The Stream, April 19: Paradise, California, Water System Could Cost $300m to Replace

The Global Rundown

The water system of Paradise, California, which was tainted after a wildfire swept through the town, could cost $300 million to replace. The United Nations helps Malawian refugees displaced by Cyclone Idai return home. Flood-hit Iran receives a massive aid donation from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Quebec, Canada, braces for heavy forecasted rains. Ann Arbor, Michigan, boosts water rates to address aging infrastructure and PFAS and dioxane contamination.

“It is jaw dropping. This is such a huge scale. None of us were prepared for this.” –Dan Newton, a member of California’s Water Resources Control Board, in reference to the widespread contamination of the Paradise, California, water system after the Camp Fire. The fire ravaged the town in November, and officials knew the city’s water system would be a key concern. Now, research shows the city’s drinking water is contamination by benzene and other volatile compounds. Fully restoring the water system could take up to two years and $300 million. Sacramento Bee

In context: After Paradise Burned.

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By The Numbers

95 tonnes Aid delivered by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to flood-hit Iran, traditionally a regional rival. Iran is in the midst of the worst flooding in decades, and has complained that U.S.-imposed sanctions are hampering relief efforts. Al Jazeera

6 percent Amount that the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, raised water and sewer rates earlier this week. Lawmakers say the extra revenue will go toward infrastructure improvements, PFAS filters, and tracking a recently-discovered dioxane plume. MLive

Science, Studies, and Reports

UNHCR is helping displaced residents of Malawi return home in the wake of Cyclone Idai. The storm displaced 100,000 people in Malawi alone, and many feel reluctant to go home due to a shortages of basic amenities. In response, the UNHCR is providing food, medicine, and other essentials. Reuters

On the Radar

Parts of Quebec, Canada, are preparing for a rainy weekend. Up to 50 millimeters (2 inches) of rain could inundate eastern parts of the country and mingle with snowmelt, meteorologists warn. CBC

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