Drastic drought measures, fluoride teeth and Ghana: today’s news round-up

water news

The Guardian reports that the Governor of California has ordered “unprecedented and mandatory water restrictions in the state” in reaction to the news that there will be no snowfall this year to replenish the state’s dwindling reservoirs. The State Water Resources Control Board have been told to reduce water use throughout the state by 25%, which is predicted to save 1.5m acre-feet of water by the year’s end.

It may not all be bad news; NBC report that Santa Cruz is an example of how water restrictions can work – they actually took on the same 25% restriction last year, and have been successful thanks to measures like offering rebates to those who make their lawns drought-friendly, and one day “water schools” to show people how to easily cut down their usage.

A point of contention for activists, as raised by Newsweek, is that Nestle has continued it’s massive bottled water operation in California throughout the drought. It’s also come to light that their permit to transfer water has been expire since 1988.

Fluoride has been proven to reduce cavities in young children, but The New York Times report that a study in Ireland has revealed that it can also help older people to keep their teeth. Researchers at the dentistry school of Trinity College Dublin studied almost 5,000 adults older than 50, and discovered that those in areas with fluoridated water were more likely to report that they still had all their teeth. However, even though fluoride has been shown to increase bone mass, it was revealed to have no effect on overall bone density in the elderly.

Gizmodo have written a piece about the water problem in Ghana, where there is plenty of water but people still choose to buy it from street vendors in plastic pouches.

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