The Stream, September 10, 2019: Australians Increasingly Concerned About Droughts and Water Shortages, Survey Shows

The Global Rundown

Australians say they are growing more concerned about droughts and extinctions related to climate change. PFAS is detected at 60 Michigan schools and daycare centers relying on private wells. Thousands of people in the Bahamas are without food, water, or sanitation facilities following Hurricane Dorian. State water agencies fight a California proposal to tighten environmental regulations. China works to save the endangered Yangtze finless porpoise.

“It has now been scientifically proven that the Yangtze porpoise is a unique species. If it isn’t protected well, the Chinese government will be under pressure.” –Jiang Meng, secretary general of the Nanjing Yangtze Finless Porpoise Conservation Association, in reference to the endangered species. Only around 1,000 Yangtze porpoises remain after years of farming and industrialization have damaged the river’s ecosystem. Now, the government is attempting to protect the animals, and President Xi Jinping says he hopes the porpoise will become a symbol of the country’s new commitment to the environment. Reuters

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By The Numbers

60 Schools, daycares, and Head Start centers in Michigan where at least trace levels of PFAS were detected in the facilities’ private wells. A handful of school sampled had PFAS levels of 70 parts per trillion or above. MLive

In context: PFAS: What You Need To Know.

70,000 Estimated number of people in the Bahamas in need of food and shelter in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, which hit the island nation last week as a Category 5 storm. Many people are also reporting poor access to water and sanitation facilities. Reuters 

Science, Studies, and Reports

Australia’s yearly Climate of the Nation survey found that citizens are becoming increasingly concerned about climate change and its effects. Of survey respondents, 81 percent said they were worried about droughts and flooding in the country, and 78 percent said they feared future water shortages. An additional finding from the report is that a majority of respondents believe the government is not doing enough to address climate change. The Guardian

On the Radar

California plans to adopt legislation that would lock in protections under a variety of Obama-era environmental acts, including the Clean Water Act, which the Trump administration is now attempting to weaken. The legislation, however, is being fiercely opposed by some of the state’s largest water agencies, who claim the proposal would complicate pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Los Angeles Times

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