KNBA - KBC

drinking water

9/20/16

The lack of running water and flush toilets in more than three thousand Alaska homes causes health problems, but another issue looms even larger:  that’s the effects of climate change on drinking water sources. That’s according to scientists at the international Water Innovations for Healthy Arctic Homes conference in Anchorage this week. 

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

The slide show above gives glimpses of life in the dozens of villages in Alaska that lack flush toilets and running water. 

To find out more, click on the links below, Parts 1-5, to see and hear the series "Kick the Bucket: Rural Sanitation in Alaska." 

House and Senate budget negotiators yesterday reached agreement on one part of the state budget before them. They agreed to fully fund the per-student funding formula for the coming year. Other items before the conference committee, including whether to honor cost-of-living increases in negotiated union contracts, remain unresolved. Funding for the pay increases has been a sticking point in budget talks.

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Study launched on refinery solvent contaminating North Pole drinking water

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

May 1, 2015

Over the past four days, we have brought you stories that go out into the field for an in-depth look at Alaska's rural sanitation situation - a series we call "Kick the Bucket."  We have seen how the lack of modern sanitation is linked to disease as people strain the limits of their clean water supply. And we have looked at the implications of decreasing funding and looming maintenance expenses in villages with a limited cash economy.   Today we’ll wrap up the series by trying to look into the future.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water Program

April 30, 2015

What if you didn’t have piped water and sewer, and the government wasn’t picking up the tab to get you some? How would you find a low-cost system that you could keep running through the winter? In this segment of “Kick the Bucket,” find out how experts are looking for answers to rural sanitation issues in Alaska.

Villagers and people in the water and sewer business can name dozens of ways systems have failed due to parts that shattered in the cold, say, or components that had to be flown in from Europe and installed by a Lower 48 specialist.

Bill Griffith, Mike Black / ADEC, ANTHC

April 28, 2015

Most of us have never lived with without running water at home. Today, we’ll learn about some people who are just getting used to it, and others who would like to get used to having running water. In the second segment of the series Kick the Bucket, we’ll also hear some of the reasons Alaska hasn’t made modern plumbing a simple fact of life for all Alaskans.

Dan Winkleman, the president of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC), described a recent phone call from his mother-in-law in Kwethluk.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

April 27, 2015

How the lack of running water and flush toilets affects public health in Alaska

Joaqlin Estus

April 15, 2015

News Director Joaqlin Estus is producing a series of stories about rural sanitation in Alaska. Check back to see photos and interviews in coming days. 

Tune in at 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. the week of April 27, 2015 for the 5-part series on rural sanitation in Alaska. 

3/20/15

Senators on the Finance Committee Thursday questioned Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officials, asking just how bad would it be to turn down federal dollars for construction of water and sewer systems.

DEC Administration Director Tom Cherian told legislators the $64 million capital budget DEC submitted is its lowest in ten years. The lion’s share of DEC’s capital budget, $55.5 million, would go to water and sewer projects. Of that, 71% is federal dollars. The state’s share would be a $9 million dollar match.

State contributes 25% required match for federal funds

Members of the Legislative Bush Caucus last week in a “Lunch and Learn” session on rural sanitation were told about 900 million dollars is needed to build, replace and maintain rural sanitation systems. Last year the state put about $9 million, and federal agencies put $51 million, toward rural sanitation in Alaska. The combined 60 million dollars is less than half the amount allocated ten years ago.

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