"If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of US households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent." That's the conclusion from a study by Elizabeth Mack, an assistant geography professor at Michigan State University, which looked at water consumption, pricing, and demographic, and socioeconomic data.
Read the rest
This map includes “high-risk tracts” (in black), which are areas with high concentrations of families with incomes below $32,000 that currently cannot afford water bills. The “at-risk tracts” (in gray) are areas with high concentrations of families with incomes between $32,000 and $45,120 that are at-risk of being unable to afford rising water rates in the near future.
You can buy high-res versions on Etsy, with Europe and other countries also on offer.
Read the rest
High resolution map of all the permanent and temporary streams and rivers of the contiguous 48 states in beautiful rainbow colours, divided into catchment areas. It shows Strahler Stream Order Classification. The higher the stream order, the thicker the line. Map made mostly with the open-source QGIS software.
Mother Jones profiles Lynda and Stewart Resnick, central California megafarmers who grow water-intensive tree nuts, mostly almonds and pistachios. During a 1980s drought, they bought distressed groves, now part of a farming conglomerate grossing $4.8 billion annually, according to the article. Read the rest
Rachel Warwick suffers from aquagenic urticaria, an immune reaction to contact with water. According to the BBC, it "is like being stung by a bush of particularly pernicious nettles, combined with the malaise of hay fever, every single day." From the BBC:
Read the rest
It’s a world where relaxing baths are the stuff of nightmares and snorkelling in tropical seas is as appealing as rubbing yourself with bleach. “Those things are my idea of hell,” she says.
Any contact with water whatsoever – even her own sweat – leaves Rachel with a painful, swollen and intensely itchy rash which can last for several hours. “The reaction makes me feel as if I’ve run a marathon. I feel really tired afterwards so I have to go and sit down for quite a while,” she says. “It’s horrible, but if I cry my face swells up”...
Right from the beginning, aquagenic urticaria was as baffling to scientists as it is to the rest of us. Technically, the condition isn’t actually an allergy at all, since it’s likely caused by an immune reaction to something within the body, rather than an over-reaction to something foreign, such as pollen or peanuts. The earliest theory to explain how it works is that water is interacting with the outermost layer of skin, which consists mostly of dead skin cells, or the oily substance which keeps skin moist. Contact with water may cause these components to release toxic compounds, which in turn leads to an immune reaction.
Others have suggested that water may simply dissolve chemicals in the layer of dead skin, allowing them to penetrate deeper where they can cause an immune reaction.
A gentleman in England spots, adroitly, that the road ahead is underwater. So he decides, not so adroitly, to "Charge!" The story unfolds from this point as you expect it will. Read the rest
When Marc Edwards was a young Virginia tech engineer, he landed a job with Cadmus Group, an EPA subcontractor who'd been hired to investigate problems with the DC water-supply, but when he discovered a lead contamination crisis and refused to stop talking about it, he was fired. Read the rest
The tainted water that poisoned an entire generation of children in Flint, MI, was the most expensive water in America. Read the rest
Years before the complaints from Flint's citizenry about their water provoked action from the state, Governor Rick Snyder spent $440,000 to supply better water to the GM factory, where the new water supply was corroding the car parts on the assembly line. Read the rest
Scott Slater, a former water lawyer, is the CEO of Cadiz, Inc, a hedge-fund-backed company that's purchased the water rights for 45,000 acres of the Mojave on Route 66, 75 miles northeast of Palm Springs. He wants to pump 814 million gallons of ancient water out of the desert and send it to drought-stricken southern California, where he can soak the thirsty millions for $2.4 billion. Read the rest