The Chilean government will decide June 10 whether to proceed with HidroAysen, a group of five dams on two rivers in Patagonia. The Santiago Times reports that the project developers could sue to recover some of the $US 320 million already invested if the government vetoes the dams.
A water reform law in Thailand is in legal limbo following a coup last month, Trust.org reports. The country’s two legislative bodies have been dissolved, at the same time a controversial $US 11 billion flood control plan is being implemented. Many local leaders and village residents are skeptical of the plan and fear it does not reflect their interests.
A drought in Sri Lanka is fanning tensions between farmers and government officials, IRIN reports. Farmers complain that government weather data is vague and inadequate.
Let’s Make a Deal
Michigan’s Republican governor told the Detroit Free Press that if the city and its suburbs cannot reach a deal on a regional water system, the state-appointed emergency manager has the authority to accept bids from private companies willing to run the behemoth water system. Two companies have submitted bids so far, the paper reports.
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