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Articles on Drinking water

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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.
A harmful algal bloom in the western basin of Lake Erie in August 2017. (NOAA/Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslick/flickr)

Great Lakes waters at risk from buried contaminants and new threats

The Great Lakes contain reservoirs of legacy contaminants, mostly in their sediments, that are vulnerable to resuspension.
Health Canada has some of the strongest limits on lead in the world, but they can’t be effective without testing and a plan to replace pipes. (Shutterstock)

Lead-tainted water: How to keep homes, schools, daycares and workplaces safe

An investigation showed that five Canadian cities had lead levels in their water on par with those in Flint, Mich. during its peak period of water contamination.
Some towns in northern NSW are likely to see empty dams next year. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

80% of household water goes to waste – we need to get it back

Once water is used in washing, cleaning or even sewerage it can be safely and reliably treated. The treated water is then safe to drink – identical to the original water.
Warning signs in the Newark Health Department after the city learned that lead service lines to houses still were contaminating water. Seth Wenig/AP

How to address America’s lead crisis and provide safe drinking water for all

Newark is the latest US city to struggle with high lead levels in drinking water. Ending this public health crisis will require more money and enforcement, plus stricter water testing standards.
Disgust may be an impediment to many of us adopting more sustainable lifestyles, from considering alternative foods to drinking recycled water www.shutterstock.com

How to get people to eat bugs and drink sewage

Disgust has its evolutionary advantages, but is also a barrier to more sustainable consumption. Marketing may help.

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