Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why Is Palestine's Drought Not As Important As California's?

Think California's drought is bad? Try Palestine's


Holed Palestinian water tanks, destroyed by armed settlers in the old city of Hebron. Photo: ISM Palestine via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

As World Water Week kicks off in Stockholm today with a theme of 'Water for Development', the drought being deliberately inflicted on Palestinians is firmly off the agenda, writes Laith Shakir. While Israelis water their lawns, irrigate crops and swim in Olympic-sized pools, Palestinian communities a few kilometers away are literally dying of thirst.

This crisis has become the norm for Palestinians for decades now, though its severity continues to increase as water becomes more scarce. The UN estimates that the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable by 2020.

California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in the state's history, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a water "state of emergency."

Ordinary Californians are bearing the brunt of this disaster. While the governor has imposed restrictions to reduce residential water consumption, businesses in the fields of agriculture and hydraulic fracturing have been largely exempt.

Brown's unwillingness to take on these gargantuan corporate water-wasters lends a sharp political element to an otherwise natural disaster.

There's another region in the world, however, where access to water isn't just decided on the whims of politicians dealing with natural disasters. In fact, the very existence of water crises is official state policy for one country: Israel.

Dying of thirst

Despite its location in a region thought to be perennially dry, the Holy Land actually has ample natural freshwater resources - namely in the form of underwater aquifers and the Jordan River. Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli settlers live in roughly equal proximity to these resources, which theoretically would allow for equal consumption.

Israeli water policy, however, has made this prospect virtually impossible. In fact, there's a shocking disparity.

A report from the United Nations found that the average Israeli settler consumes 300 liters of water per day - a figure surpassing even the average Californian's 290. But thanks to Israeli military action and legal restrictions on access, the average Palestinian in the occupied West Bank only gets about 70.

And for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who live off the water grid altogether, daily consumption hovers at around 30. That's just 10% of the Israeli figure.

Both figures are well below the minimum 100 liters per day recommended by the World Health Organization. While Israelis are watering their lawns and swimming in Olympic-sized pools, Palestinian communities a few kilometers away are literally dying of thirst.

Weaponizing water

This inequality has deep roots - and it's no accident.

Almost immediately after the creation of Israel in 1948, the fledgling country took comprehensive action to secure control of the region's water. These policies were ramped up again following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, when Israel first assumed control of the Palestinian territories.

That year, the Israeli armed forces issued Military Order 92 - an initiative that put Palestinian water resources under Israel's military jurisdiction. This was shortly followed by Military Order 158, which required Palestinians to obtain permits from the military in order to build new water infrastructure.

If they built new wells, springs, or even rain-collecting containers without Israeli permission, soldiers would confiscate or destroy them, often without prior notification.

These orders, among others, remain on the books to this day. They form the basis for the administration of water access for nearly 4.4 million Palestinians. Although control of water resources is now officially the domain of Mekorot, Israel's national water company, Israeli forces routinely perform operations with the explicit intent of destroying Palestinian water infrastructure.


End of excerpt

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This is nothing less than a crime against humanity. So please do not try to justify this based on history or religion. Also again, notice no mention of this in our American media. All we see are the same platitudes from the US calling for unflinching loyalty to the Israeli government, even if it supersedes the best interests of Americans and especially those poor people of Palestine.

This should not be about politics. This is about humanity. Water used as a weapon by any government is the height of evil and cowardice.

According to these reports the Gaza strip will be unliveable within FIVE YEARS. Where will the people go? Are we to simply sit and watch another genocide? How can you claim to stand for peace while denying water?

And really? World Water Week in Stockholm is a joke. I stopped supporting it years ago after reading that water sucking NESTLE was one of its sponsors. The corruption runs deep. Much deeper than the water available to those who have a right to it.



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Also see:

REPOST (With additions) : Water Crisis Will Make Gaza Strip "Unliveable" -Water Used As A Weapon
From 2014
See what this war has really been about.

Water Crisis Will Make Gaza Strip "Unliveable"
From 2012

The case of Gaza: water scarcity and conflict
From 2009

Is The Israeli/Lebanon War Over Water?
From 2009
In my research of this area, I discovered that there has been a threat of war for years over waters being diverted from the Wazzani River in Lebanon, and Israel's alleged attempts at taking water from the Jordan and the Litani Rivers. So, is taking out Lebanon's pumps and gaining control of the Litani and Wazzani Rivers now also part of the plan of these current attacks? The Israeli government is denying water and subsistence to innocent people, and that is a human rights abuse. Per this article from 12 years ago (which shows how long this dispute has been going on): (bolding my emphasis)

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Drinkable Book Could Save Lives

Eliminating water-borne bacteria with pages from The Drinkable Book could save lives



Human consumption of bacterially contaminated water causes millions of deaths each year throughout the world--primarily among children. While studying the material properties of paper as a graduate student, Theresa Dankovich, Ph.D., discovered and developed an inexpensive, simple and easily transportable nanotechnology-based method to purify drinking water. She calls it The Drinkable BookTM, and each page is impregnated with bacteria-killing metal nanoparticles.

