App tackles water waste

A mobile app developed in Kenya and aimed at tackling water problems there could have applications elsewhere, including the water-rich Great Lakes region. The app, MajiRipoti, recently won the 2012 Nokia DoGood Hackathon competition. It allows users to report water theft and water and sewer pipe leakages to Kenya’s Water Service Providers. Its developer believes that similar citizen-based technologies will be useful in tackling water availability problems in other areas of the world, as well. “What prompted us to work on the application was the frequent water shortages we are experiencing in Kenya, as well as the major problem of burst water and sewer pipes,” said Douglas Injugu, head of operations at the Synacor Consortium, the company that developed the app.

PBS correpondent brings new meaning to ‘muckraker’ in Detroit sewers

PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O’Brien proved just how far he’s willing to go for a story as he plumbed the murky depths of Detroit, Mich.’s sewer system. His report on the problems facing America’s waste water infrastructure and the various methods being explored to improve it took him below the city streets to a world of unsung heroes, strange new smells, and looming challenges for the Great Lakes region and the nation. Watch A Journey to Confront Our Aging Water Systems on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Fiscal cliff could dump sewage into Great Lakes

A program for fixing sewers is at risk because of the federal budget crisis. It comes as climate change is expected to bring more heavy rains that cause sewers to overflow. Advocates say the program helps struggling cities, the environment, the economy.