The Stream, January 9: Flood Payouts to Manitoba First Nations Hindered by Incomplete Claims

The Global Rundown

Flood payouts to First Nations members in Manitoba, Canada, impacted by 2011 flooding are delayed due to insufficient documentation. Heavy rain and snow swamp parts of Lebanon, including Syrian refugee camps. Chile approves a plan by lithium miner SQM to rectify overdrawing of brine in the Atacama desert. Michigan’s former drinking water regulator pleads no contest to a misdemeanor charge related to the Flint water crisis. A massive fatberg, made up of fat, oil, and wet wipes, blocks the sewer system in Sidmouth, England.

“I hope the ones that truly deserve compensation get it and I hope it happens soon.” –Clifford Anderson, a member of the Lake St. Martin First Nation who was forced from his home during 2011 flooding in Manitoba. In 2018, a $90 million settlement was awarded to First Nations members impacted by the flooding, but many of the subsequent claims lacked necessary documents. Lawyers representing the First Nations members are asking the court for an amendment to the settlement, which would allow more time to gather sufficient documentation. CBC

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

California Water Board Outlines $606M Bill Assistance Program  —  The state looks for ways to help poor households with the increasing cost of drinking water.

HotSpots H2O: Water Conflicts to Watch in 2019 —  Water will continue to be intertwined with social and political tensions in 2019. Read about five water-related hot spots to watch this year.

By The Numbers

$25 million Cost of a compliance plan put forth by Chilean lithium miner SQM to remedy water violations. A years-long government investigation found evidence that SQM overdrew brine from the lithium-rich Atacama desert. Water scarcity is becoming an increasing concern in the Atacama. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O: Lithium Miners Battle for Water in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

210 feet Length of a fatberg discovered in the sewage system of Sidmouth, England. Fatbergs, which are compact masses of oil, fat, and wet wipes, have afflicted London in recent years, but the discovery of a mass in the small town of Sidmouth was unexpected. Local officials say the fatberg will take eight weeks to remove. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

Heavy rain and snow swamped parts of Lebanon on Tuesday, shutting down highways and closing schools. Thousands of Syrian refugees living in tent settlements were hit by the winter storm. The New York Times

On The Radar

Liane Shekter Smith, Michigan’s former drinking water regulator, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge related to investigations of the Flint water crisis. Smith was facing involuntary manslaughter charges, but the charges were dropped after she plead no contest to disturbance of a lawful meeting and agreed to testify against other defendants if needed. Detroit Free Press

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

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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