The Stream, December 22: U.S. Coastal Areas to Experience Nuisance Floods by 2050

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Small, but costly, floods are expected to affect most U.S. coastal areas by 2050 due to sea level rise. A new hydropower project in Brazil will flood much of one indigenous community’s land. Argentina is also building a major new dam in Patagonia. Meanwhile, investment in Ireland’s water infrastructure is the lowest since 1998. Water quality is high risk at 49 New Zealand beaches, a new report points out further water quality threats from Australia’s Abbot Point coal terminal expansion, and the United States released its first rules on coal ash storage to safeguard water. ISIS has diverted a river in Iraq.

“When the day’s done, the E.P.A. regulates toxic coal ash less stringently than household waste.” –Lisa Evans, Earthjustice lawyer, on new federal rules governing the disposal of the coal waste product by power plants. Meant to protect water, the rules create requirements for disposal sites, but do not designate coal ash as a hazardous material. (The New York Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$468.7 million Amount Irish Water invested in infrastructure this year, making levels of investment over the past two years the lowest since 1998. RTE News

$1.84 billion Cost of Argentina’s Neuquen hydropower dam project in Patagonia. The country held a preliminary auction for the dam’s construction contract. Reuters

49 beaches Number, out of 350, New Zealand classified as “high risk” for infection and illness. Stuff


Science, Studies, And Reports

Nuisance flooding, when water levels are one to two feet above high tide, is expected to occur 30 days or more each year in the majority of U.S. coastal areas by 2050, according to a new report on sea level rise from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Yale Environment 360

Approximately 30 percent more dredge material and water will need to be released into the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef in order to complete an expansion of Queensland’s Abbot Point coal terminal, a World Wildlife Fund report found. Guardian

On the Radar

On The Radar

ISIS has diverted Iraq’s Al-Roz River, one of the main drinking water sources for 150,000 people in the city of Bildoz and a source of water for agricultural land in the area. Iraqi officials have said the diversion could cause a humanitarian disaster. Al Arabiya News

With the Belo Monte dam nearly complete, Brazil is moving ahead with plans for five hydropower projects on the Tapajos River—plans that will flood most of the land belonging to the Sawre Muybu community of Munduruku Indians. Guardian

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