The Stream, May 22: Hydropower and the Congo River

Planned hydropower dam projects on the Congo River could generate as much as 40,000 megawatts of electricity, making the Grand Inga system the largest in the world, the Guardian reported. Securing financial backing and buyers for the electricity are still hurdles faced by developers, but the project is gaining momentum.

Water levels on Lake Malawi may have dropped more than 2 meters since the 1980s due to population growth, land use change, and climatic changes, according to the Guardian. The drop in water is hurting the lake’s wildlife, and fishermen are seeing declining catches.

Running Out of Water
Debt incurred through drought and a loss of water rights to industry have driven farmers to suicide in India’s Maharashtra state, Bloomberg News reported. As in other countries around the world, India is struggling to allocate its water supplies between power generation and agricultural production.

Marking the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met.” Preserving biodiversity and the ecosystems that harbor it goes hand in hand with securing water supplies, Ki-moon said.

Flood Warnings
An early warning system for floods has made life safer for some communities in Nepal, giving residents a 5 to 8-minute warning before flash floods strike, AlertNet reported. Melting glaciers have exacerbated the flash flood threat in Nepal.

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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