Dankovich will explain her technology and reveal new results of recent field tests conducted in Africa and Bangladesh at the 250th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS is the world's largest scientific society. The national meeting takes place here through Thursday.

Although silver and similar metals have been known for centuries to have the ability to kill bacteria, no one had put them into paper to purify drinking water, Dankovich notes. While earning her doctorate at McGill University, she found that sheets of thick filter paper embedded with silver nanoparticles could do just that, eliminating a wide variety of microorganisms, including bacteria and some viruses.

She continued her research at the University of Virginia's Center for Global Health, expanding the repertoire of embedded nanoparticles to include ones made of inexpensive copper. Dankovich also began field investigations of water purification applications in Limpopo, South Africa, as well as northern Ghana, Haiti and Kenya.

"In Africa, we wanted to see if the filters would work on 'real water,' not water purposely contaminated in the lab," she says. "One day, while we were filtering lightly contaminated water from an irrigation canal, nearby workers directed us to a ditch next to an elementary school, where raw sewage had been dumped. We found millions of bacteria; it was a challenging sample.

"But even with highly contaminated water sources like that one, we can achieve 99.9 percent purity with our silver- and copper-nanoparticle paper, bringing bacteria levels comparable to those of U.S. drinking water," Dankovich adds.

"Some silver and copper will leach from the nanoparticle-coated paper, but the amount lost into the water is within minimal values and well below Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization drinking water limits for metals."

Last year, she formed a nonprofit company, pAge Drinking Paper. In collaboration with the nonprofit WATERisLIFE organization and Brian Gartside, a designer formerly with DDB New York and now with Deutsch, her company developed a unique product that is essentially a book comprised of pages embedded with silver nanoparticles.

Printed on each page is information on water safety both in English and the language spoken by those living where the filter is to be used. Each page can be removed from the book and slid into a special holding device in which water is poured through and filtered. A page can clean up to 26 gallons (100 liters) of drinking water; a book can filter one person's water needs for four years.

More on the drinkable book:



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We need so much more in the way of water sanitation, but this is a start. I am suspicious about nanotechnology and its effects on humans and other species, but this looks to be somewhat safer and something that is truly intended to be useful rather than just a gimmick. Bottomline however is that bandaids are just that. We should care enough to invest in the same infrastructure for underdeveloped nations to bring them sanitation systems and faucets in their homes as we have in the industrialized world. Doing that instead of spending it on military budgets may not only see the end of much disease and poverty but also terrorism and war.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Participation

I have noticed that this blog gets little to no attention of late. The stories/information shared here and the dedication with which I have kept this blog going are important to me. It is hurtful to continue to post on this blog and only get one comment in years. Then, to see you have a comment only for it to be SPAM. I keep trying to understand why the world is as it is. Maybe this blog is my answer. To those who have read and support my work, thank you. However, considering it doesn't seem to be having the impact I hoped for I will be deciding whether or not to end it within the next few weeks. We shouldn't have to GOOGLE, Tweet or Facebook in order for people to read our work but apparently in our social media culture that is just like the one off it only celebrities and people with blue checks rate. My time might then be better spent on different pursuits.(?) Thanks.

Update 8/23: Thank you for the several responses I received regarding the blog. I will try to keep it up and continue to update on issues we don't see in the MSM. Anyone with problems regarding commenting or anything else here please contact me. And to "anonymous", your SPAM is being deleted everyday and will never be seen on this site.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Water Rationing In Puerto Rico Hits The Poor, Leaves Resorts Untouched

Drought Monitor/Puerto Rico

Water Rationing In Puerto Rico Hits The Poor, Leaves Resorts Untouched


Fernandez’ dog Martes paces the cracked, dry land on his farm.
CREDIT: Alice Ollstein

by Alice Ollstein Aug 10, 2015 2:19pm

CREDIT: Alice Ollstein

GUAYANILLA, PUERTO RICO — Pacing across the cracked earth of his family’s land as hot, dry winds shook the surrounding trees, 33-year-old Roberto Fernandez described how two years of severe drought has devastated the island.

“Last year, the pastures weren’t getting rain and weren’t able to regrow, and my livestock started getting hungry and sick,” he said. “When the animals don’t have enough food, it takes a toll on their defense system, and the tics took hold and started spreading disease. There were carcasses of adult cows everywhere. That’s when I understood the pretty shocking reality of the drought.”

Other farmers who bring produce to the organic market Fernandez set up in the nearby city of Ponce are also suffering. “Production has dwindled drastically,” he said. “We’re really deep into the problem now.”

Since the usual tropical rains fizzled out in February, the USDA has declared more than a quarter of Puerto Rico a disaster area. In July, usually one of the wettest months, the island got just 4 centimeters of rain. Now, 2.8 million residents live in a part of the country suffering either an “extreme” or “severe” drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.

