Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα drinkable water. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα drinkable water. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Κυριακή, Φεβρουαρίου 08, 2015

Sunken Brazilian town revealed amid 80-year drought

A buried Brazil city has miraculously re-emerged from the depths of the Jaguari River.

The city of Igarata was submerged by the river's rising waters in 1969 after the Brazilian government built a dam on the Jaguari river.
For almost 46 years the old city has been hidden from human sight. However, a long period of drought that has struck the country resulted in much lower water levels in the river.

The Jaguari river has reportedly dried up to 100 feet below its previous levels. So far, old buildings of the "lost" city together with benches and trees have started reappearing on its surface.

Local media sources report that the city's structure has remained unchanged and its school and a church as well as the main street are still recognizable, although they have been submerged for nearly half a century.

Some of its former residents returned to the site to take a look at the city they have not seen nearly half a century. Many of them said they had mixed feelings regarding the event. Happiness caused by the reappearance of the city was overshadowed by concerns over the severe drought that has hit the state: the lack of rainfall has resulted in water shortages across the country and prompted local officials to consider imposing water rationing measures.

San Paolo, South America's most populous city, is among those most badly affected by the natural disaster.
[sputniknews.com]
8/2/15
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Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 03, 2015

CA Officials Allowed Fracking to Taint Drinking Water Amid Record Drought

Oil companies in drought-ravaged California are pumping wastewater from their operations into aquifers, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies that have become increasingly important...

State regulators permitted companies to drill hundreds of waste-disposal wells into aquifers that store water for drinking or irrigation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Companies injected a blend of briny water, hydrocarbons and trace chemicals.

Most of the wells are located in the state’s Central Valley, where residents are pumping so much groundwater to cope with the historic drought that the land has started to sink.

“It is an unfolding catastrophe, and it’s essential that all oil and gas wastewater injection into underground drinking water stop immediately,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

So far, tests of nearby drinking-water wells show no contamination, state officials said. But the federal Environmental Protection Agency is still threatening to take control of monitoring the waste-injection wells after more than 30 years of state management.

“If there are wells having a direct impact on drinking water, we need to shut them down now,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the EPA. “Safe drinking water is only going to become more in demand.”

The problem dates back to 1983, when the EPA gave state regulators responsibility for enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The agreement listed aquifers considered exempt, where oil companies could legally inject leftover water.

But there were two signed copies of the agreement, which led to oil companies injecting wastewater into aquifers that were supposed to be off-limits, the Chronicle reported.

The EPA first suspected the problem in 2011, and last summer state officials shut down 11 waste-injection wells that they feared could taint groundwater supplies already feeding homes and farms.

In 2010, cherry trees on Mike Hopkins San Joaquin Valley orchard starting turning brown, a problem that spread the next year.

Tests of the water revealed high levels of salt and boron, both of which can damage trees. Hopkins blames oil companies for tainting the aquifer that used to feed his orchard, and sued four companies that had been injecting wastewater nearby.

In another sign of California's persistent drought, downtown San Francisco recorded no measurable rain in January for the first time in 165 years, the National Weather Service said.

The agency also said Santa Cruz recorded no rain in January for the first time since 1893. Normal rainfall for that city in January is more than 6 inches.

For the Bay Area as a whole, last month was the driest January on record, the weather service said. December brought decent rain to Southern and Northern California, raising hopes for a wet winter, but January turned out to be dry and unusually warm.
sputniknews.com

3/2/15
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 24, 2015

Brazilian Ministers End Emergency Meeting on Worst Drought in 80 Years

Brazilian ministers end an emergency meeting at the capital’s presidential palace, following a water crisis that began in the most populous state of Sao Paulo, causing the worst drought seen in the south east region, in the last 80 years, the BBC reported Saturday.

“Since records for Brazil's south-eastern region began 84 years ago we have never seen such a delicate and worrying situation,” the country's Environment Minister, Izabella Teixeira, was quoted as saying by the news outlet, following the emergency meeting in Brasilia.

Teixeira warned that the state of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, the second most populous state, and the city of Rio de Janeiro, must save water.

