The Stream, December 16: Central America Drought Becoming Humanitarian Crisis

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A severe drought is threatening food security in Central America. Los Angeles’ water supply is at risk from earthquakes, the newest section of China’s South-North project is now delivering water, and Jordan’s water sector desperately needs investment. Brazil found super bacteria at the 2016 Olympic sailing site, while the United States passed legislation to improve water and sanitation access abroad. Nicaragua is starting construction on its inter-ocean canal, and Brazil is nearing completion of its Belo Monte hydropower dam. Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta is under growing pressure from rice and shrimp farms.

“In the coming months, food insecurity is expected to get worse as families deplete their food stocks.”–Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, on a severe drought in Central America that has destroyed up to 75 percent of crops. (Telesur)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$704 million Investment needed in Jordan’s water sector over the next two years to meet growing demand that has been intensified by an influx of Syrian refugees. Jordan Times

9.5 billion cubic meters Water that will be piped each year through the newest section of China’s South-North Water Diversion project, which opened Friday. Businessweek

32 Times the aqueducts supplying Los Angeles cross the San Andreas fault, making the water supply for 22 million people vulnerable to earthquakes. Los Angeles Times


Science, Studies, And Reports

Brazil’s leading health institute found the presence of drug-resistant “super bacteria” in Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca River, which feeds the bay that will hold the 2016 Olympic sailing events. Associated Press

On the Radar

On The Radar

A boom in rice and shrimp farming for export in Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta has brought prosperity but also threatens the well-being of the river system, making it more vulnerable to salt-water intrusion and pollution. Guardian

The U.S. Senate approved a new Water for the World Act, a bill that will focus on monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of water aid projects to improve water and sanitation access in poor communities abroad. WASH Advocates

Nicaragua is planning to start construction on its $50 billion canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans before the end of the month. Opponents of the project, concerned about human rights and pollution in Lake Nicaragua, worry they are running out of time to stop it. Mother Nature Network

Brazil’s massiveBelo Monte hydropower dam is expected to begin operation next August, spelling a dramatic change to the surrounding forest and indigenous communities despite measures to make it more environmentally friendly. Guardian

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