Top Water News

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water.

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. Circle of Blue

Military bases' contamination will affect water for generations.

Little remains of the former George Air Force Base but rows of dilapidated houses, a dismantled military hospital and dangerous chemicals from pesticides, jet fuels and other hazardous wastes that have poisoned the water for decades. News21

Enbridge Line 3 options all would hurt American Indians, report says.

Enbridge's route and four alternative paths would all have disproportionately negative effects on American Indians in northern Minnesota. Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota

Video: Toxic Taps: Meet California’s newest water contaminant.

In the fourth video in our “Toxic Taps” series, we explain what happens now that California has finally regulated a carcinogen, 1,2,3-trichloropropane, that has been contaminating groundwater for decades. Water Deeply

Our Reporting on Water

More news from EHN

Science: Pay attention to two other messages in the breakthrough BPA water treatment paper.

It's plausible no living multi-cellular organism on this planet is BPA-free. And the levels we're living with could be causing harm. Environmental Health News

BPA breakthrough: New treatment takes controversial chemical out of water.

Researchers report rapid removal of BPA from water using green chemistry. Environmental Health News

Hundreds of scientists call for caution on anti-microbial chemical use.

More than 200 scientists outline a broad range of concerns for triclosan and triclocarban and call for reduced use worldwide. Environmental Health News

Climate change could slash staple crops.

Oxfam International

Extreme weather and temperature swings are estimated to cut major crop production by 23 percent over the next 30 years, scientists warn. Daily Climate


Army should pay its share for Superfund site cleanup.

It is clear that the National Guard was a primary contributor to the problem, and should also contribute to the cleanup. more…

Don’t ignore a major threat to the Chesapeake Bay.

The bay cannot afford Maryland and the rest taking their eye off the big picture, just as improvements are becoming visible. more…

New Jersey must lead pollution fight.

New Jersey has a strong environmental track record, and while Gov. Chris Christie among others has derailed some of that progress, the spirit remains willing. more…

Drugs in water

California drought

California’s biggest drought success story came with a high cost.

East Porterville was the hardest-hit community during the drought, when nearly 1,000 people were without water. Efforts to find a long-term fix have been successful but came with a big price tag and some important lessons. Water Deeply

Californians support climate change policies, want state leaders to go further.

Most Californians support the state’s policies fighting climate change - and they want state leaders to go further, a poll released Wednesday found. Vallejo Times-Herald, California

Water quality in county's rivers and creeks improves, but long-term prognosis unknown.

The health of many rivers and streams throughout San Diego County - which flow down canyons and wind through often contaminated urban landscapes - has improved after suffering during several years of drought conditions, according to a report released this week by the nonprofit environmental group San Diego Coastkeeper. San Diego Union-Tribune, California

Why some western water agencies are writing 100-year water plans.

Climate change is causing water managers to think long term about their resources. Several western agencies are planning a century in advance, but that’s not without its headaches. Water Deeply

Did rogue paddlers, Scalia cement protection for LA River?

A possible survivor of the Trump administration's efforts to limit Clean Water Act protections is a concrete canal that looks more like a highway than a waterway: the Los Angeles River. Greenwire


Wildfires are a climate change wake-up call.

Today's wildfires are a wake-up call. If we are serious about our Paris Agreement commitments, we can't build more pipelines, expand oil sands, continue fracking or exploit extreme Arctic and deep-sea oil. more…

Cheese powder and other hobgoblins: A double standard in risk reporting.

When a company claims its products are safe, journalists are rightly skeptical. Why do alarmist claims from environmental groups get a free pass? more…

Poison once flowed in America's waters. With Trump, it might again.

Over the past four decades, a huge amount of effort has gone into cleaning America’s heavily polluted waters. Is all of that progress about to be undone? more…

Fracking and water

Eight years later, Dimock's water is still under scrutiny.

For the second time in five years, water sampling teams working for a federal agency fanned out across this rural town in the heart of northeastern Pennsylvania’s natural gas patch this week, gathering information in vials and bottles to help assess whether the drinking water is safe. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania

Meet the protesters who are spending their summer fighting fracking.

Campaigners are targeting several shale gas “exploration” points across Lancashire because they say the government is failing to listen to residents. HuffPost UK, United Kingdom

Pennsylvania judge halts pipeline construction after multiple problems.

A Pennsylvania judge has put a two-week hold on all drilling for a controversial pipeline construction project that’s had multiple spills and sparked complaints of well contamination. Chesapeake Bay Journal, Pennsylvania

Trump proposes scrapping Obama-era fracking rule on water pollution.

The Bureau of Land Management says it is moving to discard a 2015 regulation as it duplicates state rules and ‘imposes unjustified costs’ on oil and gas industry. The Guardian

Treated fracking wastewater contaminated watershed with radium and endocrine disrupters, study finds.

In western Pennsylvania, wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations left significant contamination in a waterway downstream of treatment plants. Yale Environment 360

Proposed EPA permit violates Clean Water Act, group alleges.

An environmental group is accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of violating federal pollution laws by allowing oil and gas companies to dump an unlimited quantity of fracking chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico. New Orleans WWL TV, Louisiana

Native Americans sue frackers over manmade earthquakes.

Environmental advocate Erin Brockovich is helping the Pawnee Nation take on oil and gas companies in Oklahoma. National Geographic News

Fracking inquiry launched after Blackpool tremors.

