The Stream, November 16: Myanmar’s Test from Foreign Investment

Myanmar’s forests, river systems, and the wildlife they support may face challenges as the country becomes more democratic and open to foreign investment, Yale Environment 360 reports. Early moves suggest the government is taking care to protect the environment, but conservationists worry that a “Wild West” scenario could unfold.

Rice crops in western Kenya have been decimated by recent flash floods, with some farmers able to save only a few bags from their harvests, according to IRIN. The floods also washed latrines into local water supplies, creating a health risk.

South Sudan will likely see an influx of new refugees in its camps as the rainy season comes to a close and travel becomes easier, United Press International reported. Water shortages are already a problem in some camps, and aid agencies are working to install more distribution networks.

United States
A stretch of the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois may be closed to barge traffic this December due to drought and water conservation measures, Reuters reported. The closure, if it occurs, is not likely to affect corn future deliveries, but could slow down wheat and soybean delivery points, according to the CME Group.

Federal and state disaster insurance funds pile up huge debts after large storms like Sandy, creating big risks for taxpayers, reported The New York Times. The National Flood Insurance Program currently has almost $18 billion in debt.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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