The Stream, November 5, 2019: Thousands of Canadians Exposed to Lead Levels Higher Than Flint, Investigation Finds

The Global Rundown

Several hundred thousand Canadians are exposed to lead water levels exceeding those of the Flint water crisis, a new investigation warns. The number of Somalis displaced by flooding surpasses 270,000. The heaviest rain in years deluges parts of eastern Australia. Crews begin cleanup following an oil spill from the Keystone pipeline in North Dakota. Residents of Delhi, India, demand government action to address severe air and water pollution.

“According to the ritual we are supposed to bathe in the water but I could not bring myself to do it fully, though my friends took a full dip even with the smell. My legs were itching after a while and I had to go home and take a bath.” –Sunita Devi, a resident of Delhi, in reference to a recent Hindu ceremony performed in Delhi’s toxic Yamuna River. Delhi is currently grappling with severe air and water pollution, a crisis that residents say is largely due to government inaction. The Guardian

In context: Delhi Waits For Water

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By The Numbers

100 mm (4 inches) Rain received in parts of New South Wales, Australia, over the weekend, some of the heaviest that the country’s east coast has experienced in years. The rain brought a slight respite from the region’s intense drought, but farmers say more is needed to truly boost the Australia’s struggling agricultural sector. Reuters

In context: In Australia, Echoes of Past, Glimpses of Future As Country Braces for Hot, Dry Summer.

270,000+ People displaced due to flooding in Somalia, as of November 3. Aid agencies say the floods have claimed at least ten lives so far, and worry that conditions could worsen as a new tropical storm moves toward eastern Africa. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, and Reports

A yearlong investigation by more than 120 journalists from various universities and news organizations alleges that the water of several hundred thousand Canadians is contaminated by higher lead levels than those present during the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. One-third of testing exceeded the Canadian safety guideline of 5 parts per billion (ppb), while 18 percent bypassed the U.S. limit of 15 ppb. Researchers say they are surprised by the findings, but believe the problem is largely driven by a lack of federal oversight on testing drinking water systems for lead. Associated Press

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.

On the Radar

Crews are beginning to clean up a spill from the Keystone pipeline, which leaked over 9,000 barrels of crude oil in Walsh County, North Dakota, last week. Officials say the spill, which impacted a wetland, covered an area about half the size of a football field. Reuters

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