YOUR GLOBAL RUNDOWN
- Greenland will hold a special election that could determine the fate of a contentious mining project.
- An oyster farmer’s business in Australia is devastated by record flooding in the region.
- A new investigation finds widespread lead, arsenic and PFAS contamination in water samples throughout the United States.
- A coatings company in Pennsylvania agrees to clean up decades-old pollution in the Allegheny River.
A rural community in California gets a chance at clean drinking water for the first time in over 100 years.
“In a place like this, which is a Severely Disadvantaged Community based on household income criteria established by the State of California, the health and economic consequences of poor drinking water quality are very real.” – Kayode Kadara, a community leader in Allensworth. Business Wire reports that the small town in California’s Central Valley is testing new water-quality technology that uses solar hydropanels to draw clean water vapor out of the air and into a reservoir inside the panel. Allensworth has struggled to gain access to reliable drinking water for over 100 years. Naturally occurring arsenic in the town’s two groundwater wells is 60 percent higher than the state safety standard, forcing the town’s 600 residents to travel to the next county to buy water bottles and jugs.
IN RECENT WATER NEWS
In Case You Missed It:
In Flooded Michigan Neighborhoods, Who Should Pay For Sea Walls? – Scientists expect severe floods to become increasingly common as climate change alters rainfall and temperature patterns in Michigan. That leaves Michigan residents with two options: Reinforce their properties to prevent the next flood, or live with the consequences.
HotSpots H2O: Homeless San Franciscans Are In A Clean Water Crisis – People living on San Francisco’s streets and in its parks face daily barriers to finding and accessing clean water, according to a report released earlier this month by the nonprofit organization, Coalition on Homelessness.
Greenland Will Hold Special Election That Could Influence Rare Earth Metals Mine
An upcoming special election in Greenland could settle a growing dispute over the environmental impacts of a major mining project, Reuters reports. If the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, which opposes the mine, can form a coalition following the April 6 election, the project could be halted or delayed. The implications stretch far beyond Greenland’s borders. As the Arctic becomes more easily accessible due to climate change and melting ice, international mining companies are racing to exploit previously untouched mineral deposits.
- Why it matters: In 2016, Circle of Blue reported that on every continent where big hard rock mines are proposed or are operating conflict over water availability and management is raising costs, increasing risks for lenders, driving tougher government oversight, and prompting much more aggressive civic opposition campaigns.
TODAY’S TOP WATER STORIES, TOLD IN NUMBERS
Reuters reports that an oyster farmer’s business on Australia’s east coast is in ruins following recent historic flooding in the region. Farmer Brett Harper says repairs will take up to three months and cost him nearly A$300,000 ($228,000).
A joint investigation between the Guardian and Consumer Reports found that nearly all of the 120 water samples from systems around the United States contained detectable levels of PFAS, arsenic or lead. PFAS were found in 117 of the investigation’s samples. In response to the report’s findings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said 93 percent of the population supplied by community water systems gets water that meets health standards for more than 90 contaminants, which does not include PFAS.
ON THE RADAR
PPG Industries Inc. committed to long-term treatment of water in the Allegheny River contaminated with toxic metal waste from its Ford City glass manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania, the Associated Press reports. The agreement comes nearly a decade after two environmental groups sued PPG for failing to clean up waste from 1971.
Jane writes The Stream and covers domestic and international water issues for Circle of Blue. She is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Multimedia Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Grand Valley, she was the host of the Community Service Learning Center podcast Be the Change. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jane enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time outdoors.