Rising temperatures and inadequate waterfall have led to power cuts and water rationing affecting millions of people in Sao Paulo. Agriculture has also been negatively impacted by the drought. Growers of Arabica coffee, a key export commodity for Brazil, said rain in 2014 was half the usual levels, which saw production fall by 16.1 percent in that year, according to Brazil’s official Conab crop bureau.

Meanwhile, Sao Paulo's Governor Geraldo Alckmin, has began imposing charges on high levels on water consumption and offering discounts to those who reduced water use, as well as limiting the amount of water consumed by industries and farmers from rivers, as reported by the BBC.
[sputniknews.com]
24/1/15
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Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 17, 2014

Right2Water urges privatisation ban in first EU Citizens’ Initiative debate

Organisers of the “Right2Water” campaign urged the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and give a legal undertaking that water services will not be liberalised in the EU, in the first European Parliament debate on a European Citizens’ Initiative in Parliament on Monday. MEPs shared the view that access to water is a basic human right, but some pointed out that rules on providing drinkable water remain the remit of EU member states.

The hearing, organised by the Environment Committee, in association with Development, Internal Market and Petitions committees, brought together representatives of the “Right2Water” Citizens Committee, MEPs and the European Commission, which will draft a response to the initiative by 20 of March.


“Parliament recognised that water is a shared resource of humankind and a public good and that access to water should constitute a fundamental and universal right in its the resolution of 3 July 2012 on the implementation of EU water legislation”, but “We need to do more to foster the participation of all actors of our society to make sure that the protection of water resources and of drinking water in particular is reflected into all our policies” said Environment Committee chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE).

« We launched this initiative to get it on to the European Commission’s agenda. We wish to reiterate here that water provision and sanitation are essential public services for all » said Right2Water Citizens’ Committee chair Anne-Marie Perret. « It is important that citizens should be able to pay reasonable rates reflecting their needs, not those of distribution company shareholders. Today, they no longer hesitate to cut off the water of families in difficulty », she added.

“A milestone in the history of European democracy”

Hailing the first-ever hearing on a Citizens’ Initiative as “a milestone in the history of European democracy” Gerald Häfner (Greens/EFA, DE), of the Petitions Committee said “Today, we are switching to listening mode. The question now is how we can better legislate on an issue that is crucial. Water is a human right and should remain in public hands”.

« We are living in year one of the citizens’ democracy in Europe » said Corinne Lepage (ALDE, FR). « To listen is good, but to heed is better. The Commission absolutely must heed the ECI. We note its wish to pursue the route of liberalisation, which is not what citizens want”, she added.

« Not something you can shrug off »

« We ask for a clear legislative commitment that water services will not be liberalized in the European Union” said Citizens’ Committee Vice-President Jan Willem Goudriaan. “We shall have a reason to celebrate when the European Commission acts to show that the ECI is not something that you can just shrug off”, he added.      

Water services, public or not: a matter for member states…

«  Water should be accessible and affordable for all.” said MEP Richard Seeber (EPP, AT). “However this is organised, should be left to Member States”, he added.

…but also trade negotiations and “Troika” adjustment measures

Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE) agreed that water should not be governed by market rules and voiced concerns that trade negotiations under way between the EU and third countries could lead to liberalisation through the back door.

Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL, EL) stressed the citizens’ opposition to « attempted privatisation » of water distribution in Athens and Thessalonika, among the measures allegedly imposed by the ECB/European Commission/IMF “Troika”.

“Water issues can create or exacerbate conflicts” in the world

“There is a very long way to go before the universal human right to safe water and sanitation will be universally enjoyed” said Michèle Striffler (EPP, FR), of the Development Committee. “Ensuring sustainable access to safe drinking water, as well as basic sanitation for all is, among other things, good conflict prevention policy."

“Citizens have shown a very clear proof that this instrument of participatory democracy works, that they would like to have a direct say and to communicate with EU institutions on how its agenda should be shaped” said European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.
 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/el/news-room/content/20140217IPR36208/html/Right2Water-urges-privatisation-ban-in-first-EU-Citizens%E2%80%99-Initiative-debate
17/2/14
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