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Articles on Drinking water

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An orchard near Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Water wells are at risk of going dry in the US and worldwide

The US has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. When wells run dry, households may opt to conserve water, find new sources or sell and move.
A boy sits on a bridge over a man-made channel in the First Nation of Shoal Lake 40, straddling the Manitoba/Ontario border, in June 2015. Until recently, a boil-water advisory had been in place in the community for more than 20 years despite its relative close proximity to Winnipeg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Tip of the iceberg: The true state of drinking water advisories in First Nations

The federal government’s announcement that boil-water advisories on First Nations won’t end until 2023 at the earliest isn’t surprising. The true crisis is much greater than widely known.
Heat-damaged plastic pipes can continue to leach chemicals into water over time. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires – it’s a risk in urban fires, too

A new study shows how toxic chemicals like benzene are leaching into water systems after nearby fires. The pipes don’t have to burn – they just have to heat up.
Rising sea levels are threatening homes on Diamniadio Island, Saloum Delta in Senegal. A child stands outside a home’s former kitchen, surrounded by mangrove branches, in 2015. (AP Photo/Jane Hahn)

Why all human rights depend on a healthy environment

Among the human rights under threat are the rights to life, health, food, a healthy environment, water, an adequate standard of living and culture.
The 2018 Camp Fire north of Sacramento burned everything in its path: cars, power lines, and buildings – and contaminated local drinking water. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wildfires can poison drinking water – here’s how communities can be better prepared

Buildings aren’t the only things at risk in wildfires. Recent disasters in California have left local water system contaminated with toxic chemicals afterward, slowing return and recovery.
A woman uses her feet to pull herself along in a wheelchair among cherry blossoms at a homeless camp at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver in April 2020 that was recently evaculated due to COVID-19. The coronavirus has exposed and fed upon other societal issues in true ‘syndemic’ fashion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The coronavirus doesn’t exist in isolation — it feeds on other diseases, crises

When two or more epidemics co-exist and compound one another to worsen health, they are said to be syndemic. COVID-19 is feeding on other crises and diseases.
Collecting water from a street pump in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jan. 13, 2020. angladeshi people collecting drinking water from a water pump inside a streeMehedi Hasan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Coronavirus spotlights the link between clean water and health

Water is essential for health, economic well-being and social equity, but too many people around the world still don’t have access to clean drinking water and sanitation.
The Rim Fire burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013. (USDA Forest Service, Chris Stewart)

Buried in mud: Wildfires threaten North American water supplies

Wildfires reduce the reliability of city water supplies in North America. But active forest management provides a key to the solution.

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