Water News — June 2024

Posted June 29th, 2024



Water News for June 2024

A report has found that thousands of oil and gas wells across Colorado cannot generate enough revenue to cover their own cleanup cost. More than half the state’s oil and gas wells will generate, at most, $1bn in revenue and it will cost $4bn to $5bn to decommission those sites responsibly. Without quick action by state officials, Colorado taxpayers may be on the hook to foot the remaining $3bn.


Massive water main breaks in Atlanta this month forced a boil water advisory and citywide shutdown.


Large parts of South Carolina could be submerged by water as sea levels rise because of climate change. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that by the year 2100, global sea levels could rise by up to 3.6 feet if greenhouse gas emissions are not mitigated. It added that a rise of about 6.6 feet “cannot be ruled out.”


Norfolk Southern Corp. recently announced it will pay more than $300 million to resolve investigations by three US agencies in the aftermath of a catastrophic train derailment last year that contaminated the town of East Palestine, Ohio with toxic chemicals. $40 million of the total will go to long-term monitoring of water contamination.


The world’s oceans – already being pushed into an extreme new state because of the climate crisis – are now facing a “triple threat” of extreme heating, oxygen loss and acidification, according to research. These three threats have been spurred by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, the study found, with about a fifth of the world’s ocean surface being particularly vulnerable to the three threats hitting at once. (Research by AGU Advances, reported in The Guardian.)


Nearly 19% of water systems tested in PA contain PFAS levels above new EPA standards.


It is often said that it takes about 12 times as much water to grow an avocado as it does a tomato. That’s why avocado growing is a highly controversial enterprise, and “avocado militias” are forming in areas of Mexico where water is scarce. The Guardian.


The Politics of PFAS

Wisconsin Republicans are withholding $125m designated for cleanup of widespread PFAS contamination in drinking water and have said they will only release the funds in exchange for immunity for polluters. Full story.


More on Rising Sea Levels

The world’s oceans are rising, and every year seawater reaches farther inland, which poses an ever-increasing threat to homes, businesses and critical infrastructure. By 2030, the number of critical buildings and facilities at risk of routine and repeat flooding along US coastlines is expected to grow by 20% compared to 2020 conditions. Hundreds of US homes, schools and government buildings will face repeated flooding by 2050 due to rising sea levels, a study has found, disrupting the lives of millions of Americans. Nearly 3 million people live in the 703 US coastal communities at risk of critical infrastructure flooding as early as 2050.