The Stream, April 21: Drought Affects Quarter of India’s Population

The Global Rundown

Consecutive years of drought have placed pressure on hundreds of millions of people in India, and major cities are beginning to run out of water. The daughter of a murdered environmental activist is asking European companies to drop support for the controversial hydropower project she opposed in Honduras. Michigan filed criminal charges against three officials for their role in the Flint water crisis. Australia should immediately ban products containing plastic microbeads to reduce water pollution, according to a senate report. Meanwhile, estimates show it could take millions of dollars to clean up the site of a bankrupt nickel mine near the Great Barrier Reef.

“We are asking these companies to definitively suspend the funds they are giving to DESA [the hydro company] for this project. We also want to see a suspension of EU aid to Honduras until the government shows a political will to resolve the human rights violations and land conflicts.” –Bertha Zúñiga Caceres, daughter of murdered environmental activist Berta Caceres, calling on European companies to halt financial backing for the hydropower project in Honduras that her mother protested. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

330 million people Number in India, about a quarter of the population, who have been affected by a deep drought, according to government officials. Agence France-Presse

$73 million Estimated cost to start cleaning up toxic sludge and tailings left by a bankrupt nickel mine near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Reuters

3 officials Number in Michigan who face criminal charges for their role in the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint. The charges were filed Wednesday by Michigan’s attorney general. Detroit Free Press

Science, Studies, and Reports

Australia should immediately stop the sale and production of personal products that contain microbeads, the tiny plastic pieces used in face scrubs, soaps, and cosmetics that can harm marine life when they are washed through wastewater systems, according to a senate committee report. The report concluded that “the evidence of the level of damage to the environment from microbeads is such that an immediate ban should occur.” Guardian

On The Radar

Four reservoirs supplying water to Hyderabad, the capital of India’s Telangana state, have completely dried up for the first time in 30 years, according to state officials. Consecutive years of drought have drained water reserves and interrupted water service in the city, where there is now a 47 percent gap between supply and demand. NDTV

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