The Stream, November 27, 2019: States Without Clean Water Must Compensate Citizens, Indian Court Rules

The Global Rundown

India rules that states must offer compensation if they are unable to provide clean air and water to citizens. Two New York water districts sue 3M, DuPont, and Chemours companies over PFAS contamination. A community in northern Michigan receives a state grants to connect PFAS-affected homes with a municipal water system. Dengue fever, malaria, and cholera flare in Yemen. Farmers in Scotland experiment with salt-resistant plants. 

“These plants can create eco-systems and promote wildlife, but they can also feed us in a sustainable way and return health to the soil.” –Yanik Nyberg, founder of Seawater Solutions, a British startup that teaches farmers how to grow crops using seawater. Seawater Solutions is currently working with Scottish farmers to grow salt-resistant plants such as samphire, sea blite, and aster. Such plants are often used as gourmet garnishes, but are increasing in popularity due to their eco-friendliness. Reuters

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By The Numbers

50 People in Yemen’s main port city, Hodeidah, who died in late October and early November from dengue fever and malaria. The two illnesses, along with cholera, are flaring up in the war-torn country, raising concerns about a more widespread epidemic. Dengue fever is spread when mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Al Jazeera

14 Homes in Blair Township, Michigan, with wells contaminated by PFAS. The small northern Michigan community was awarded a state grant this week that will help connect the homes to a municipal water system. U.S. News & World Report

In context: From Michigan to the Nation — A Groundwater Emergency.

Science, Studies, and Reports

The Indian supreme court has ruled that states are responsible for compensating citizens if they are unable to provide clean air and water. The court declared that residents have a constitutional right to live pollution-free, and gave state governments six weeks to explain why they shouldn’t have to pay for their “failure in discharging their duties.” The Guardian

On the Radar

Two water districts in Long Island, New York, filed lawsuits against 3M Co, E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co, and the Chemours Co, for allegedly contaminating local drinking water with toxic PFAS chemicals. The lawsuit argues that the three companies manufactured and sold PFAS chemicals despite known risks to surface and groundwater. Reuters

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