The Stream, August 13: Extreme, Record Rainfall Hits New York

Approximately 33 centimeters (13.26 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours on Long Island, New York—a record amount equal to the rainfall the area usually receives in more than two months, Reuters reported. The heavy rain led to flash flooding, closing roads and creating dangerous conditions for commuters.

Water Supply
San Francisco is faced with expensive options to either update or replace a tunnel that brings water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir to 2.6 million people, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Repairing the 80-year-old tunnel would cost $US 100 million and replacing it would cost $US 630 million, while doing nothing puts it at risk of “catastrophic collapse”, the city’s utility commission said.

San Antonio is set to spend $US 3 billion on a water transfer project that would bring 60 million cubic meters (16 billion gallons) of water to the metropolitan area from an aquifer in central Texas, the Texas Tribune reported. Critics of the project have warned that there may not be enough water available in the aquifer for all users.

South America
Efforts to clean up Argentina’s Riachuelo River are progressing, but water quality remains extremely poor eight years after the country’s Supreme Court ordered the river’s restoration, Inter Press Service reported. Approximately 1,500 tons of solid waste have been removed from the river, while other projects have assessed water, sanitation and health services in surrounding communities.

After defeating a proposal for the largest hydroelectric projects in Chile, the country’s Aysen region is looking for ways to harness local, sustainable energy sources, Inter Press Service reported. Currently, the region relies heavily on firewood and diesel for much of its energy needs.

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