Scientists will investigate how fracking can affect drinking water and its role in earthquake tremors of the kind caused by shale gas operations near Blackpool, as part of a taxpayer-funded £8m research project. The Guardian

Loss of glacial water

Solutions and Good News

VIDEO: See the moment Bruno Mars announced his surprise $1 million Flint donation.

The crowd erupted with elation as Bruno Mars made a surprise announcement he will donate $1 million to help the victims of the Flint water crisis. Muskegon Chronicle, Michigan

Programs filling growing number of jobs created by stormwater rules.

Good career opportunity, plus a chance to do good, attracts trainees. Chesapeake Bay Journal, Pennsylvania

Paris plunge: Daily queues after city opens cleaned-up canal to swimmers.

Free swimming at La Villette is first step in Paris’s efforts to reopen some of its murky waterways to casual bathers, and the Seine could be next. The Guardian

Let's all swim in the once-filthy canals of Paris.

Unlike many cities, the French capital has made good on its promise to re-open urban waterways to bathers. How did they do it? CityLab

Water quantity

Deepening drought hits Ethiopia herders as millions go hungry.

Eastern and southern Africa were hit hard last year by drought exacerbated by El Niño that wilted crops, slowed economic growth and drove food prices higher. Reuters

Cities across Africa face threat of landslides like Sierra Leone.

Natural and human factors made Sierra Leone's capital vulnerable to a landslide that killed more than 400 people this week: heavy rain, deforested land and communities forced by overcrowding to live on steep hillsides. Reuters

As rural Sri Lanka dries out, young farmers look for new job options.

"When my father was my age, maybe the rains were much more predictable. Now only a fool will bet on the rains" Thomson Reuters Foundation

On the Colorado, the lowest water use in 25 years.

Yes, a good snowpack helped us this year in the Colorado River. But the numbers are clear – reductions in water use made a far larger contribution to the good news on the river this year. Inkstain

Bigger, hotter, faster.

The wildfires of tomorrow will be like nothing we’ve ever seen. But the debates they’ll spark have already been raging for more than a century. bioGraphic

Water quality

What's the status of GenX investigations, lawsuits?

Federal, state and local agencies are among those looking into Chemours. Wilmington Star-News, North Carolina

PA environmental regulators to consider health limits for PFOA.

Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board accepted a request to look at whether to set a health limit for the toxic chemical PFOA in drinking water, the board’s first such decision in its more than 40-year history. StateImpact Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

Queensland conservationists call for river-mining ban to protect Great Barrier Reef.

State mines minister rejects two applications at reserves west of Cape Tribulation which campaigners say should set a precedent. The Guardian

Bill to end moratorium on mining is introduced.

Wisconsin’s mining moratorium law would be jettisoned under a bill proposed Thursday by two Republican legislators that could spur plans for new mining in northern Wisconsin. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin

How much should major polluters pay? A case against DuPont provides a model.

A biologist traced mercury from a company spill to contamination in songbirds, and devised a new way to hold polluters financially accountable. Audubon Magazine

Environmental justice and water

Inside the oil spill that followed Trudeau to China.

There is certain information about Husky Energy’s catastrophic oil spill in Saskatchewan last summer that you won’t find on the company’s brand new website. National Observer, Canada

Troubled Water: Industrial waste pollutes America’s drinking water.

Manufacturing, mining and waste disposal companies and dozens of others provide millions of jobs and services to Americans, but they are also among the country’s worst water polluters. News21

An environmental threat: The East Chicago lead crisis one year later.

It has been more than a year since Mayor Anthony Copeland informed more than 1,000 West Calumet Housing Complex residents it was in their "best interest to temporarily relocate" because of contaminated soil. Northwest Indiana Times, Indiana

Researchers estimate lead released from Flint water pipes.

Lack of orthophosphate corrosion control contributed to city’s water crisis, according to new analysis. Chemical & Engineering News

Troubled Water: Crumbling pipes, tainted water plague black communities.

Skepticism about drinking water is pervasive through many black communities in northern cities and in pockets of poverty throughout the south. News21

Troubled Water: Native American tribes fight for clean water and more money.

Tribes are struggling to get the attention and funding necessary to clean the water their people rely on. News21

Schools fail lead tests while many states don’t require testing at all.

While schools often struggle with the aftermath of finding lead in their drinking water, education advocates and health professionals agree that there’s an even costlier scenario: not knowing at all. News21

Endocrine disruption and water

Troubled Water: Farming activity contaminates water despite best practices.

Farming communities had thousands of violations of nitrate contamination over the last 10 years. Farmers are trying to contain the issue, but a lack of regulation hinders progress. News21

1 in 5 Americans drank potentially unsafe water during past decade.

As many as 63 million people – nearly a fifth of the country – were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade, according to a News21 investigation of 680,000 water quality and monitoring violations from the Environmental Protection Agency. News21

Ottawa ignoring hazards of top pesticides sold in Canada.

Canada's pesticide regulator, the PMRA, is accused of turning a blind eye to problems with three of the most popular pesticides on the market. National Observer, Canada

CMU chemical promises to rid 99 percent of BPA from wastewater.

Terry Collins will tell you BPA is a scary compound. It's a chemical that's used to manufacture plastics, and more than 6 billion pounds of it are produced every year. Pittsburgh WESA Public Radio, Pennsylvania

Citizen groups will sue DuPont and Chemours for contaminating drinking water in North Carolina.

GenX was engineered to replace PFOA, a toxic industrial chemical used to make Teflon. Now GenX has seeped into water in West Virginia and North Carolina. The Intercept