The Stream, September 18: Lead Levels in Flint Water Now Meet Federal Regulations

The Global Rundown

A new test reveals that water in Flint, Michigan now meets federal regulations for lead. Millions could face water shortages as Asian glaciers shrink due to climate change. Indian Prime Minister Modi inaugurates the second-largest dam in the world, a controversial project which has been in the works since 1961. All construction of road and water projects in Beijing, China will be suspended throughout the winter in an effort to improve the city’s air quality. Environmental groups in Australia begin a week of protests against a coal mining project that could damage the Great Barrier Reef and fuel global warming.

“This project will benefit lakhs of farmers and help fulfill people’s aspirations.” –Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, in reference to the Sardar Sarovar Dam project. On Sunday, Modi inaugurated the controversial dam, which lies on the Narmada River in the western state of Gujarat. The dam is supposed to provide 9,000 villages with water, as well as generating power to be shared among three Indian states, but critics fear the dam will raise water levels and displace villages. Reuters

By The Numbers

$13.2 billion Cost of a major coal mining project in the remote Galilee Basin of Australia. Environmental activists are staging a week-long protest of the project, which they claim could harm the Great Barrier Reef, contribute to climate change, and impact native land and water supply. The first phase of the project began in August, after five years of delays due to court challenges by environmentalists and indigenous groups. Reuters

9.8 parts per billion Lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s water supply, based on a recent test. The findings put Flint’s water within federal regulations, and show a 68 percent decrease in lead levels since August 2015, when levels were at 31 parts per billions during the height of the Flint Water Crisis. Detroit Free Press

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis

Science, Studies, And Reports

Glaciers in Asia could shrink by at least a third by 2100 due to climate change, according to research by Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Over one billion people in Asia depend on rivers that are fed by these Himalayan glaciers, and large-scale melting could lead to water shortages in farming, hydro-electricity, and day-to-day life. Reuters

On The Radar

Beijing, China will ban road and water projects, as well as housing demolitions, from November 15 through March 15 in a bid to improve air quality. The four-month period correlates when heating is supplied to Beijing’s housing and other buildings. Reuters