The Stream, May 16: Study Links El Niño to Global Crop Production

Water Scarcity
The El Niño weather phenomenon, predicted to occur later this year, leads to an average 1.4 percent drop in global wheat yields and a 2.3 percent drop in corn yields, while soybean yields increase an average 3.5 percent, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, Bloomberg News reported. El Niño can create droughts in Australia, Southeast Asia and the northern regions of South America.

Water management in Texas is shifting to focus more on urban supply than agricultural supply, The Texas Tribune reported. The change could create issues for businesses that depend on a robust agricultural sector, some of which Texas is currently trying to lure away from other states like California.

Record-setting floods in Serbia and Bosnia have shut down two hydropower plants on the Morava River that supply 34 megawatts of electricity, Reuters reported. The floods have also forced officials to open flood gates on two hydropower plants on the Danube River and have disrupted coal production at mines that supply power plants.

Water levels in Florida’s Lake Okeechobee should be low enough to accommodate normal summer rainstorms this year, reducing the need for massive freshwater releases into the ocean that caused environmental damage last year, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Projects aimed at restoring natural connections from the lake to the Everglades could help alleviate flooding in the future.

Cleaning up pollution in the Ganges River has become a focal point in the election campaign of Narendra Modi, who appears to have won the race for India’s prime minister position today, The New York Times reported. The river cleanup is a common goal among Indians across the religious spectrum.

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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