As the commonwealth’s reservoirs drop to their lowest levels in decades, the government has declared a state of emergency, and implemented strict rationing. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans now have had tap water only every third day, and that tightened this past weekend, giving families water only two days a week.

“It’s been water for one day, then no water for two days,” explained Fernandez. “In the one day you have water, you fill your buckets.”

Government officials are telling residents that now is “not the time” to wash their cars, fill private swimming pools, or hose down their sidewalks and patios. Luis F. Cruz Batista, Director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Management and Budget, told local press: “The rationing affects the rich, the middle class and the poor; it affects children, adults and seniors.”

But the rationing has not hit everyone equally. As poor islanders fill up buckets and bathtubs on the few days they have water, the pools, fountains, and showers of the coastline’s hotels and resorts remain untouched.

“The most affected residents have been those with the fewest resources,” San Juan academic and activist Jose Rivera told ThinkProgress. “But in the hotels and the majority of condominiums, like the one I live in, the rationing either isn’t being done at all, or they’re only partially implementing it. So far, the population has remained calm, but I expect this inequality of sacrifices to eventually provoke protests.”

Rivera added that when public schools reconvene this month, the water rationing will disrupt class schedules and the school breakfast and lunch programs. This will especially harm more than half of Puerto Rican children living in poverty.

For Fernandez, the water rationing policy is a symbol of deeper problem. “I see it as such as parallel of government policy in general,” he said. “The government puts more value into those from abroad than they are concerned about the local situation and the well-being of the public.”

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This is the endemic problem we face with securing water justice and climate justice. There is a fundamental mental dysfunction that occurs in humans who have more money than others. It leads them to believe that because they carry more green paper or plastic in their pocket that they are therefore more entitled to that which is a PUBLIC COMMON and a right for all species. As if water were a commodity only available to those who can afford to pay for it. This mental and moral dysfunction combined with the greed of governments and businesses leads to injustice and death.

We see it every day in this world- the poor suffering to secure the selfish pursuits of those who can see only material realities because they have lost all ability to think beyond their own comforts. Water is not something that can be relegated only to the pleasure and use of those who can afford it. It is a pubic trust, a resource not created by man. However, I see this pattern leading us to the dystopian world we have only read about in science fiction novels.

A world where lush resorts overflowing with water and all Earthly comforts are only for the rich overseeing a world of drought, hunger and the poor dying of thirst in the streets- punished for being born that way. A truly harsh world predicated on a false belief that has managed to see the human race sacrifice all of its good and honor...and it frightens me.

Now granted, it can be said that not all people in the world who are rich are this way. However, will we see these resorts and hotels in Puerto Rico inviting the poor in to stay? Do we see that now in California? The same is happening there as residents of rich areas like Rancho Santa Fe think they are entitled to be able to have green lawns even as people thirst and farmers dig deeper than ever to find water.

It begs the question... Just where will we be by 2095 when 2/3 of this world is in water crisis? How will we ever come together to bring climate and water justice to those who need it when the very politicians and organizations that claim to want that also go arm and arm with the rich preventing it? How will we ever escape the trappings of this material world that have now corroded our hearts and minds? When we as a species judge the worth of a life by the amount of paper they own we know for sure we have sunk to the deepest depths.

Puerto Rico Drought



This is our world on climate change. We and other species won't be able to adapt to it unless we change.

Also See:

Bolivia and Britain-A Tale Of Two Floods

Drought Will Double To Hit Half The World By 2100

Saturday, August 08, 2015

UPDATE 8/23 : Animas River Mine Waste Spill /EPA No Longer Stands For Protection/What is in those EPA water tanks?

8/23: Navajo Nation remains cautious after spill impacts water system



Members and leaders of the Navajo Nation remain cautious about water quality levels on the reservation, more than two weeks after an environmental catastrophe sent three states and two tribes into disaster mode.

An accidental spill at the abandoned Gold King Mine released about three million gallons of contaminated waste into the Animas River. Tests showed extremely high levels of arsenic, lead, mercury in the water after the August 5 incident but results have since returned to normal in Colorado.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, similar results are being seen along the San Juan River on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Nation. Tribal leaders, however, are still warning their citizens not to use the water for their crops or their livestock.

They also were extremely upset with the EPA for sending what they said were contaminated water tanks to farmers and ranchers in the Shiprock Chapter House area. President Russell Begaye inspected the tanks himself and found what appeared to be remnants of prior uses -- one tank was even labeled "Filterd Oil."

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye finds residue in a water tank delivered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Photo from Facebook

The incident has prompted renewed attention to environmental conditions on the reservation. Tribal leaders are seizing on the connection and are referring to the spill and the response as Operation Yellow Water, invoking a term used in connection with the toxic legacy of uranium mining.

“It might seem like a simple term but it’s a strategic title to raise awareness in addressing broader issues of contamination on the Navajo Nation, including of our over 500 abandoned uranium mines,” Begaye said on Thursday.

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I would not use the river water yet either. Remember, sedimentation lasts for years. Such a sad situation here. Of course as well, it is now not in any media and out of the consciousness of the people. Once that happens it allows TPTB to do whatever they can to do as little as they can.

I also came across this letter which states that the spill was done purposefully to secure Superfund money:

Did the EPA Intentionally Poison the Animas River to Secure Superfund Money?

All I will say on that is, I find nothing impossible.



And as far as John McCain and his feigned concern for his own personal reasons goes, the Navajo Nation knows the truth about him as well. STAY OFF THEIR LAND.

Kyl-McCain water bill drawing fire

Kyl's bill, SB 2109, includes three water projects that would bring drinking water to the Navajo and Hopi reservations in exchange for the tribes waiving their water claims to the Little Colorado River.

The three water projects authorized in the bill are the Leupp-Dilkon Regional Groundwater Project, the Ganado Regional Groundwater Project, and the Hopi Groundwater Project.

Talking money

Kyl's bill also calls for the Navajo Nation to drop additional claims against the federal government regarding management of the Lower Colorado River, which "specifically affect water policy and water management in Arizona, California, and Nevada."

The bill would allow 6,411 acre-feet of water from the Central Arizona Project to be withdrawn upstream, from the San Juan River, and used for the Navajo-Gallup water pipeline.

This would help get around a legal restriction on San Juan River water, and allow it to be used by Gallup and the Window Rock area.

Under Kyl's bill, the water projects could not go forward unless federal and tribal authorities approve leases allowing the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta Coal Mine to continue operating.

The provision represents a gift to the Salt River Project, operator of NGS, which Kyl represented as a lawyer in private practice.

"The reauthorization will occur if and when the tribes agree to extend the leases and other agreements associated with the Navajo Generating Station," Kyl stated in his release.

The bill also calls for any water rights agreement with the tribes to be modified to match the bill, and includes a sweeping waiver of rights to the Little Colorado by both tribes.



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There is more to this than meets the eye.

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EPA’s McCarthy: "Contaminated water from Colorado mine will spread"

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said Wednesday that a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency is “on the table” after a massive wastewater spill caused by the agency fouled the Animas River last week. The mine waste contains arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

Since not everyone trusts what the EPA is telling them, KOB has decided to get the water tested ourselves, hiring an independent lab to analyze water we’ve collected from the Animas. By doing so, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made $500,000 of the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund available for response, the Denver Post reported Monday.
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But remember, according to the EPA it's safe because according to them there are no "reported" illnesses.

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8/17Animas River spill: Navajo Nation angry at EPA

CUDEI, N.M. — Outside the tribal chapter here near the San Juan River, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye pointed to a stack of hay delivered by the Environmental Protection Agency and expressed disappointment.

"This was supposed to be here seven days ago," he said Friday, about 30 miles south of the Colorado border. "This should have been here last week."

If there was ever doubt this tribe of roughly 300,000 people is mistrustful of the federal government, such uncertainty is gone. The EPA-caused 3 million-gallon mine wastewater spill in southwest Colorado on Aug. 5 sent resentment cascading into American Indian land along with a plume of heavy-metal contaminants.

Members of the tribe, which spans 27,600 square miles across three states, anxiously waited and watched as yellow-orange sludge streamed into their sacred San Juan River four days after the spill. Navajo Nation leadership has even coined a Navajo phrase for their response — and frustration — to the disaster, calling it Tó Łitso — Operation Yellow Water.

The calamity has sent a wide swath of the tribe, already suffering from serious economic depression, into further disarray. In Navajo country, where the land has long sought to quench its drought, people fear the Gold King Mine disaster near Silverton will have impacts for decades.

"They endangered our people," Begaye said of the EPA.

The San Juan River remains closed in the Navajo Nation, and officials have warned farmers and ranchers against using its waters for crops or livestock. Irrigation wells are bone dry, and much of the tribal yield is either dying off or already dead.

Roy Etcitty stood Saturday before his ruined crops in Shiprock, N.M., and explained how the disaster is another example of why "us Indians don't trust the government." He hasn't watered his fields since officials closed the San Juan, and his horses have been blocked from drinking its waters.

He said the calamity is just another in a long line of American Indian oppression.

"The U.S. government isn't going to come through," Etcitty said. "They never come through."

In the days since the spill, Begaye has been among the most vocal in a growing chorus of politicians across the Southwest who have chastised the EPA for causing the disaster and its subsequent response.
,br> He drove nearly 225 miles from his office in Window Rock, Ariz., to see the Gold King Mine first-hand and then posted a video on Facebook explaining in both Navajo and English what was happening at the site.

Begaye said he wants the EPA to remove all contaminated sediment from the San Juan River and expects the agency to pay for his tribe's hardships and expansive emergency response. He met last week with EPA leader Gina McCarthy when she visited Durango and Farmington, N.M., to talk with responders and survey the damage.

"We wanted some solid commitments," Begaye said of the meeting, "but we didn't get that."

The San Juan River flows for 215 miles through Navajo land, making it, by mileage, the most impacted of any contiguous community. Members of the tribe say the spill has left them facing financial ruin, spiritually broken and, through and through, angry.

Officials in the Navajo Nation have told members not to agree to any settlement claims from the EPA, which in the days after the spill released a form streamlining payouts to those impacted.

The tribe's attorney general, Ethel Branch, said last week she feels the language is misleading and could bar future damage reimbursements in the years to come.

Branch has solicited an opinion from U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice on the claim form's legality and language. The EPA has repeatedly said it is not trying to bar future payouts.

Branch said she plans to sue the EPA, explaining how legal action has been "the solid message from the Navajo Nation." An emergency has been declared, and tribal officials are petitioning for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"The long-term effects, we just don't know right now," Jonathan Nez, the tribe's vice president, said Friday as he traveled in a motorcade during a tour of impacted areas.

Nez says the EPA's spill has reminded the Navajo people of previous contention with the federal government, particularly the cleanup of uranium pollution on their land.

"Over the years, we have never really received straight answers," he said.



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So let me get this straight. The EPA is the guilty party here and yet NO ONE has had to lose their job over this. Even though that is true they are now trying to pay off the Navajo to absolve themselves without even being explicit as to what the Navajo would be signing on to. It is no wonder the Native Americans of this country distrust these agencies. I distrust them as well. This entire situation is a disgrace and the more I read on it I too am beginning to believe this may well have been done purposefully. The waste was released, the news covered it for one day and now nothing. Recreation has returned because tourist $$$$ are more important than safety as toxic sediment sinks and heavy metals still exist. The EPA is now running in the shadows to pay off people to wipe away the crime-and perhaps to even eventually gain the rights to the land and water. It is no secret that this areas has been a target for takeover for quite some time. There is an all out assault by mining companies in collusion with federal agencies to secure land in this part of the country. Oak Flat is just one current example. Yet, this is not being reported because well, the people are Native Americans and to the US government ever since their takeover Native Americans are treated as non citizens. I say as well to the Navajo, do not sign anything. Never let them take your water.

Concern Over Sediment In Animas River

Will be keeping up with news on testing.

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8/12: Ranchers, Farmers Look For Alternative Water Sources After Gold King Mine Spill"


From left, Richard Root and Melvin Jones, both equipment operators for the Shiprock Chapter, fill troughs and barrels of water on Tuesday for Sarah Frank, a Shiprock resident who relied on the San Juan River for her water. The Gold King Mine spill has forced her to seek alternative sources of water for her livestock. (Alexa Rogals — The Daily Times)

SHIPROCK — With the Animas and San Juan rivers still off limits, local ranchers and farmers are looking for alternative ways to get water for their livestock and crops.

Restrictions on the rivers were put into effect after toxic metals flowed from a mine north of Silverton, Colo., into the Animas River and then into the San Juan River.

In response to the situation, officials with the Shiprock Chapter started hauling water to residents who need it for their livestock.

Melvin Jones, an equipment operator at the chapter house, delivered water Monday and Tuesday to residents in Shiprock.

"There are quite a few people on the list right now, so we'll probably be hauling water all week and into next week," he said.

snip
br> Meanwhile, in Upper Fruitland, the corn at Jimmy and Lucy Lujan's 24-acre farm had already started to wither on Tuesday from lack of water, and the couple fears they have lost a crop of newly planted alfalfa. Lucy Lujan said she had hoped to sell the corn to pay for her grandson's tuition at San Juan College.

"You don't realize how much you rely on irrigation water," she said.

Since the plume of contaminated water flooded the San Juan River, the Lujans have been using tap water for their small herd of sheep and to irrigate their crops. The couple said they have always had plenty of water, but now they are afraid they will lose all of their crops this season.

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This is having repercussions beyond just turning the river yellow. Still wondering why we have seen no firings because of this. Also reading from some people who live there that the EPA has been trying to get land and water rights in this area for a while.(?) Begs the question then: was this really an "accident?" EPA head Gina McCarthy stated that it "pains" her to see this happening. I truly doubt that. The EPA told us the air was safe to breathe after 9/11. They told us the Corexit poison BP was spraying on the Gulf of Mexico was safe. Now they will do the testing of the water of the Animas /San Juan Rivers after 3 million gallons of arsenic, cadmium and lead laced mine waste pollutes it and tell us it is safe. Seems they care more for their own than those farmers.

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8/11: EPA Can Make No Decisions On Animas River Health Until August 17

Health Impact of Animas River Toxic Spill: This Is A Real Mess

While the mustard-yellow hue of the Animas River is fading, leading toxicologists say there could be health effects for many years to come from heavy metals such as lead and mercury that spilled into the water.

"This is a real mess," said Max Costa, chair of the department of environmental medicine at New York University School of Medicine. "These levels are shocking."

Exposure to high levels of these metals can cause an array of health problems from cancer to kidney disease to developmental problems in children.

"Oh my God! Look at the lead!" said Joseph Landolph, a toxicologist at the University of Southern California, pointing to a lead level in the Animas River nearly 12,000 times higher than the acceptable level set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to sampling done by the EPA on various points along the Animas River Wednesday and Thursday last week, levels of lead, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and mercury were extremely high compared with acceptable levels set by the agency, which are technically called "maximum contaminant levels" or "action levels for treatment."

One of the samples of mercury was nearly 10 times higher than the EPA acceptable levels. Samples of beryllium and cadmium were 33 times higher, and one of the arsenic levels was more than 800 times higher.

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But have no fear. It will all magically disappear so that TPTB can make up for all the tourist dollars they are losing. Remember, in our society money and profit trump everything else. Of course, any birth defects or other effects of this will also be downplayed.

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8/10: Russell Begaye Navajo Nation President 2014

Today, President Begaye and Vice-President Nez conducted an on-site inspection of the Gold King Mine in Silverton, CO and finds reports to the Navajo Nation by U.S. EPA are inconsistent.

Be vigilant Navajo Nation.

Anger Rises as E.P.A. Increases Estimate of Toxic Water Spill at Colorado Mine

DURANGO, Colo. — Anger over a spill of toxic water from a mine that turned this community’s river into a yellow-orange ribbon rose on Sunday when the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the spill was three times larger than previously stated — and that the agency was still unsure if the polluted water posed a health threat to humans or animals.

The agency, typically charged with responding to toxic disasters, has claimed responsibility for the spill, which unleashed a chemical brew that caused levels of arsenic, lead and other metals to spike in the Animas River, a tributary that plays a vital role in the culture and economy in this patch of southwestern Colorado.

Agency officials said on Sunday that the size of the spill was larger than originally estimated: more than three million gallons rather than one million.

La Plata County and the City of Durango have declared states of emergency, and the county estimates that about 1,000 residential water wells could be contaminated. The river is closed indefinitely, and the La Plata sheriff has hastily recast his campaign signs into posters warning river visitors to stay out of the water.

The yellow plume has traveled down to New Mexico, where it is being tracked, but it is starting to dissipate, officials said.

On Sunday night, residents packed a school auditorium in Durango for a meeting with the agency’s regional director, Shaun McGrath. During a public comment session that lasted more than two hours, residents flouted a sign on the wall that instructed the auditorium’s typical patrons — middle schoolers — to refrain from calling out, jumping up or insulting others during assemblies.

Shouts rang out. A few people cried. One resident questioned whether the agency had refashioned itself into the “Environmental Pollution Agency.” Others demanded to know what would happen to wildlife, livestock, water wells, sediment and river-based jobs.



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THREE TIMES larger. Why am I not surprised that the EPA lied? And for the lemmings who are not saying anything because they like their Republican counterparts base their outrage on political party, THIS IS A CRIME AGAINST NATURE. Where is the company that owns that mine in this? What of the employees of the EPA responsible for the spill? What were they really doing to cause a disaster of this magnitude? How heartbreaking to see this beautiful place ruined by negligence. We are running out of potable water on this planet. We cannot afford "ACCIDENTS."" And why is it that people are ignored when they are angered about water issues? We have so many movements regarding what matters now. Well I am here to say that #WATERMATTERS. So since the EPA lied about the extent of this "accident" we can be almost sure they will lie about the toxicity and effects. Hey Gina McCarthy- does the buck ever stop with you?

Contamination Of Animas River Becomes Declaration Of Emergency/Video

Animas River Closed to Public After EPA Dumps 1M Gallons of Waste





SILVERTON, Colo. - A mine waste spill has spewed about a million gallons of orange-colored discharge into a tributary of the Animas River.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it triggered the release while using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine north of Silverton.

The La Plata County Sheriff's Office has closed the river to the public.

“This decision was made in the interest of public health after consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, San Juan Basin Health Department and representatives of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe,” advised Sheriff Sean Smith. “This Order shall remain in effect until it is determined that the river is safe. EPA test results of the Animas River are expected within 24-48 hours, and the Order will be re-evaluated at that time.”

Environmental authorities are scrambling to assess damage from the leak, caused when a plug blew at the Gold King Mine near Silverton. Earlier today, officials say that drinking water is not affected and that the spill is not harmful to humans. The primary pollutants are iron and zinc.

The EPA says that about 1 million gallons of mine waste spewed into Cement Creek, which feeds the Animas.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment says that there are no fish populations in the Cement Creek watershed because of longstanding water quality impairment.

Also see:



Wastewater From Colorado Mine Reaches New Mexico

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - A yellow sludge spilling from a shuttered gold mine into a southwestern Colorado river has reached northern New Mexico, a state official said Saturday.

The plume arrived in the city of Aztec on Friday night and Farmington on Saturday morning, San Juan County Emergency Management Director Don Cooper said.

Officials in both cities shut down the river's access to water treatment plants and say the communities have a 90-day supply of water and other water sources to draw from.

"There's not a lot we can do. We can keep people away (from the river) and keep testing," Cooper said. "We still don't know how bad it is."

About 1 million gallons of wastewater from Colorado's Gold King Mine began spilling into the Animas River on Wednesday when a cleanup crew supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally breached a debris dam that had formed inside the mine.

The mine has been inactive since 1923.

No health hazard has been detected, but tests were being analyzed.Federal officials say the spill contains heavy metals including lead and arsenic.


EPA:Wastewater Spill In Animas River Contains Heavy Metals

All the waste is pouring into the river and flowing downriver. The EPA said the waste also contains cadmium, aluminum, copper and calcium. The EPA didn’t discuss health risks but arsenic at high levels can cause blindness, paralysis and cancer. Muscle and vision problems can be caused by lead poisoning for adults and harm in development in fetuses, and lead to kidney disease, developmental problems and sometimes death in children, according to the EPA.

The Bureau of Reclamation has increased its water releases from Navajo Dam, from 650 to 1,300 cubic feet per second in response to the mine spill. The increased releases may help dilute mine contaminates in the river. The releases will remain at that increased level throughout the weekend and will be reevaluated on Monday.

Durango has shut down water intakes from the river until the contaminated water has passed, but the spill is not affecting drinking water. The EPA has said people should stay out of the river. Water utilities have closed intake valves to protect their systems.

Officials in New Mexico are blasting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for not informing them soon enough about a plume of mustard-colored muck floating downstream from a Colorado mine.


Contaminated Water On Its Way To Navajo

Culturally, Navajos revere water for it bringing life, a critical element in tribal ceremonies. Some Navajo medicine healers conduct offerings to the San Juan River, considered a male body of water in Navajo culture.

As a result of the spill, Navajo Nation President Russell, Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, and Speaker LoRenzo Bates have issue statements regarding their concerns of the waste spill.

Begaye, according to a news release from his office, demands the U.S. EPA to release information on the contaminants, referring to the spill an environmental catastrophe.

“We are demanding from the U.S. EPA an immediate release of detailed information on the type of contaminants that is flowing into the river from the Gold King Mine,” Begaye said. According to a U.S. EPA press release, the contaminants include lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum and copper.

He went on to say that the spill is another familiar story of the U.S. government’s lax oversight responsibility.

“It is unfortunate that we have to once again tell our people to stay away from the river, due to the release of dangerous chemicals into our water,” Begaye said.

Begaye has put several tribal programs, including Navajo Nation EPA, Department of Health and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program, on standby.

Nez added that he’s concerned with the farmers along the San Juan River.

“The contamination will probably hit Lake Powell soon,” he said, adding that the community of Mexican Hat, which pumps drinking water from the river, proceeds with caution.

“We need to monitor the water to ensure it is potable,” Nez said.

Meanwhile, Bates has been in contact with several Navajo chapters along the San Juan River. He said, according to U.S. EPA, that the contamination does not pose detrimental threats.

“I strongly urge nearby chapters and our people who reside near the San Juan River to refrain from using the water for any purposes until a thorough evaluation is completed,” Bates said.


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Considering there are already 521 uranium mines in Navajo Nation that have contaminated the wind and water, I doubt that the EPA will truly care about the effects of this spill. I find it astounding that people can be so cavalier about such tragedies and their effect on the lives and culture of others.

In my previous post about the Hudson River I asked where the caring for clean water had gone. Then I read about this disaster in which the EPA admits to "accidentally" leaking 1 million gallons of mine waste into the Animas River in Colorado.

Their response to it? It was an "accident" and they are sorry. Also using the excuse that it was polluted anyway...oh and of course, the standard it is still safe for humans lie.

This is toxic waste. This is the killing of a river. It not only affects humans but the wildlife and agriculture in this area. However, that's it. Shouldn't people entrusted with protecting our environment/water be a bit more concerned?

Will be following regarding results of testing of the water. You can be sure no EPA employees will lose their jobs over this either.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Clean Water Is Our Legacy

Clean Water Baby Wants To Swim

My father learned how to swim in the Hudson River when he was a boy. That was over 70 years ago when the water was so clean you could see to the bottom and fish were plenty. The river was a place for families to gather along its entire expanse to enjoy its beauty. Not a place for industrial waste and to be used as a sewer. What has happened to us that the importance of having clean water has escaped our care?

Shouldn't our children and theirs continue to be able to have a place to bring their families where they do not have to be terrified of going into the water?

I appreciate all those who work everyday to tirelessly keep our waterways clean. It is a huge task and not one readily acknowledged or appreciated. However, it is one of the most important things we do as humans. Without clean water we all die and the world we give our children dies with it. Think of that as you watch this beautiful baby and what you can do to contribute to a better world with clean water.

Also see:

The Clean Water Act: A Legacy Worth Saving


The above print, "View from West Point" is from a steel engraving by W. H. Bartlett, c. 1850 (from the author's collection.)

Every river tells a story about the lives of those living near it. What will your story be?

Hudson River History

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pentagon Admits Drought Cause Of Syrian Civil War

Pentagon Report Admits Disastrous Drought, Not Assad Caused Syrian Crisis



A US Department of Defense report says that a six-year drought in Syria caused vast suffering and social dislocation before the 2011 Arab spring protests and the start of the civil war there.

