The Stream, August 2: Strong Asian Monsoon Causes Widespread Flooding

The Global Rundown

A strong monsoon on the heels of the global El Niño weather pattern has triggered widespread flooding across Asia, affecting millions of people. Herders in Kenya are losing access to water and pasture as cities grow. Unusually wet weather is expected to severely cut wheat harvests in France, the European Union’s biggest producer. Despite the recovery of a large amount of oil, a pipeline spill into Canada’s North Saskatchewan River still threatens drinking water supplies. A private water utility in the United Arab Emirates plans to expand its desalination capacity to meet growing demand.

“We don’t know who sells our land to private developers. We only realize it has been sold when we see them erecting concrete fences and putting up structures.” –Josphat Ole Tonkei, a Maasai cattle herder in Kenya, on the rapid urban development now inhibiting herders’ access to pasture and water sources. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

$185 million Amount a private water utility in the United Arab Emirates will spend to double its desalination capacity over the next two years, building one new plant and upgrading two other plants. Reuters

1/2 Proportion of oil recovered from a spill site along Canada’s North Saskatchewan River. The spill, however, still poses a threat to communities who depend on the river for drinking water. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

More than a million people in India, China, Nepal, and other countries across Asia have been affected by floods during one of the strongest monsoons in years, according to meteorologists. Record rainfall occurred in more than 150 Chinese towns, and hundreds of people have died. Guardian

On The Radar

Unusually wet weather in France this year could cut the country’s wheat harvest to the lowest level since 1988, according to analysts. France is the European Union’s largest producer of wheat. Bloomberg