The Stream, December 8: Maldives Capital Without Water After Desalination Fire
The Global Rundown
Malé, the capital of the Maldives, faces severe water shortages due to a desalination plant fire, while South Africa suffers power outages due to water and fuel shortages. California’s drought is the worst in more than a millennium, Lake Mead water levels are at record lows, and cities in the U.S. West could look to Los Angeles for water conservation ideas. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates is looking to grow wheat in Egypt’s desert, and experts in Lima say farmers need more support to protect land and water. The Queensland Nickel company faces million-dollar fines for an overflow of contaminated water nearAustralia’s Great Barrier Reef.
“President Abdulla Yameen has appealed to the Maldivian public to remain patient and united, while working with the government to resolve the national crisis.”—Statement from the Maldives government on a severe water shortage in the capital, Malé, caused by a fire at the city’s desalination plant. (Aljazeera)
By The Numbers
330 meters above sea level Water levels in Lake Mead—the lowest in 75 years—which are prompting action to reduce the amount of water taken from the reservoir. The Republic
4,000 megawatts Amount cut by Eskom, South Africa’s energy utility, in managed power outages prompted by shortages of water and diesel. Bloomberg
$1.1 million Fine for each of six charges against Queensland Nickel if the company is found guilty of wrongdoing related to the release of contaminated water near the Great Barrier Reef. Guardian
Science, Studies, And Reports
California’s current drought is the region’s worst in at least 1,200 years, according to a study of tree rings by scientists at the University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Bloomberg
Experts urged world leaders in Lima to increase financial and political initiatives that enable farmers to simultaneously improve food security and protect land that provides critical ecosystem services. Reuters
On The Radar
Companies from the United Arab Emirates plan to grow wheat in Egypt’s desert—long thought to be economically and environmentally risky—in an attempt to bolster the country’s government against Islamist groups. Reuters
Los Angeles consumes less water now than in 1970 despite having a million more residents, providing lessons in water management for other California cities. The New York Times
A news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.
Contact Codi Kozacek
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