The Stream, October 25: Are Australian Bushfires Linked to Climate Change?

Climate Change
More frequent bushfires in Australia appear to be the result of higher temperatures and longer dry spells, according to the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the Guardian reported. The AFAC, as well as other bureaus and research institutions, previously predicted that bushfires would increase due to climate change, though Australia’s prime minister dismisses any link.

Farmers in Sierra Leone say that changing rainfall patterns and limited meteorological data are reducing crop yields and making it difficult to know when to plant, according to a recent study that surveyed growers, AlertNet reported. Approximately 70 percent of Sierra Leone’s population relies on farming for a main source of income.

Water Infrastructure
Palestinian and Israeli water contractors are working together to improve water supply systems in the West Bank, even though the two governments find it difficult to cooperate, The Jerusalem Post reported. Cooperative projects include an update to the West Bank’s basic water infrastructure and pilot projects to recycle gray water.

India will update its irrigation, dams, and other water infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh with a $US 360 million loan from the World Bank, Bloomberg News reported. The loan will also fund studies of groundwater supplies.

Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant continues to be an evolving environmental disaster as more leaks release contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, The New York Times reported. Though scientists remain convinced that the leaks pose little danger to human health, fish and other aquatic organisms may not fare as well.

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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