The Stream, April 27: Winter Rains, Minor Flooding Arrive in Drought-Stricken Cape Town

The Global Rundown

The first winter rains in Cape Town, South Africa, bring minor flooding to the drought-hit city. A North Carolina water utility finds an unexpected mix of chemicals in consumer tap water. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approves a request allowing Foxconn Technology Group to pull millions of gallons of water each day from Lake Michigan. Scientists warn that rising sea levels will infiltrate freshwater aquifers on low-lying atoll islands. California residents prepare to vote on two high-dollar water bonds.

“There has been a lot of flooding in urban areas across the metro and a lot of roadways have been affected.” –Charlotte Powell, a spokeswoman for Cape Town’s disaster management center, in reference to recent flooding in the city. Heavy rains fell for more than 24 hours this week in parched Cape Town, which narrowly avoided running out of water in 2018. Reuters

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

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What’s Up With Water – April 23, 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 fracking in Australia, the decline of water privatization in Europe, and efforts by the U.S. Air Force to remediate water pollution in Colorado.

By The Numbers

7 million gallons Amount of water that Foxconn Technology Group will be permitted to extract from Lake Michigan each day for a new manufacturing plant. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved Foxconn’s withdrawal request this week despite strong opposition from environmentalists. The New York Times

200,000 Number of customers served by a North Carolina water utility that found an slew of unregulated industrial chemicals in its water supply. A study by the utility revealed a mix of about 20 different chemicals, some of which university researchers didn’t know existed. U.S. News & World Report

In context: EPA investigates chemical contamination of North Carolina river.

Science, Studies, And Reports

The U.S. Geological Survey warns that rising sea levels and wave-driven flooding will be detrimental to freshwater aquifers on low-lying atoll islands. According to researchers, the flooding could make the islands uninhabitable by infiltrating all available freshwater resources. Science Daily

On The Radar

Two water-related bond proposals are on the horizon in California. The first, a $4-billion bond for parks and water infrastructure improvements, will be on the state’s June 5 ballot. The second, an $8.9-billion proposal for improvements to California’s water systems and watersheds, is eligible for the statewide November ballot. Los Angeles Times

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