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Freshwater Weekly: May 5, 2020

Posted on May 5, 2020 by

May 1, 2020

This week: The Hell of Not Having Running Water During a Pandemic + Lawsuit to Stop Clean Water Rollbacks + Drinking Water Quality Threatened by Climate Change + Increased Water Withdrawal Approved by Judge +  Chicagoans Waiting for Plovers Monty and Rose to Return

The Hell of Not Having Running Water During a Pandemic

Amidst the pandemic, We The People Of Detroit CEO and founder Monica Lewis-Patrick continues her free water delivery service. After Governor Whitmer made an executive order on water restoration, food pantries and nonprofits delivering water are calculating hundreds if not thousands of residents still without running water. For years, We The People Of Detroit has argued that shutoffs threaten the health of impoverished families. African Americans bear the brunt of this pandemic with higher COVID-19 death tolls occurring in the same areas without running water.

Lawsuit to Stop Clean Water Rollbacks

Six environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to stop clean water rollbacks.  The Trump Administration duplicitously named the rollbacks “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” although it would eliminate those protections. The lawsuit contends the rules are a violation of the Clean Water Act.

Drinking Water Quality Threatened by Climate Change

With Great Lakes water temperatures increasing due to climate change, precipitation has also increased, including extreme rain events. Increased rain means increased runoff that dumps nutrient pollution into our waterways. When coupled with high temperatures, this runoff creates the perfect conditions for harmful algal blooms. The combined events create severe threats to our drinking water, demonstrating our vast water supply can still be vulnerable and undrinkable if not properly protected.

Increased Water Withdrawal Approved by Judge

Unfortunately, a judge ruled this week that Néstle Waters Inc. can increase its pumping rate to withdraw 576,000 gallons of groundwater per day.  Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, an environmental organization that has worked for years to protect groundwater and surface water from water withdrawals, is considering options in response to the decision.

Chicagoans Waiting for Plovers Monty and Rose to Return

A nesting pair of piping plovers at Montrose Beach in Chicago persevered through a music festival and more last summer.  This summer, the plovers, affectionately named Monty and Rose, may not have to share the beach with humans due to the pandemic.

@FreshwaterFutur

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.