The Stream, July 30, 2019: Wells Near Large U.S. Military Base Tainted by Hand Grenade Chemical

The Global Rundown

Data shows that drinking water wells near the Fort Jackson military base in South Carolina contains toxins from hand grenades used in training. Residents of Ethiopia plant 353 million trees in a single day to fight drought and deforestation. A key irrigation canal collapses in the western U.S., leaving 100,000 acres in Nebraska and Wyoming without water. Drought-stricken Chennai, India, continues to receive daily water deliveries via train. Years of dry conditions force Guatemalan farmers to attempt migration into the United States.

“My children have gone to bed hungry for the past three years. Our crops failed and the coffee farms have cut wages to $4 a day.” –Esteban Gutiérrez, a farmer in Guatemala, in reference to the effects of years of drought. Gutiérrez and many other farmers say that conditions have gotten bad enough that they are willing to risk the perilous journey of migrating to the United States. Record numbers of Guatemalan are attempting the trip to the U.S., with 167,000 family groups apprehended at the U.S. border in the past nine months. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

16 percent Drinking water wells near Fort Jackson, South Carolina, a large U.S. military base, that are tainted by toxins found in hand grenades. An estimated 100,000 grenades are thrown each year at the base for training purposes, and they contain RDX, a chemical linked to seizures and cancer. Out of 186 off-site wells tested, RDX was present in 31 and exceeded federal safety levels in 16 of the wells. Associated Press

353 million Trees planted in Ethiopia in 12 hours, according to the Minister for Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria. The ambitious effort is part of a campaign to fight drought and deforestation by planting 4 billion trees countrywide. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, and Reports

Every day, a train travels through rural southern India to deliver 2.5 million liters (660,000 gallons) of water to the city of Chennai, where four main reservoirs have run dry. The deliveries began more than two weeks ago, and are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Chennai imported water once before, during a harsh drought in 2001. Associated Press

In context: Reservoirs in Parched Chennai, City of Millions, Are Dry. Can Better Forecasting Avert Future Crises?

On the Radar

In much of the United States, cropland has been inundated by exceptional levels of rainfall this year, but hundreds of farmers in Wyoming and Nebraska are facing the opposite problem after a major irrigation tunnel collapsed last month. The collapse of the tunnel, which stretches more than 100 miles, left more than 100,000 acres across the two states without adequate irrigation water. Now, the ground is parched and crops are withering at a crucial point in the growing season. The New York Times

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