The Stream, May 2: Long-Term Exposure to California Drinking Water Could Cause Increased Cancer Risk, Study Warns

The Global Rundown

A new report warns that contaminants in California drinking water could be the cause of 15,500 new cancer cases. Several cyclone-hit communities in Mozambique remain unreached as heavy rains continue. Residents in New South Wales, Australia, allege that bottled water companies are illegally extracting groundwater. A new study finds that extreme rainfall has been just as detrimental to U.S. crops as drought in the past three decades. Dutch engineers construct football fields that store and filter water in South Africa.

“We are struggling in South Africa with clean water. This was a lesson to me that water and education are linked.” —Sibusiso Mohlapi, a primary school teacher in South Africa, in reference to the installation of a football field that also stores and filters water at his school. A team of Dutch engineers has constructed nine of the innovative fields, which can process up to 17 million liters of rainwater each year. Mohlapi says class attendance has become more consistent since the field was installed, due to less waterborne illness among students. Reuters

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By The Numbers

35,000 Homes that were destroyed in Pemba, Mozambique, by Cyclone Kenneth, which made landfall last week. Ongoing heavy rains are causing flash floods and grounding planes, complicating relief efforts on islands and smaller communities surrounding Pemba. Reuters

15,500 New cancer cases that could be caused by contaminants in California’s drinking water, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group. The study analyzed 2,737 state water systems and claims that the combined health impact of contaminants such as arsenic and hexavalent chromium are likely to cause thousands of cancer cases. The Guardian

Science, Studies, and Reports

A new study by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign looked at U.S. corn yields from 1981 to 2016. The study states that excessive rainfall is just as detrimental as drought and heat. In some years, the crop loss caused by torrential rains was up to 34 percent of the expected yield. In dry years, up to 37 percent of expected yield was lost. Science Daily

On the Radar

Bottled water companies in New South Wales, Australia, are under scrutiny after allegations of illegal groundwater extraction. Last year, a group called the Tweed Water Alliance released data claiming that water trucks were operating in unauthorized areas during a nighttime curfew. In December, the local council submitted a proposed ban on local extraction by bottled water companies. An investigation of the claims is ongoing. The Guardian

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