The Stream, June 19: Pope Warns of Water Troubles Seen Around the World

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Water played a large role in the Vatican’s encyclical about climate change, in which the Pope warned against the control of water by corporations and businesses, as well as the hazards of water contamination. The Vatican’s fears are being realized around the world, as Colombia faces a water shortage due to drought and improper management, and Canada sees its snowpack retreating further each year. In the United States,however, new regulations and some lucky rainfall are helping ease stress on water supplies in Iowa and Colorado.

“Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity.”–Section 30, Vatican Encyclical Letter Laudato Si. The letter, released Thursday, outlined the Vatican’s views on climate change and other environmental issues.(Huffington Post)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

40 percent of capacity Water levels in the reservoir of Colombia’s El Cercado dam. Local officials are allowing little water past the dam, and the remaining flow is not enough to feed the rice fields, cattle ranches, open-pit coal mine, and villages that all demand the water. At least 400 children have died of thirst and hunger in the past three years due to water scarcity in the region, according to a local indigenous association. The Guardian


Science, Studies, And Reports

Over the past eight years, the retreat of snow in the Northern Hemisphere in June has accelerated by 28 percent, according to a study published by Canadian researchers. Mid-to-high latitudes experienced the greatest reduction in snow cover, the study found. According to the researchers, this trend is concerning because snow is an essential seasonal source of water storage. Environmental Research Web

On the Radar

On The Radar

In Colorado, a month of heavy storms during “Miracle May” added much-needed water to the Colorado River Basin. The rain will likely slow the decline of water levels in Lake Mead and may delay mandatory water cuts to Arizona and Las Vegas. Las Vegas Sun

State officials in Iowa this week introduced a new system of regulation for groundwater wells in the Jordan Aquifer. The regulations are designed to ensure sustainable use of the aquifer’s remaining water resources. Radio Iowa

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