The Global Rundown
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency warns that toxic PFAS chemicals used at the Scott Air Force Base may have leached into local water supplies. Desalination researchers search for ways to make the costly technology more efficient. As floods continue to affect the United Kingdom, experts warn that the country’s flood defence plans are inadequate, and the Welsh government promises at least £500 to all affected homes. Zimbabwe’s ongoing drought takes a toll on the county’s rural elderly population.
“It is not old age that will kill me, it is hunger.” –Leah Tsiga, a 90-year-old resident of Zimbabwe’s Mudzi district, in reference to the acute food insecurity gripping the African nation. Food shortages are deepening in Zimbabwe due to severe drought, and the scarcity is especially challenging for the country’s rural elderly. Many are now relying on food aid from the World Food Programme and other humanitarian organizations. Associated Press
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
‘The Need Is Significant’: Fast-Growing Michigan County Confronts Groundwater Challenges — Ottawa County attempts to balance population growth and groundwater sustainability.
HotSpots H2O: As the Mekong Withers, China Releases Water from Controversial Upstream Dams — A top-ranking Chinese official declared that the country is releasing more water from its dams on the upper Mekong River in order to aid drought-stricken downstream neighbors.
By The Numbers
£500 ($647) Amount that will be given to every flood-affected household in Wales, according to the country’s government. An additional £500 will also be available to any household without flood insurance. Recent rainfall from Storms Ciara and Dennis has deluged more than 500 Welsh homes. BBC
Science, Studies, and Reports
As flooding swamps parts of the United Kingdom, scientists warn that the country’s current flood defence plans are largely inadequate, and urge the Environment Agency and local governments to bolster investment in future flood prevention. The government recently committed to £4bn ($5.17bn) in flood defence spending over the next five years, but experts say this likely won’t be enough to mitigate the deepening effects of climate change. The Guardian
Researchers are looking for ways to make desalination more efficient and less costly. The technology is becoming more widespread, but comes with several drawbacks, including affordability and environmental impact. WBUR
In context: Desalination Has a Waste Problem.
On the Radar
A report by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency suggests that PFAS chemicals used at the Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois may have breached local water supplies. Those who live near the base and use private wells are potentially at risk from the contamination, officials warn, and have begun reaching out to these individuals. A more thorough inspection of nearby water supplies is slated for this summer. Associated Press
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter