The Stream, March 28: Drought Almost Gone Across Entire United States

The Global Rundown

The U.S. is almost entirely drought-free. A property owner in Queensland, Australia, receives a government settlement over PFAS contamination in his groundwater. The first cases of cholera are reported in cyclone-hit Mozambique. A new study finds water and sanitation access is improving in sub-Saharan Africa, despite an ever-growing slum population. Venezuelans are again struggling to find food and water amid the country’s second blackout in a month.

“I think this is going to be worse than the first blackout. A lot of people want to work but there’s no transportation, and if there’s nobody working the country will be paralyzed.” –Julio Barrios, a resident of Caracas, Venezuela, in reference to Venezuela’s second major power blackout in the past month. The first blackout lasted more than a week and caused extreme food and water shortages. As the new blackout enters its third day, residents fear more resource shortages are on the horizon. Reuters

In context: Worst-Ever Power Outage Deepens Venezuela Water Insecurity.

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By The Numbers

53 million Estimated number of urban-dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa that still live in slum conditions, roughly half the urban population, according to a newly-published study in Nature. Researchers found that overall living conditions in the region are becoming better, citing improvements in water access, proper sanitation, and living space per person. Reuters

5 Cholera cases confirmed in Beira, Mozambique, so far, where Cyclone Idai demolished homes and killed hundreds two weeks ago. Relief efforts are focusing heavily on treatment and prevention of waterborne diseases. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

After months of above-average precipitation, the United States is almost drought-free, according to the most recent report by the U.S. Drought Monitor. In the past year, much of the Midwest and eastern United States received at least 20 inches more rainfall than average. MLive

On The Radar

Government use of toxic firefighting foam has tainted groundwater with PFAS contaminants in several Queensland, Australia, communities. This week, a landowner with polluted groundwater became Australia’s first resident to receive government compensation related to the PFAS contamination. The Guardian

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