It must have been a tough choice for New York Times op-ed contributors Charles J. Vorosmarty and Claudia Pahl-Wostil: Lead off with the dead pig spill in China’s Huangpu River, the 8 million plastic discs covered with sewage in Massachusetts’ Merrimack, or the annual 16-ton load of ashes from cremated bodies in the Ganges? And if that’s not enough to grab your attention, read on for the really shocking part: “Exposure to unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation results in 3.4 million deaths, mostly poor children, each year from diarrhea, yet this fact never makes the news.”
Delivering water from disaster
The New York Times, June 10, 2013
If one incident best highlights the perilous state of the world’s fresh waters, it’s the “pig spill” in China last March. After the slaughter and illegal dumping of a diseased herd, the authorities in Shanghai went fishing for 16,000 bloated carcasses in the Huangpu River, which flows through the city. Hardly the thing you wish to hear about if you use the Huangpu for drinking water.
Cape Town ‘poo wars’: 180 protesters arrested in South Africa
GlobalPost, June 11, 2013
At least 180 people were arrested on Monday, some carrying bags of human waste, ahead of a planned protest dubbed the “poo wars” over the lack of proper sanitation in Cape Town.
Mapping infectious disease
Humanosphere, June 12, 2013
The Council on Foreign Relations, its global health program, has produced an excellent map of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks worldwide.