1:15 PM 3/5/2018 – The Hidden Problems With Puerto Rico’s Water Supply

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

The Hidden Problems With Puerto Rico’s Water Supply

Las costas de la isla ya resienten el impacto de la fuerte marejada – El Nuevo Dia.com
Las costas de la isla ya resienten el impacto de la fuerte marejada
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The Hidden Problems With Puerto Rico’s Water Supply

mikenova shared this story from Atlas Obscura – Latest Articles and Places.

In Dorado, Puerto Rico, the problems with the water began in the 1980s, when industrial solvents and dry cleaning compounds started to show up in local wells. Over the next three decades, when officials from Puerto Rico’s water authority and health department came to test the water, they kept finding contaminants. By the 1990s the problem had become troubling enough that wells began to be shut down. By the 2000s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was searching for the source of the pollution.

Whatever was leaking these compounds into the groundwater, the federal agency couldn’t find it. But the contamination was only getting worse, and in April 2016 the EPA proposed putting the Dorada water system on the national list of Superfund sites—the most contaminated places in the country.

This past October, in one of the many headline-making incidents that followed Hurricane Maria, workers from a local utility opened one of those contaminated wells near Dorado and started distributing its water to desperate people who had no other option.

For months after the hurricane, without electricity, surrounded by damaged infrastructure, Puerto Ricans struggled to find clean water after sewage, gasoline, and more was swept up in floodwaters. But the island’s underlying geography, along with a history of poor investment in the water system, have made contamination a long-standing problem in the island territory. Researchers are trying now to understand and measure just how much the storm exacerbated these issues.

Underneath the northern coast of Puerto Rico lies a karst aquifer, a geologic formation of limestone where, over time, rain dissolves the rock to form tiny fractures, streaming rivulets, and giant caves. When rain falls, that maze of spaces collects and stores generous supplies of water. “It’s a unique geologic environment,” says Ingrid Padilla, a professor of water resources engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. “It’s highly complex and very difficult to simulate.”

Many other types of aquifers collect water that seeps through layers of the ground, which serve as a natural water treatment plant and filter contaminants out. But karst aquifers don’t have that same advantage. “The same exact characteristic that allowed water to flow through allows the contaminants in,” Padilla says. As reliable sources of water, karst aquifers attract human settlement. But even in the absence of a dramatic spill or clear sources of pollution, contaminants sneak into the groundwater as neighborhoods and industry grow.

This danger is compounded by Puerto Rico’s systems of pipes, pumping stations, and treatment plants, which has registered more drinking water violations than any other state or territory in the United States, as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported in the spring of 2017. According to data analyzed by the environmental group, close to 70 percent of the island’s population gets its water from sources in violation of federal health standards for drinking water.

These violations are caused in part by the degradation of Puerto Rico’s water infrastructure, which is riddled with leaks that make the system vulnerable to further contamination. “There’s been a lot of disinvestment in water treatment plants and water pumping stations,” says Mekela Panditharatne, an NRDC lawyer who specializes in water.

The hurricane had a direct, dramatic impact on these existing problems. Across the island, taps stopped running and floodwaters rushed in, covering cars and houses. Padilla, the water engineering professor, remembers the water seeping in under her door being white and brown. “I was thinking, ‘That could be contaminated water,’ right in the middle of the hurricane,” she says.

Part of Padilla’s work on the ongoing groundwater contamination is to measure contaminants in the water people use, and to see if they have any connection to preterm births, a widespread problem in the territory. But when she and colleagues first thought to start sampling the water after the hurricane, they found roads blocked and cars commandeered by federal authorities. Even when they were able to make it to test sites, it was often impossible pump water from the usual sources. “There were limitations on what we were able to do,” she says. “We finally were able to start sampling after a month.”

Clearly the hurricane had an impact on the island’s water quality in the short term, but Padilla is interested in its far-reaching impacts as well. “The impact by chemicals is generally longer term,” she says. “You’re not going to see that the next day.” The influx of floodwater could also have diluted the contaminants that had been a problem in the past. Those levels could be quick to return.

Now that conditions on the islands are finally starting to improve—Padilla got electricity back only in the past couples of weeks, she says—researchers are starting to think about their next steps. Another group is planning to work with local nonprofits and schools to sample water supplies around four other Superfund sites, including a battery-recycling facility and a naval training center, contaminated by munitions tests, in order to identify new risks of exposure.

