The Stream, July 14: Slow Start to Monsoon Worries India’s Farm and Power Sectors

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.

Ganges River
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.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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