Water, Sanitation and the Millennium Development Goals: A Report Card on Global Progress

In 2000, the United Nations adopted a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to improve the lives of the poorest people on Earth.  As the 15-year MDG timeline runs out, a final report on this ambitious program reflects both mixed success and overall optimism.  Given the importance of safe drinking water and sanitation to improving the human condition, we assessed two crucial MDG targets under MDG #7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability) in the following “report card”.

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TTHM in Drinking Water: The Flint, Michigan Story, A Lesson for Us All

The citizens of Flint, Michigan used to take the high quality of their drinking water for granted, expecting, like most of us, to access safe, wholesome water at the tap.  Lately, however, they are worried about the quality of their water and they have many questions for municipal officials.

Flint residents are outraged over reports that a water contaminant known as TTHM exceeded federal allowance levels in 20141.  According to a recent mlive.com article, last year’s high TTHM levels prompted the city to issue federal violation notices to customers in January.  Although current readings have fallen below allowance levels, another violation notice will likely be distributed this month.  That’s because violation notices are based on annual running averages, and last year’s high readings are still boosting the average above the level allowed in drinking water.  However, their TTHM violations are probably a minor consequence of more fundamental issues with their water system.

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Celebrating Water: Top 10 Special Things You Can Do

You have celebrated New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Valentine's Day. So now it is time to observe World Water Day. Like those holidays the celebration of water is about resolutions, equality and love "of life."

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2014: The Year of the Virus

Ebola is now a dreaded household name. Everyone has heard of this virus, causing thousands of deaths in countries in Africa particularly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. We followed the plight of health care workers who put their lives on the line to battle the viral disease, trying to prevent the virus from spreading to the next host. But what about the Enterovirus D68? And what about Chlorovirus, Densovirus, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and Ranavirus? 

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Do You Know Where Your E. coli Are?

Summer is here, and it is time for vacations and fun activities, such as hiking and swimming. It's also time for you and others to spread E. coli around. Whether you are planning a trip on a cruise ship or just to your local beach, you should also be focused on staying safe and healthy. 

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The New and Improved Water Cycle?

Are you experiencing pain, illness, economic problems and severe stress due to your acute and chronic water problems? Are you a victim of the new water cycle: hurricanes, flooding, pipe breaks, toxic blooms, boil orders, salt water intrusion, severe contamination and droughts? This is not your grandparents' water cycle.

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Is Your Water Making You Sick?

"Her career is flushed down the toilet." That was my story in News of the Weird. Even my mom read it! I study waterborne disease and water pollution. I am a water scientist and my laboratory is the vast array of rivers, lakes and aquifers on this blue planet. I care about water quality and how this affects our health and our well being. Pollution continues to impact surface and ground waters, our drinking waters as well as coastlines and recreational waters.

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