The Stream, November 27: India Agriculture Needs to Conserve Water, Officials Say

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Two consecutive dry seasons are taking a toll on groundwater in India’s agricultural regions, while communities in northern India are asking the government to stop a Coca-Cola plant’s groundwater use. During a visit to Nairobi, Pope Francis called on cities to include all people in their provision of essential services like water. Most people in Tanzania do not have access to clean water sources, a survey found. South Africa may declare another province as a disaster area due to drought, while dry conditions in Southeast Asia are curbing rice production. Water scarcity in places like Chile could contribute to a global copper deficit. Arsenic was found in Brazil’s Rio Doce in the wake of a tailings disaster at an iron ore mine.

“To deny a family water, under any bureaucratic pretext whatsoever, is a great injustice, especially when one profits from this need.”–Pope Francis, during a visit to slums near Nairobi, Kenya. The Pope called for greater efforts to provide essential services to all people, especially where rapid urbanization is taking place. (Associated Press)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

18 village councils Number in India’s Varanasi district that are calling on government authorities to prohibit a Coca-Cola bottling plant from extracting groundwater. Reuters

50 percent Potential decline in yields for some farmers in South Africa’s Western Cape province, which has requested a disaster determination from the national government due to a severe drought. Bloomberg

19 years Time since Thailand’s rice production has been as low as it is expected to be this year. Dry conditions in major rice-producing countries are creating higher demand for imports. Bloomberg


Science, Studies, And Reports

Sixty-four percent of people in Tanzania get their water from unsafe sources, including surface water and wells, according to a survey released by Twaweza, a think tank based in Dar es Salaam. In addition, the survey found that 65 percent of respondents see clean water access as a major challenge for their communities. Reuters

Arsenic was found at levels above legal limits in Brazil’s Rio Doce after a tailings dam failure at an iron ore mine in Minas Gerais. The co-owner of the mine, Vale, confirmed the findings but said the toxic materials were not stored in the tailings dam. Reuters

On the Radar

On The Radar

Water conservation on India’s farms must improve in response to the second consecutive year of drought and declining groundwater reserves, government officials say. Water-intensive crops like rice, sugarcane, and wheat, however, remain popular despite calls to grow less thirsty crops. Reuters

Water scarcity remains a major concern for the global copper industry, which largely operates in arid regions like Chile. Tensions with local communities over water supplies and drought-induced shortages could contribute to a copper supply deficit by the end of the decade, according to some analysts. The Wall Street Journal

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