The Stream, April 11: Up to 30,000 Flint Children Will Be Screened to Determine Impact of Lead in Drinking Water

The Global Rundown

Up to 30,000 children who were exposed to lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan, will be screened to identify potential impacts. Norsk Hydro, the operator of the world’s largest alumina refinery, denies allegations of water contamination in Para, Brazil. A Mississippi tributary is named the most endangered river in the U.S. as lawmakers consider draining a portion of it for flood control.  A recent report analyzes the future effects of climate change on global agriculture. Officials in Houston, Texas, claim they were not adequately informed about flood risks from local reservoirs, which inundated thousands of homes during Hurricane Harvey.

“I know a lot of these residents are very angry about what happened and they want answers and Congress through an investigation can provide those answers as to who knew what, when and where.” –Michael McCaul, a Texas Congressman, in reference to floodwaters that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released from reservoirs in Houston, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey. The release flooded thousands of homes downstream of the reservoirs — a risk that Houston officials feel was not adequately communicated. U.S. News & World Report

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – April 9, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a snapshot for the start of the workweek. Listen to this week’s edition to hear coverage on water rights in New Mexico, Australia’s Murray-Darling basin plan, and Libya’s Great Man-Made River.

HotSpots H2O, April 9: Spotlight on Libya  – In 2011, amid the chaos of civil war, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. Unrest continues today, along with the breakdown of basic services such as water and sanitation.

By The Numbers

$4.1 million Amount that the State of Michigan will pay to provide screening for up to 30,000 Flint children who were exposed to lead during the city’s water crisis. The screenings will determine whether the children need health or special education services. The funding comes from a partial settlement of a federal lawsuit against the state and two school districts. Detroit Free Press

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

200,000 acres Amount of wetlands surrounding Mississippi’s Big Sunflower River, which the environmental organization American Rivers has named the most endangered river in the U.S. A decades-old proposal, which suggests draining off a large portion of the wetlands to help with flood control, has recently resurfaced in the U.S. Senate. Environmentalists warn that draining off the tributary would destroy the region’s unique ecosystem. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

Climate change will likely bring more droughts, flood, and storms, causing big disruptions to worldwide agriculture, according to a report by BMI Research. The study, which analyzes future agriculture megatrends, predicts that regulations will become stricter and farmers will begin demanding environmentally-friendly equipment and technology. Bloomberg

On The Radar

Norsk Hydro ASA, the Norwegian operator of the world’s largest alumina refinery in Para, Brazil, denies allegations that a recent leak led to environmental damages. The company’s internal task force and independent environmental consultant firm found no indication of contamination in nearby rivers. Bloomberg

Correction: The April 10 edition of The Stream incorrectly stated that mountain snowpack in Colorado is 66 percent below normal. The correct data, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is that Colorado snowpack is 66 percent of normal.

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