The Stream, April 20, 2021: Gallup Poll Shows Americans Concerned About Drinking Water Pollution


  • A new poll finds most Americans are concerned about drinking water quality.
  • A proposed Arizona mine creates tension between conservationists and locals concerned about the economy.
  • New research explores the impact of the average U.S. diet on water use.
  • Green infrastructure could provide a solution to wastewater spills in the United Kingdom.

Researchers discover high levels of PFAS chemicals on Mount Everest.

“We were shocked. We retested everything like three times, because it was much higher than we expected.” – Kimberly Miner, an assistant research professor at the University of Maine Climate Change Institute. Researchers have found high levels of PFAS chemicals on Mount Everest, the Washington Post reports. The research, part of an interdisciplinary research project intended to understand how climate change is affecting mountain systems, concluded that PFAS chemicals had been shed from climbers’ outdoor gear, which are often treated with the chemicals to hard them against rain and snow.


In Case You Missed It:

HotSpots H2O: Russia Under Pressure as Thousands in Crimea Ration Water – Moscow is under increased pressure as thousands in Crimea have been rationing water for months due to a Ukrainian water blockade.

What’s Up With Water – April 19, 2021 – This week’s episode covers contaminated water supplies on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, a dried up wetland outside of New Delhi and a settlement paid by one of the United States’ largest poultry companies over claims of groundwater and air pollution.

Proposed Mine In Arizona Pits Environmental Concerns Against Economy

A proposal to build one of the world’s largest underground copper mines in Arizona has created a rift between conservation groups concerned about the environmental impact of the mine and local officials and residents who support its economic benefits, Reuters reports. President Joe Biden halted the mining project last month over concerns that the mine would destroy sacred Native American land and exacerbate the ongoing drought in Arizona.



New research from the University of Michigan and Tulane University found that meat consumption is responsible for 31 percent of the water scarcity footprint of the average U.S. diet. The study combined a number of metrics — the types and quantities of foods that people eat, the irrigation water required to produce those foods, and the relative scarcity of water where the irrigation occurs — to determine the water-use impacts of U.S. diets.


A new poll from Gallup found that 56 percent of Americans express “a great deal” of worry about drinking water pollution. Drinking water pollution appears to be the top environmental concern for Americans, followed by pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.


Green infrastructure could be a solution to the United Kingdom’s wastewater problem. Experts told the Guardian that green infrastructure uses wetlands, ponds and green ditches called swales to absorb, slow, and divert water. Currently, sewage systems in the U.K. are overwhelmed by highly populated areas and more frequent storms, causing overflows that end up in the nation’s waterways.

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