The Stream, April 19: Half of Mekong Delta Could Face Water Shortages

The Global Rundown

The worst drought in nearly a century could cause water shortages in large swaths of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. Severe malnutrition cases are increasing among children in Somalia, where a drought is contributing to food shortages. India plans to tackle water demand to fight scarcity. Queensland announced a ban on underground coal gasification due to environmental concerns. Leaving the European Union would be detrimental to air and water quality in the United Kingdom, according to a government report. An intense rainstorm inundated Houston, Texas and killed at least five people.

“The potential risk to Queensland’s environment and our valuable agricultural industries outweigh any potential economic benefits from the particular industry.” –Anthony Lynham, minister for natural resources and mines in Queensland, Australia, on the state’s decision to ban underground coal gasification due to environmental concerns, including risks to water. (Australian Associated Press)

By The Numbers

50 percent Area of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam that may experience water shortages this year due to the worst drought in 90 years. Bloomberg

33 children Number admitted to hospitals in Somalia’s Awdal region in March with life-threatening severe acute malnutrition, nearly double the number admitted in January. A severe drought in the region is exacerbating food shortages. Reuters

431 millimeters Amount of rain that fell in Houston, Texas on Monday, causing deadly floods and prompting a state of emergency. NBC News

Science, Studies, and Reports

Water and air quality in the United Kingdom would suffer if it votes to leave the European Union, according to a report by a parliamentary committee. The report noted that EU environmental policies have benefited the UK, and that the government does not have a plan for how those policies would be dealt with in the event of an exit from the union. Guardian

On The Radar

Reducing demand for water is becoming a government priority in India as the country faces growing scarcity, according to officials. The government plans to encourage the adoption of drip irrigation and will tighten groundwater rules. The Economic Times

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