There are more and more water quality issues brought up in the news as more and more people become aware of climate change. Climate change is causing water stress from weather events, floods, drought and sea level rise. Water quality issues is one of many effects brought on by climate change. The stress and the change is happening now.
74% of natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were water-related, including droughts and floods. Frequency and intensity of such events are only expected to increase with climate change.Unicef.org
What are some climate-related water stress events in the United States?
One way to understand the current water quality situation impacted by climate change, is to identify events happening in the news caused by extreme weather events. Here are some news highlights where we can start putting the climate change water stress puzzle together in the U.S.
An unprecedented amount of rain in Jackson, Mississippi during the month of August, 2022, causes the water treatment facility to fail. Residence of Jackson had little to no water pressure. The water that did come out of the pipes had to be boiled. Bottles of water were provided for a period of time until the supply ran out! Here’s more to know about this crisis and bottled water alternatives.
Monsoon rains wash destabilized soil after periods of increased drought and wildfires containing burnt building materials, trees and wildlife into rivers and reservoirs used for drinking water. The EPA has warned about health impacts mixing these materials with the chlorine used to treat the water. EPA researchers continue to investigate impacts of wildfires on water resources from climate-related events.
A record-setting midwestern rainstorm in Illinois caused flood waters to pour into the wells of farmhouse owners. For two months, well water was unsafe to drink. The well water turned muddy brown and was now contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and chemicals such as PFAS, pesticides and herbicides.
The number of U.S. communities confirmed to be contaminated with the highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS continues to grow at an alarming rate. As of June 2022, 2,858 locations in 50 states and two territories are known to be contaminated.ewg.org
Over a million Texans are without drinking water after Texas’ winter storm of 2021. Frozen water and chemical pipes bursting. 1,100 boiling water notices were issued. The February 2021 cold wave from the polar vortex dipping very low into Mexico was an extreme weather event that brought record breaking cold temperatures in Texas.
What Actions is the U.S. Government Taking
There is now a National Climate Task Force at the White House to take action against climate change.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – A stronger more resilient infrastructure including water infrastructure will help reduce water quality issues after a climate-related event.
Federal Collaborations Addressing Climate Change and Water – There are several initiatives and collaborations in the works and up-and coming.
Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 – There are several sections in the act addressing climate change, research, wildfires, land, natural resources and water supply.
What Actions Can You Take To Prepare and Improve Your Water Quality
If you are ever caught in one of these climate-related events having to boil water, rely on bottle water which may run out like the supply did in Mississippi, or are concerned about the increase in chemicals in your water such as PFAS, wildfire contaminants, and increased chemical treatment from increased pathogens, there is a solution to help you prepare and survive such an event.
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A person can survive about 3 days without water.
The best solution is having a reverse osmosis system as well as a whole house filtration system. The top quality and best prices for home water treatment and filter systems come from Quality Water Treatment.
Water Softeners, Reverse Osmosis Systems, Filters & More at Quality Water Treatment
No matter what the city does to your water, you will have the best quality water in your home with these products. They offer many many benefits at home in addition to having quality drinking water especially during a climate-related event. Please do visit their website and learn as much as you can about the different water quality products out there.
High-pressure membranes, such as nanofiltration or reverse osmosis, have been extremely effective at removing PFAS. Reverse osmosis membranes are tighter than nanofiltration membranes.EPA
A properly operating reverse osmosis (RO) unit can remove pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and protozoa. However there are many units available to the public through hardware stores and elsewhere, not all of which can be relied upon to remove pathogens. Furthermore, RO units must be diligently maintained to assure effective treatment. If you are at all uncertain of the capabilities of your reverse osmosis unit, do not rely on it to remove potentially harmful pathogens. Instead, you should use boiled (and then cooled) water or water from an acceptable alternate source.NY Public Health Department
If you live in the southwest, here are ways you can be more eco friendly which also includes how the water in your house is impacting the environment.