Water

Category archives for Water

Every March 22nd is designated as World Water Day, with the goal of “focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.” This year’s theme is “Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge,” in recognition of the fact that half the world’s population now lives in an…

Cross-posted from the American Geophysical Union’s GeoSpace blog. Even though the deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti is now spreading more slowly, health officials are still working to prevent as many new cases as possible. Detailed models of the disease’s spread help those in charge of making public health decisions understand the effectiveness of control measures,…

Cholera has killed roughly 3,800 people in Haiti and sickened another 189,000, and it will continue to circulate in the population for the foreseeable future. The good news is that the number of new cases per week has dropped from 12,000, which it reached in November, to about 4,700, and the mortality rate has also…

Clean Water for a Healthy World

Liz and Celeste are on vacation, so we’re re-posting some content from our old site. By Liz Borkowski, originally posted 3/22/10 Today is World Water Day, when the United Nations draws attention to the importance of freshwater and advocates for sustainable water-resource management. This year, the focus is on water quality, which is declining worldwide.…

It’s a relief that Hurricane Tomas didn’t destroy the camps in and around Port-au-Prince where 1.3 million survivors of Haiti’s January earthquake are crowded. The storm hit western Haiti hardest, causing flooding and killing 20 people. There are still concerns about how flooding will affect Haiti’s cholera outbreak. The outbreak’s official death toll is 544,…

Months after it was hit by a devastating earthquake, Haiti is now battling an outbreak of cholera. So far, more than 1,500 cases have been reported and 142 victims have died of the disease, which causes severe diarrhea. The treatment is straightforward – rehydration therapy to reverse potentially deadly dehydration – but relies on hospitals…

Blog Action Day: Water for the World

Today is Blog Action Day, when bloggers around the world write about an important global topic. This year, the focus is on water. According to the World Health Organization, each year 3.4 million people – most of them children – die from water-related diseases. That includes 1.4 million children dying from diarrhea annually, and 860,000…

Are More Food Crises on the Way?

Remember the global food crisis of 2008? Disappointing wheat harvests in Europe, the US, and Australia led to a shortfall in global supplies, and poorer countries and consumers couldn’t afford grain that had suddenly become much more expensive. In the US, families struggled to stretch their food budgets; in 14 other countries, food-related violence erupted.…

In Praise of Toilets

I noted in my post about Pakistan that a shortage of clean water for millions of flood victims may lead to outbreaks of diarrheal diseases. It’s worth getting into the issue of how unclean water causes these diseases. Basically, the problem is water contaminated by human feces. In Clinical Microbiology Reviews, Qadri et al list…

Flooding in Pakistan has killed 1,600 and is affecting an estimated 20 million people. Six million lack access to food, shelter, and water. The report of a single confirmed cholera case (in the Swat valley) is generating some headlines, but the important point is that a lack of clean water makes the spread of any…