The Stream, November 30: Illinois Coal Plants are Threatening Nearby Waterways, Analysis Shows

The Global Rundown

A new analysis shows that toxic waste from 22 Illinois coal plants is threatening nearby water sources. Cape Town, South Africa, announces plans to relax its Level 5 water restrictions. California researchers begin collecting water samples to determine the impact of recent wildfires on the state’s waterways. 2018 is expected to be the fourth-warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Thousands of farmers gather in New Delhi, India, to demand better government support for the country’s agriculture.

“We want the government to declare our region as drought-affected, which it is unwilling to. The rains have failed our crops continuously in the past two years. But when the government itself denies there is a problem, how will it help us?” –HD Karbat, a farmer from Palghar, India, in reference to poor growing conditions in the country. Thousands of farmers and rural residents have gathered in New Delhi, India, and plan to march to parliament on Friday, where they will demand that the government relieve debt and set minimum crop prices. Al Jazeera

In context: India’s Severe Drought Causing Havoc.

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By The Numbers

22 Coal-fired power plants in Illinois that are threatening nearby water sources, according to a recent analysis. Test results show that arsenic, lead, and other harmful metals are seeping through unlined waste pits at the plants, then infiltrating groundwater, lakes, and rivers. Pollution from 10 of the sites is putting the drinking water supplies of nearby communities at risk. Chicago Tribune

105 liters (28 gallons) Amount of water that residents of Cape Town, South Africa, will be able to use daily under the city’s Level 3 water restrictions, which are set to be implemented on December 1. The city has been operating under Level 5 restrictions, which limited residents to 70 liters (18 gallons) of water per day. News24

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

Science, Studies, And Reports

2018 is on track to be the fourth-warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The agency warns that global temperatures could rise by 3 to 5°C (5.4 to 9°F) by the end of the century, raising the likelihood of droughts, floods, and a variety of other severe weather events. The Guardian

On The Radar

Researchers in California are gathering water samples from areas affected by the state’s recent wildfires, where toxic chemicals from burned homes may be seeping into rivers and streams. The Sierra Nevada foothills, which were scorched by the deadly Camp Fire, provide drinking water for millions in the state. New York Times

Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter

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