The Stream, September 14: 20,000 Pallets of Water Bottles for Hurricane Maria Victims Found Abandoned in Puerto Rico

The Global Rundown

Thousands of pallets of water bottles, intended for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, are found unused. Farmers in Uganda plant millions of trees to help replenish groundwater reserves. Hurricane Florence weakens to a Category 2, but still threatens flooding across the U.S. East Coast. The release of water from Cauvery Basin dams led to landslides in Kodagu, India, the government says. Michigan announces $1.2 million in funding to replace water heaters in Flint. The U.S. Army takes action against lead contamination on military bases.

“We have developed and are executing enhanced protocols for screening the interiors of homes, sampling potable tap water, and testing soil samples to identify, mitigate and correct potential hazards.” –Colonel Kathleen Turner, a U.S. Army spokeswoman, in reference to increased efforts by the Army to combat lead in military housing after a Reuters report last month identified potential hazards. More than 1,050 children living on U.S. bases have tested high for lead in recent years, prompting concern about homes with lead paint and aging plumbing fixtures. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Detroit Schools Shut Off Drinking Water After Finding Elevated Levels of Lead, Copper  – A task force will investigate the contamination and identify solutions.

HotSpots H2O, September 10: Deadly Protests in Iraq’s Oil Hub Driven by Polluted Water, Government Neglect – Protests over power outages, chronic unemployment, and the city’s deteriorating water system escalated dangerously last week in Basra, the country’s economic capital.

By The Numbers

20,000 Pallets of water bottles that were intended for Puerto Ricans following last year’s Hurricane Maria, but sat unused on an airport runway. The recently-discovered water is now too contaminated to drink, officials say. Reuters

In context: Puerto Ricans Still Desperate for Water Weeks after Hurricane Maria.

$1.2 million Additional funding provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to replace water heaters at low-income households in Flint. The program is in its third year and was initiated following the Flint water crisis, although there is no proof that the crisis caused damage to the city’s water heaters. MLive

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

Science, Studies, And Reports

Every year, Uganda loses more than 100,000 hectares of forest cover, and the country is grappling with water shortages as a result. Much of Uganda is dependent on groundwater, but deforestation is leading to less groundwater absorption, forcing residents to turn to unsanitary water sources. In response, farmers and conservationists are working to plant trees and protect wetlands. Reuters

On The Radar

In the past 24 hours, Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 2 storm, but has also expanded. It is expected to make landfall in North Carolina early Friday and drench the Carolina coastline with 20 to 40 inches of rainfall. NPR

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

Excess water released from four dams in the Cauvery Basin caused landslides in Kodagu and Malnad, India, according to the Karnataka state government. Although topography and heavy rains also played a role, geology experts claim that the landslides were “more manmade than natural.” The Times of India

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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