The Stream, July 7: Bangkok Faces Water Shortage in a Month

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Delayed rainfall in Thailand could force tap water supplies to run out in Bangkok within a month. Santiago, Chile, and Baluchistan province in Pakistan are also contending with water shortages. Meanwhile, monsoon rains are triggering floods and landslides in India’s Uttarakhand state, and Tokyo is preparing for increasingly severe rainstorms and floods. Perennial biofuel crops do not use more water than corn in the Midwest United States, researchers found.

“Climatic zones are shifting south. Santiago is likely to move to a condition of a desert or semi-desert. What is happening is probably associated with global warming and there’s no sign of it slowing.”–Francisco Ferrando, a geography professor at the University of Chile, on drying conditions near the country’s capital. Chile is suffering its driest year since 1966, and Santiago’s water utility said it must have 50 million cubic meters of water in key reservoirs by October in order to ensure water supplies through next year. (Bloomberg)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

1 month Amount of time until tap water supplies run out in Bangkok if no rain arrives. Thailand is enduring a severe drought, and the city’s supply of fresh water is also at risk from encroaching sea water. Reuters

9,000 pilgrims Number stranded for two days in India’s Uttarakhand state due to floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains. The Third Pole


Science, Studies, And Reports

Perennial crops like switchgrass that could be used to produce biofuels do not use more water than crops like corn when grown in the Midwest region of the United States, researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center found. The study compared the evapotranspiration rates of the crops, meaning the amount of water lost to the air from the plants and the ground.

On the Radar

On The Radar

Severe rainstorms, known as “guerilla storms”, are increasingly common in Tokyo. The city is struggling to find ways to manage the runoff from these extreme events while protecting residents from flood waters. Guardian

The capital of Baluchistan province in Pakistan could run out of water in the next few years due to the overuse of groundwater supplies. Illegal wells have added to the problem, and the cost of digging deeper wells to reach the declining groundwater is prohibitive for many residents. Voice of America

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