The Stream, December 12: Hydropower and Bhutan’s New Democracy

Water and Government
Bhutan plans to increase its hydropower capacity from 1,480 megawatts to 10,000 megawatts by 2020 in an effort to create revenue for its many public programs, journalist James Fahn explains in an op-ed for The New York Times. He also explores what the country’s new democracy—based around a principle of achieving “Gross National Happiness” for its citizens”—means for the environment.

Unknown quantities of water are spilling from abandoned buildings in Detroit that have been vandalized by people scavenging for metal, the Associated Press reported. The leaks can run unnoticed for years, and are costing the city money even as it navigates bankruptcy.

Severe Weather
Heavy rains—more than one month’s worth in one night—have flooded large areas and destroyed houses in Rio de Janeiro, Reuters reported. As looters take to the streets and public transportation is disrupted, many are again criticizing the city’s government as being unprepared to host major events like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Homes were destroyed in Gaza after it was hit by flooding caused by a winter storm sweeping through the Eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reported. Further east, the storm created snow that threatened Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.

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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