One in four cities with a population greater than 750,000 is water stressed, a figure lower than earlier estimates of 40 percent of such cities, according to new research. Fewer urban areas are exposed to water stress because cities can afford to build canals and pipelines that transfer water from distant basins, an economic reality ignored in previous hydrological assessments. The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, compared water use and natural flows for cities drawing from both rivers and aquifers.
Big Infrastructure, Really Big
India’s new government will proceed cautiously but steadfastly in a plan to replumb the country’s major rivers, the Times of India reports. For three decades India’s leaders have flirted with a plan to move water around the subcontinent by building canals between watersheds. The first such link is now under construction. Building all 30 diversion projects on the drawing board would cost hundreds of billions of dollars.
Another Really Big Water Project
The world leader in urban water management has a new showcase project. Singapore’s water agency announced the second phase of its island-spanning sewer and water treatment system. One hundred kilometers of new tunnels will connect the west side of the island to the system. A facility to turn sewer water into drinking water will be included too, part of Singapore’s plan to use recycled water for 55 percent of its total supply.
Tropical Storm Boris hit southern Mexico on Tuesday, bringing the potential for flash floods and mudslides, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm could dump as much as 20 inches of rain the mountains of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, is set for its coldest summer water temperatures in more than three decades, MLive reports. Expect higher water levels during the boating season due to less evaporation and more fog due to the difference in air and water temperatures.
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