In the first months after the storm, even the EPA had trouble accessing all the Superfund sites on the island—24 in total—but as of February the agency says it has assessed every one and found no major spills associated with the storm. Returning to the status quo, though, is far from ideal. Even before the storm Puerto Rico needed more than $2 billion to fix up its water infrastructure, and now the island needs billions more just to rebuild.

Las costas de la isla ya resienten el impacto de la fuerte marejada – El Nuevo Dia.com

mikenova shared this story from Noticias de Puerto Rico – Google News.


El Nuevo Dia.com
Las costas de la isla ya resienten el impacto de la fuerte marejada
El Nuevo Dia.com
Ya el agua azota con fuerza en Piñones y la carretera PR-187 -que lleva a Loíza- está cerrada, tras la fuerte marejada que afecta al suroeste, oeste y norte de la isla hoy, domingo, según el pronostico más reciente del Servicio Nacional de Meteorología 

and more »

Las costas de la isla ya resienten el impacto de la fuerte marejada

mikenova shared this story .

Ya el agua azota con fuerza en Piñones y la carretera PR-187 -que lleva a Loíza- está cerrada, tras la fuerte marejada que afecta al suroeste, oeste y norte de la isla hoy, domingo, según el pronostico más reciente del Servicio Nacional de Meteorología (SNM).

La boya de San Juan marcó (a las 3:00 p.m.) 13 pies con un periodo de 15 segundos, lo que genera un oleaje rompiente entre los 18 y 23 pies“, informó el meteorólogo del SNM, Carlos Anselmi, en entrevista con <a href=”http://endi.com” rel=”nofollow”>endi.com</a>.

Olas entre los 15 y 25 pies azotarán las costas de Puerto Rico, todas provocadas por una baja presión “muy fuerte” que está sobre el Atlántico central. Esto estará acompañado por vientos, de hasta 20 nudos, desde el noroeste.

Ante el “preocupante” panorama marítimo, Anselmi recomendó a las personas a “no exponer sus vidas” en las playas de la isla, pues “esto apenas comienza“. Y es que lo “peor” ocurrirá al caer la noche y mañana, lunes, temprano.

En respuesta a la situación, el SNM emitió advertencias de resecas fuertes y precaución para los operadores embarcaciones pequeñas. Esta última permanecerá vigente hasta las 6:00 p.m. de mañana. También registró un riego algo de corrientes marinas.

De igual modo, las condiciones del tiempo resentirán, aunque en menor escala, el impacto de la marejada.

Tendremos cielos nublados y temperaturas agradables. Algunas lluvias afectarán al país, pero mayormente serán leves. En ocasiones, no obstante, acontecerán pequeños lapsos de aguaceros moderados“, explicó Anselmi.

El alcalde de Cataño, Félix Delgado, activó a la Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias Municipal (OMME) y demás componentes de seguridad del ayuntamiento. Todos realizan, desde las 6:00 a.m., rondas preventivas por el litoral costero y las zonas más vulnerables a desbordamientos en el pueblo.

La alcaldesa de San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, también adoptó medidas preventivas. Entre ellas, por ejemplo, el cierre, mientras dure el evento, del balneario El Escambrón “para proteger la vida de bañistas y del personal que custodia la instalación recreativa

Al momento, Cruz habilitó en la capital, desde las 3:00 p.m., dos localidades para que los residentes de La Perla y las comunidades del G-8 (Caño Martín Peña) puedan resguardarse, el Centro de Servicios Múltiples de Barrio Obrero 1 y la alcaldía, respectivamente.

Para prevenir incidentes, la líder municipal cerró varias calles en Ocean Park: Park Boulevard, Soldado Serranoy Guerrero Noble. Se recomienda a los ciudadanos utilizar el Expreso Baldorioty de Castro y la calle Loíza para llegar a su destino.

Exhorto a las personas a permanecer alejados de la orilla de la playa y fuera del agua. No es momento para ir a ver las condiciones del mar y que pongan en riesgo la vida de las personas. Mantengan a los niños fuera de estas áreas”, recalcó Cruz a través de un comunicado de prensa.

En Loíza, la alcaldesa Julia Nazario desalojó a los vecinos de las Parcelas Suárez en el Barrio Medianía. Al momento, otras ocho comunidades permanecen bajo aviso.

preventive police surveillance – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from preventive police surveillance – Google News.

