-than-usual levels of radioactive material were detected in rainwater in the dike around a storage tank.

Colorado-Based Water Protector Faces Trial, Shares Wisdom

When Mylene Vialard followed her 21-year-old daughter across the US to join the thousands of the resistance by Water Protectors led by Indigenous women at Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, her aim was clear: to help make change, not just for the Indigenous people whose treaty rights, lifeways, and bodies have been violated, but for everyone. What she didn’t know was how much the experience would change her. That was two years ago. Today, up to 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil (bitumen), a particularly resource-intensive and harmful form of crude petroleum, gush from Alberta to Wisconsin through the completed pipeline, and the Boulder-based activist is one of several activists around the US who face felony charges in northern Minnesota’s Aitkin County. Vialard’s trial is the week of August 28.
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