The Stream, February 23: PFAS Found in Major Lake Huron Drinking Water System

The Global Rundown

Low levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are found in a large Lake Huron drinking water supply system. Indonesia’s president announces a seven-year cleanup project for the heavily-polluted Citarum River. The South African government allocates R6-billion ($531.9 million) for drought recovery. Research shows that tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more resistant to drought than previously thought. Deadly flooding throughout the U.S. Midwest swamps roadways and forces evacuations.

“This city has not seen flooding like this in the last 45 years. We also had record snowfall in addition to consistent rain.” –Tim Neese, Mayor of Elkhart, Indiana, in reference to heavy flooding in the city. A combination of melting snow and heavy rainfall has caused deadly floods and several evacuations across the Midwestern United States. U.S. News & World Report

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Jakarta, the World’s Fastest-Sinking City, Also Faces Rising Sea Levels and River Pollution  – Certain parts of the city have sunk 14 feet in recent decades, largely due to illegal well-digging.

Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment Grows Some TeethAfter decades of irrelevance, two court decisions uphold people’s right to “clean air, pure water,” hearten activists to push for more.

By The Numbers

28 million Number of Indonesians dependent on water from the Citarum basin. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo announced the start of a seven-year cleanup project for the Citarum River, which is often ranked among the world’s most polluted waterways. Reuters

260,000 Number of Michigan residents served by the Saginaw-Midland Municipal Water Supply Corporation, which draws water from Lake Huron. Earlier this week, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced that low levels of PFAS contaminants have been found in the water system. MLive

In context: Congress passes defense bill that includes perfluorinated chemicals health study.

Science, Studies, And Reports

A study by the University of California – Riverside discovered that tropical trees in the Amazon rainforest may be surprisingly drought-resistant. Researchers found that the trees utilized living cells to conserve and redistribute water in dry conditions. The resiliency of the Amazon rainforest is important because its trees store roughly 20 percent of all carbon in the earth’s biomass, which helps moderate global warming by lowering the planet’s greenhouse gas levels. Science Daily

On The Radar

The South African government has set aside R6-billion ($531.9 million) for national drought recovery efforts, according to a budget update by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. The money will be used to augment water infrastructure in the Western Cape‚ the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape, with special focus on drought-stricken Cape Town. Times Live

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.