The Stream, October 2: Financial Downturn Casts Doubt on Nicaragua Canal

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The billionaire who is backing the Nicaragua Canal lost billions of dollars over the summer, prompting some experts to doubt the project’s viability. Zimbabwe announced plans to curb electricity shortages by turning to solar power. Researchers called on countries in water-scarce regions to improve cooperation around water management. Investigators did not find evidence of water contamination at a mine in Argentina. Smog from forest fires in Indonesia continued to plague Singapore. States in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received grants from the U.S. government to reduce agricultural runoff.

“The turn of fortune in Mr. Wang’s financial resources will impact how and whether the canal can and will be built.”–Daniel Wagner, chief executive officer of Country Risk Solutions, on a sharp decline in the net worth of entrepreneur Wang Jing, the billionaire who is behind the planned Nicaragua Canal. He lost more than $US 9 billion over the summer as the Chinese stock market crashed. (Bloomberg)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

400 megawatts Amount of electricity Zimbabwe hopes to save by banning electric water heaters and requiring households to switch to solar power. BBC

$4 million Amount awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture to states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in order to reduce agricultural runoff and improve water quality. USDA


Science, Studies, And Reports

A report from researchers at the United Nations University called on governments in Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa to improve cooperation over water resources. These regions represent “hotspots” where population growth and climate change are exacerbating water scarcity, which could lead to conflicts if the resource is not managed jointly, according to the report. Reuters

Rivers and aquifers near the Veladero mine in Argentina were not contaminated after a defective valve at the site caused a cyanide solution leak, according to tests completed by United Nations Office for Project Services and the United Nations Environment Programme. The tests taken after the leak showed “no deviation” from tests taken in June. Reuters

On the Radar

On The Radar

Expansive forest fires in Indonesia are still burning and causing smog in Singapore and Malaysia. Controlling the fires depends largely on the arrival of annual rains, but the El Nino this year could delay them. Reuters

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