Water News for 2024

Posted May 27th, 2024

Water News for May 2024




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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)  finalized Congressionally-mandated energy-efficiency standards for a range of residential water heaters to save American households approximately $7.6 billion per year on their energy and water bills, while significantly cutting energy waste and harmful carbon pollution. The final standards for residential water heaters align with recommendations from various stakeholders, including efficiency and environmental advocates, the Consumer Federation of America, and a leading U.S. water heater manufacturer. The standards would require the most common-sized electric water heaters to achieve efficiency gains with heat pump technology, helping to accelerate the deployment of this cost-effective, clean energy technology while also reducing strain on the electric grid. Over 30 years  these updated standards are expected to save Americans $124 billion on their energy bills and reduce 332 million metric tons of dangerous carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to the combined annual emissions of nearly 43 million homes. Energy.gov.

On May 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $3 billion from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help every state and territory identify and replace lead service lines, preventing exposure to lead in drinking water.

Each year, drinking water systems in the U.S. and Canada experience about 260,000 water main breaks, incurring an estimated $2.6B annually in maintenance and repair costs.

“Texas governor Greg Abbott’s strategy to deter immigration isn’t just harming people and costing billions – it’s ruining the Rio Grande’s ecosystem.” One scientist said it could take hundreds of years for nature to repair itself.” The governor has squandered $11 billion in Texas taxpayer dollars and has nothing but damage to the Rio Grande’s ecoystem to show for it. The Guardian.


Good News for Groundwater in California.  Water Year 2023 is the first year since 2019 that there has been a reported increase in groundwater storage. A significant reduction in groundwater pumping in 2023 also led to favorable groundwater conditions, including a decrease in land subsidence, or sinking of the land. Some areas that had previously experienced subsidence actually saw a rebound (uplift) in ground surface elevation from reduced pumping in the deeper aquifers and refilling of groundwater storage.

Severe floods in southern Brazil have caused the deaths of hundreds in what has been called the worst ever climate catastrophe. Streets in several towns have turned into rivers.

Vermont is poised to pass a measure forcing major polluting companies to help pay for damages caused by the climate crisis. It would make Vermont the first state to hold fossil fuel companies liable for planet-heating pollution. “If you contributed to a mess, you should play a role in cleaning it up,” one campaigner said.

A study found evidence that termites, when building their nests, are guided mainly by water evaporation that allows them to identify the regions of the structure with the largest curvature. How they work this out is largely a mystery. Nature Italy.