Story image for preventive police surveillance from Bloomberg

The Future of Policing Is Being Hashed Out in Secret

BloombergFeb 28, 2018
The police are legally empowered to do all kinds of surveillance without a warrant, provided they are operating in public space. … but powerful tool that enabled police to gather statistics of arrests and disturbance locations and use the aggregated data to deploy their investigative and preventive power.
Story image for preventive police surveillance from The Globe and Mail

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Story image for preventive police surveillance from Asharq Al-awsat English

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drug lords Puerto Rico – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from drug lords Puerto Rico – Google News.

Story image for drug lords Puerto Rico from Fox News

Puerto Rico turns to DOJ amid escalating post-Maria drug-fueled …

Fox NewsMar 2, 2018
Fernando Soler, vice president of a police officers’ advocacy group, told The Associated Press, drug dealers are “taking advantage of all the situations occurring in Puerto Rico.” “There’s no power and they believe there’s a lack of police officers…,” he said. “Criminals are taking care of business before the …
Story image for drug lords Puerto Rico from Washington Post

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The drug cartels of Venezuela and Mexico kidnap their rivals, torture them, execute them and record their actions as a warning. …. “Its long Caribbean coastline, sparsely populated jungles and plains and proximity to other Caribbean drug transit points like Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras and …
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Crackdowns on drug dealers led to rise in violent crime, study finds

mikenova shared this story .

Police crackdowns to cut the supply of illegal drugs by removing dealers and criminal overlords actually lead to rises in drug-related violence, gun crime and murder, according to an international study. A review of 20 years of research into drug enforcement has found that attempts to snuff out the trade in illegal substances have the opposite effect to that intended, by creating a power vacuum when drugs barons are imprisoned which is rapidly filled by competitors eager to fight each other for the newly-vacated territory.

Campaigners for the reform of drugs policy said the findings, which follow numerous studies showing that prohibition has failed to stop narcotics from becoming more plentiful, added to the pressure on governments to declare the “war” on the £200bn global illicit drugs industry over, and adopt a policy of controlled legalisation.

The study by the Canada-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) found that heavy-handed tactics, ranging from attempts by the American-sponsored Colombian armed forces to eradicate drug cartels to the arrest of dealers in Sydney, had led to increases in violence. Often, this violence is fuelled by criminals arming themselves to profit from price rises caused by seizures of drugs or the dismantling by police of dealing networks.

The assessment of 15 reports on the relationship between violence and drug enforcement, presented yesterday at an international conference in Liverpool, found that 87 per cent of studies reported that police seizures and arrests led directly to increased violence.

Dan Werb, co-author of the ICSDP document, said: “The convention has been that law-enforcement action to reduce the availability of drugs, thereby increasing drugs prices and decreasing supplies, also has the effect of reducing violence. Not only has prohibition been found to be ineffective with regard to price and supply; this study has also shown that it is accompanied by an increase in drug-related violence.

“Prohibition drives up the value of banned substances astronomically, creating lucrative markets and worldwide networks of organised crime. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that any disruption of these markets through drug-law enforcement seems to have the perverse effect of creating more financial opportunities for organised crime groups, and gun violence often ensues.”

The study, which highlights the drug-related violence gripping Mexico as an example of the vicious circle fuelled by crackdowns, said researchers in Florida had recorded a five-fold increase in violence and property crime linked to drug arrests. Another study of six US cities found that attempts to shut down crack markets led to increased homicide rates in four of them.

A six-year Australian investigation into drug dealing in Sydney found that the arrest of dealers and subsequent disputes between rivals had contributed to murders and a substantial rise in non-fatal shootings with handguns.

Campaigners for a regulated market in drugs said the study bolstered the argument for legalising drugs and introducing a sliding scale of controls, ranging from membership of coffee-shop style premises for the sale of cannabis to licensed pharmacies selling cocaine.

A spokesman for the Transform Drug Policy Foundation said: “We have a government in pathological denial of the negative impact of a prohibition-based drugs culture. Which other global industry worth £200bn is left in the hands of organised criminals rather than being taxed and properly regulated?”

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Felipe Narváez Colón – Google Search

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Story image for Felipe Narváez Colón from El Vocero de Puerto Rico

Arrestan en Orlando a líder de ganga Los Menores

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Agentes del Task Force de los Alguaciles Federales de la Florida y del Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI), arrestaron esta tarde en la ciudad de Orlando a Felipe Narváez Colón, líder de la organización de narcotraficantes conocida como Los Menores. Narváez Colón fue arrestado en el hotel La …
Arrestan en Orlando a líder de ganga Los Menores | Ley y orden

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