water news roundup: oil + rescued + sharing the Nile

Each Friday, we’ll recap the week’s news relative to the water sector. Have news to add? Email us.

oil spill

Oil in the water — take a look at the Gulf of Mexico, post-oil spill.

It’s been three weeks since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, but oil leaks are ongoing. The Associated Press says at least 210,000 gallons of oil continues to seep into the ocean each day.

Photos of the spill are captivating. Take a look at how The Boston Globe captures the tragic (yet in some ways, beautiful) aftermath of the disaster on The Big Picture.

Keeping our focus on Haiti: many areas are still in a state of emergency.

child deaths

CNN is reporting there are still two million people living in tent cities in Port-au-Prince. Relief efforts have helped, but many are looking for jobs so they can provide for themselves.

Also, did you catch Soledad O’Brien’s documentary RESCUED, about Haitian orphans? Watch one of the stories here.

Lastly, after ten years of negotiations, four East African nations have signed an agreement for more access to water from the Nile.

For the past 13 years, Egypt and Sudan have legally owned 90% of the Nile’s water use. But upstream nations have been vying for more access for years; and this week took a bolder step to get their share. Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda met up in Entebbe on Friday to sign a formal agreement to redetermine each country’s legal share of the Nile.

The four nations have access to the Nile’s upstream tributaries but little control over how they can use them. One of the biggest concerns is crop irrigation, especially in arid regions like Ethiopia. If water access isn’t shared soon, the chance of conflict between the nations will increase with expanding populations (and more need for food).

The agreement was signed today, but doesn’t take effect for a year — and any actual change in permissions will likely take much longer. Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi are also considering signing.

Anything we missed this week? Leave us a comment and let us know.

sanitation solutions in India Previous from the office: Water For People stops in to talk toilets. Blog Home Next spotted: on a bathroom sink in San Jose, Calif.