• A FreshWater Watcher in New York collects water samples

FreshWater Watch in New York: How flooding could be harmful to our health

Over the past few weeks, Britain has faced a deluge causing rivers to rise, and instigating more than 100 flood warnings, with particular risk in the south west of England. This exceptional weather event has already claimed several lives.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, FreshWater Watch studies in New York are looking beyond the more obvious dangers of flooding, and exploring the health risks carried by contact with urban flood water.

Flooding Risk – A Reminder to Stay Safe

Earthwatch reminds you to take sensible precautions and stay safe this week, especially if collecting freshwater data, as storms continue to affect parts of the UK.

If you feel there is any danger at all in collecting your data at this time, it may be best to postpone activity until the storms have passed and water levels have returned to normal.

Parts currently worst affected are towards north Wales and the south east. The east coast remains vulnerable, and tides will be significantly higher for at least the next 24 hours.

New partnerships and an expanded network – a good week’s work

By Sue Alexander, Senior Manager, Environmental Programmes at HSBC.

The theme of this year’s World Water Week “Water cooperation – building partnerships” seemed to attract a greater number of corporates. There were representatives from the corporate sector not just in the delegate list but presenting their partnerships.

I heard one figure suggesting there were more than 40 events this year which included corporate presentations. This was a noticeable increase on the previous two World Water Week conferences I have attended.

Partnerships to take action on sanitation

By Sue Alexander, Senior Manager, Environmental Programmes at HSBC. All views expressed are her own.

One of the key messages that I am carrying away from World Water Week is that many feel continuing focus is required on sanitation, as a priority over safe water. Progress against the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation – to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation, is behind schedule.

Dealing with a booming population’s human waste

By Sue Alexander, Senior Manager, Environmental Programmes at HSBC. All views expressed are her own.

My morning session at World Water Week was about how to pay for human waste and how to make it pay.

“Partnerships for financing sanitation services in poor urban areas” started by setting out the reasons why finding solutions in urban areas (as opposed to rural areas) is so important.