30 July, 2015

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A six-year drought in Syria caused vast suffering and social dislocation before the 2011 Arab spring protests and the start of the civil war there, a US Department of Defense report on global climate change said.

“[F]rom 2006-2011, a severe multi-year drought affected Syria and contributed to massive agriculture failures and population displacements,” the report, which was released on Wednesday, said.

Large movements of rural dwellers to city centers coincided with the presence of large numbers of Iraqi refugees fleeing the conflict and miserable economic conditions in that country, and gathered in Syrian cities, the report acknowledged.

These mass migrations effectively overwhelmed the “institutional capacity” of the Syrian state to deal with them, the document noted.

The study named “Report on National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate” was ordered by the US Senate Committee on Appropriations to accompany the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for the fiscal year ending in September 30, 2015.

The report cited the 2006-2011 drought crisis in Syria as a classic case where environmental disasters caused by global warming triggered the collapse of civil society and ruinous internal conflicts.

“Persistently recurring conditions such as flooding, drought and higher temperatures increase the strain on fragile states and vulnerable populations by dampening economic activity,” the report warned.

Other disastrous effects include loss of agriculture and electricity production, changes in known infectious disease patterns and the rise of new ones, and increases in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, it added.

Such prolonged environmental crises, the report observed, could increasingly lead the US armed forces to be involved in humanitarian disaster relief efforts abroad.

“These kinds of impacts in regions around the world could necessitate greater [Department of Defense] involvement in the provision of humanitarian assistance and other aid,” the report stated.

The report’s analysis of the environmental causes of the crisis in Syria were in contradiction of the political narrative of the Obama administration and of almost all political leaders in both major US political parties who have consistently blamed the civil war entirely on the policies of President Bashar Assad.



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Also see:

Study: Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian Civil War

The Root Causes Of Violence In Syria: Climate Change and Water: But Let's Bomb The Hell Out Of Them Anyway

Without Water, Revolution

160 Syrian Villages Deserted Due To Climate Change

I wrote about this five years ago. Nice to see the Pentagon finally admitting it. And make no mistake: Syria is not the only place where we are seeing and will see this and the spawning of groups like ISIS in retaliation. Climate is THE central issue in this region particularly in regards to water and gas. To now see millions of refugees in detention centers in Syria forgotten is deplorable. Is this truly the world you want? Dying at the hands of those who know the truth but will still continue on the wrong path for their own benefit?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fukushima Radiation IS Important (We are killing our own biosphere!)

Dead Dolphins In Fukushima Stranding Found With White Radiated Lungs



Japanese scientists are dumbfounded by the new discovery after conducting an autopsy on a large group of dolphins that where discovered washed up on a beach close to the Fukushima disaster site.

Each dolphins lungs were white, which is according to scientists, an indication of loss of blood to the organs - a symptom of radiation poisoning.

The translated article comes from EneNews:

Apr 11, 2015 (emphasis added):

Google Translate: Ibaraki Prefecture… for a large amount of dolphin which was launched on the shore… the National Science Museum… investigated… researchers rushed from national museums and university laboratory, about 30 people were the anatomy of the 17 animals in the field. [According to Yuko Tajima] who led the investigation. “the lungs of most of the 17… was pure white ischemic state, visceral signs of overall clean and disease and infections were observed”… Lungs white state, that has never seen before.

Systran: The National Science Museum investigated circumstance and cause etc concerning the mass dolphin which is launched to the seashore of Ibaraki prefecture… the researchers ran from the museum and the university laboratory… approximately 30 people dissected 17… [Yuko Tajima] of the National Science Museum which directed investigation research worker [said] “the most lung 17 was state with true white, but as for the internal organs being clean”… The lung true white as for state, says… have not seen.

Fukushima Diary, Apr 12, 2015: According to National Science Museum, most of the inspected 17 dolphins had their lungs in ischaemia state… The chief of the researching team stated “Most of the lungs looked entirely white”… internal organs were generally clean without any symptoms of disease or infection, but most of the lungs were in ischaemia state. She said “I have never seen such a state”.


This is what has been happening while the US is being distracted with media hype of Caitlyn Jenner and Donald Trump. Do you not understand now?

They have aided in the destruction of this planet for their own benefit and YOU are not to know about the true devastating consequences. Anyone who thinks a meltdown like Fukushima can happen with no residual effects to the planet and the species that inhabit it in all honesty is just plain ignorant.

There is a lot of $$$$$$ riding on you being kept in the dark successfully. We humans are surely for the most part an insidious creation. WHAT ARE WE DOING?

More:

Pacific Ocean Now Dead From Fukushima Radiation

Fukushima Fallout: We Need To Be Concerned

TEPCO Plans To Dump All Fukushima Radiation In Ocean

Fukushima Getting Worse

Fukushima Leak Is Much Worse Than We Were Led To Believe

Fukushima Radiation Spiking Suddenly-Media Blackout