The Stream, January 8: Blizzard Moves in on Syrian Refugees

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Syrian refugees are shivering in tents across the Middle East this week, and some are having their water delivery routes blocked by snow. The European Investment Bank has given Welsh Water a loan to improve infrastructure in Wales. A scientific study linking fracking to earthquakes in Ohio has been published. Veolia plans to amp up its recycling business, and Peru will become the world’s largest exporter of quinoa.

“We are worried that tents will be flooded. Refugees who don’t have proper access to clean water or can’t store drinking water will be in severe difficulties if we don’t reach them in the next two days.” — Lauriane Gauny, Oxfam program on Syrian refugees hit with a blizzard in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

400,000 Number of refugees living in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, where a winter storm has blocked the roads with snow and destroyed tents. The storm has sent snowfall, rain and winds across the Middle East. Reuters

$US 346 million Amount of money loaned to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water by the European Investment Bank for infrastructure improvements. Welsh Water serves 3 million across Wales. Bloomberg News


Science, Studies, And Reports

Another study has linked hydraulic fracturing (fracking) with earthquakes. A paper published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America has attributed 77 minor earthquakes which occurred last March near Poland, Ohio to nearby fracking activity. Only one of those quakes could be ‘felt’ at the surface. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On the Radar

On The Radar

Peru will surpass Bolivia as the world’s largest exporter of quinoa this year, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Traditionally grown for domestic consumption, rising international demand has increased quinoa prices and encouraged Peruvian farmers to switch. Quinoa requires less water than other crops, such as rice. Bloomberg News

Veolia, one of the world’s largest water treatment and waste companies, plans to increase its recovery of valuable commodities from rubbish. New recycling technologies and scarcity of materials could nearly double the size of the global recycling market by 2020, and Veolia’s recycling turnover is expected to more than double in the same period. Reuters

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