The Stream, December 24: Cambodia Prime Minister Defends Hydropower Development

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The leader of Cambodia defended his country’s hydropower development plans against criticism that dams will harm fisheries, forests, and the communities that depend on them. Droughts in Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia are creating severe food insecurity, and storms have displaced millions of people in the Philippines. Puerto Rico agreed to upgrade its stormwater infrastructure to comply with the Clean Water Act, and Sao Paulo’s water utility proposed a plan to offer discounts if customers meet higher water conservation targets. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is much higher than this time last year, giving hope to drought-hit California.

“We can make resin torches for environmental extremists to use and cut off electricity from their homes.”–Hun Sen, prime minister of Cambodia, on environmental opposition to the country’s hydropower development. Cambodia plans to build 14 more hydropower dams by 2020. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

1.7 million people Number displaced in the Philippines due to a series of typhoons and continued flooding. Reuters

18 million people Number estimated to need humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia next year as a deep drought decimates harvests and livestock herds. Guardian

$700,000 Additional funding the European Commission will provide to address food and water shortages in Papua New Guinea, doubling its current aid. Papua New Guinea is currently facing a severe drought due to El Nino. Reuters

$77 million Amount Puerto Rico will spend to update storm water infrastructure in San Juan to bring it into compliance with the Clean Water Act. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is currently 111 percent of average levels for this time of year, meaning it holds twice as much water as at this time last year, according to California’s Department of Water Resources. Officials cautioned that it still might not be enough to alleviate drought conditions in the state. CBS SF

On the Radar

On The Radar

Sao Paulo’s water utility plans to extend a program offering discounts for customers that meet water conservation targets, but it will make those targets more ambitious and difficult to meet. The program is scheduled to last until at least the end of 2016. Bloomberg

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