The Stream, July 31: From Sweden to Australia, Governments Pledge Drought-Relief Packages

The Global Rundown

In Sweden and New South Wales, Australia, officials announce assistance packages for drought-stricken farmers. High levels of PFAS contaminants are discovered in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Monsoon rains swamp a critical care unit in eastern India. UK lawmakers criticize water companies for failing to meet leakage targets. Flood warnings arrive too late for many in Myanmar, where weekend flooding killed at least 10 people and displaced thousands.

“The flow of water was so fast, our house was flooded in 30 minutes. We have nothing, and now we have to start our life from the beginning.” –U Kyaw Swa, an environmental activist in eastern Myanmar, who received an urgent evacuation warning nearly 24 hours after flood waters had already swept through his home. More than 50,000 people were forced to evacuate when heavy monsoon flooding struck Myanmar over the weekend, and most received no early warning about the deluge. The New York Times

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By The Numbers

$137 million Amount that the Swedish government will pay out to farmers over the next two years. The aid package comes as the country grapples with a summer of record-high temperatures, low rainfall, and wildfires. Bloomberg

$370 million Amount of assistance that officials in New South Wales, Australia, are pledging to farmers as the region faces one of its worst droughts on record. Parts of southeastern Australia have witnessed little rainfall in two years. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has declared a state of emergency in Kalamazoo County after testing revealed high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals in a municipal water system serving 3,100 residents. The emergency declaration will allow Kalamazoo County to tap into additional resources from the state of Michigan. The Detroit News

On The Radar

British environment secretary Michael Gove is calling on UK utilities to explain why they have failed to meet leakage targets. Many utilities lose more than 100 liters of water per customer, per day to leakage, and the issue is becoming more pronounced as the UK endures a dry, sweltering summer. BBC

Spotlight: India

Severe monsoon rains, which have killed more than 1,500 people in India so far this year, continue to batter the country. On Monday, heavy rains inundated a critical care unit in an eastern India hospital as well as destroying several homes. In many areas, the government is struggling to provide early warnings. Reuters

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