News Digest - February 22, 2023

  • After a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, state and federal officials have repeated that they have not detected dangerous levels of chemicals in the air or water. Many residents, worried about the long-term effects of the train derailment, are paying out of pocket for their own tests.
  • In Jackson, Mississippi, there have been at least 150 instances in the last 15 months when subdivisions, schools, hospitals, and churches have been told by the city that their water may be unsafe to drink. In 2022, the number of times the city told a home or business that their water was unsafe to drink surpassed 202,000. "It is a tragedy years in the making — born of racial distrust, political brinkmanship and systemic failure at every level of government."
  • A survey commissioned by the nonprofit organization Texas Water Trade shows that 61% of 650 households in both rural border communities and urban areas across Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth do not think their water is safe to drink.
  • Archaeologists found a 2,200-year-old flush toilet in China, which is likely one of the oldest ever discovered and the first to be unearthed in China! The invention of modern flush toilets is thought to be from Victorian England, but this toilet would be from the Warring States Period to the beginning of the Han Dynasty.
  • The latest TWDB drought map shows the largest area of the state impacted by drought in 2023. Drought conditions expanded and intensified in the Panhandle, Central, and South Texas.

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