The Stream, February 23, 2022: Volunteers Struggle to Contain Wildfires in Argentina


  • The United Kingdom battles three major tropical storms in less than a week.
  • Drought has spread to nearly all of Portugal.
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces millions in funding for the removal of lead in drinking water.
  • Drought risk in eastern Australia could be much higher than previously thought.

Light rainfall in northern Argentina could contain wildfires that have been spreading for weeks.

“It’s a blessing from God, I think God took pity on us. – Estefanía Riveiro, a volunteer in Argentina’s Corrientes province. Firefighters and volunteers in northern Argentina could soon see some relief from wildfires that have burned for several weeks. Weather forecasts predict light rain will continue throughout the week, which could tame the fires that, despite the best efforts of firefighters, have spread relentlessly. The Argentinian province of Corrientes continues to bear the brunt of the disaster. At least nine percent of the territory has been consumed by flames thus far. Locals, many of whom are farmers and ranchers, say the dry conditions are unusual for the typically wet region.

In Recent Water News

Line 5 Impact on Climate Change Being Reviewed as part of Tunnel Decision – The Michigan Public Service Commission will decide whether Enbridge Energy’s plans to move a segment of its Line 5 oil and liquid natural gasses pipeline into a tunnel is safe.

This story was originally published by Michigan Radio as part of the Great Lakes News Collaborative, which aims to elevate discussion and amplify the voice of Great Lakes residents and produce action that protects the region’s waters for future generations.

In Case You Missed It:

What’s Up With Water—February 22, 2022 – This week’s episode covers worsening drought in the American Southwest and the Horn of Africa. Plus, Circle of Blue reports on how states are using federal pandemic relief funds to invest in water infrastructure.

Three Storms Batter the U.K. In Less Than a Week

Three Storms Batter the U.K. IN Less than a Week

Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin battered the U.K over the past week. The storms forced hundreds of people out of their homes and left 1.4 million households without electricity. Storm Eunice has been blamed for the deaths of at least three people in England, and 13 more across Europe. Meteorologists say more rain is expected this week, while affected communities are calling for a “permanent solution” to flood risks along the River Severn.

This Week’s Top Water Stories, Told In Numbers


Severe or extreme drought has spread across 91 percent of Portugal, the country’s meteorological agency said. The announcement makes the current drought more widespread than the last record dry spell in 2005, which only spread across 77 percent of the territory. The drought has raised concerns over water supply and crop viability. Agriculture Minister Maria do Ceu Antunes said met with the European Commission to discuss solutions to the situation, including financial support for farmers.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced a $20 million grant fund to go towards reducing lead levels in drinking water. The funding will be split two ways: $10 million will be available for projects to conduct lead service line replacements or corrosion control improvements, while the other $10 million will be put towards removing sources of lead in drinking water in schools and childcare facilities.

More on Lead Contamination in the United States: A recent report found that out of 1,900 water outlets tested within the Philadelphia Public School District, 61 percent test positive for lead contamination.

On the Radar

Newly discovered records of Antarctic ice cores revealed that drought risk in eastern Australia is much higher than previously thought. A team of researchers compared 150 years of observations of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) climate variability index, which determines decadal drought and flood risk across eastern Australia, with a reconstruction of the index based on 2,000 years of climate records from Antarctic ice cores. The results showed that an wet periods are much shorter and less frequent than dry phases. The one of the study’s lead authors, Dr. Anthony Kiem, said the discovery has “serious implications for drought and flood risk assessments.”

More Water News

As rainfall becomes less reliable in Uganda, pastoralists say increased government regulation is making it harder for them to migrate to wetter land.

Nearly 200 people have been reported dead and more than one hundred are still missing after record rainfall causes mudslides and floods in the Brazilian city of Petropolis.

Drought in Zimbabwe is pushing young women to move from rural farming communities to urban centers where they are often forced into sex work.

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