The Stream, May 1: El Niño Drought Disrupts Shipping in Panama Canal

The Global Rundown

Drought hampers shipping in the Panama Canal as water levels fall. U.S. Democrats and President Donald Trump agree to spend $2 trillion on roads, water, and other infrastructure projects. Volunteers and military personnel work to protect homes as floodwaters swamp eastern Canada. Food insecurity looms for more than 2 million people in drought-stricken AngolaA recent report gives Michigan an ‘F’ grade for keeping lead out of school drinking water.

“It’s long past time for Michigan to get serious about protecting our kids from lead poisoning in their water and get the lead risk out of schools and day cares.” –Nathan Murphy, director of the Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center, in reference to inadequate state efforts to keep lead out of school water systems. The advocacy group gave Michigan and 21 other states an ‘F’ grade for policies related to lead in school water. The Detroit News

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By The Numbers

2.3 million Residents of Angola who are facing a food security crisis, according to UNICEF. Rainfall in the country has been minimal and inconsistent, prompting President João Lourenço to declare a state of emergency in January. Reuters Africa

2,000 Military personnel helping residents and volunteers protect homes in Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick from flooding. Heavy rainfall and rising rivers have forced several thousand residents of eastern Canada to evacuate their homes. CBC

Science, Studies, and Reports

The current El Niño weather pattern is causing water levels in the Panama Canal to tumble as drought grips the region. Draft limits have been imposed on ships this week, and economic losses are expected to be around $15 million. The Washington Post

On the Radar

U.S. President Donald Trump and leaders of the Democratic party reached an agreement to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure, including upgrades to roads, water systems, and power grids. Lawmakers will meet three weeks from now to discuss ways to pay for the plan. Reuters

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