After a delayed arrival of the annual monsoon, farmers in northern India are shifting crops and preparing for drought, Business Standard reports. Though heavy rains fell on Sunday in northern India, seasonal precipitation is just 43 percent of normal, the worst since 2009. Hydroelectric power generation will also drop, more so in the south where reservoirs are lower.
The first budget from India’s new government sets aside $US 700 million to turn the Ganges River into a coal highway, the Economic Times reports. New channels and ports along the holy river would connect India’s coal mines with power plants in the north and east and avoid slow rail and road routes.
Droughts, floods, heat, disease, and related weather disasters between 1970 and 2012 caused $US 2.4 trillion in economic losses and killed nearly two million people, according to research from the World Meteorological Organization and Belgium’s Catholic University of Louvain. Severe storms and drought caused three-quarters of the deaths. Led by Hurricane Katrina’s $US 147 billion punch, storms accounted for half of the economic costs.
Glacial Lake Flood
Scientists warn that a lake forming behind a glacial dam poses a flood risk for Alaska’s capital, Alaska Dispatch reports. Steady rains this summer filled a basin above Juneau that was exposed by the melting Suicide Glacier. A warming globe increases the risk of glacial lake floods for downstream communities.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton