The Stream, December 13: Tana River Development Plans Raise Concern For Delta Communities

The Global Rundown

Fisheries and crop production in Kenya’s Tana Delta could be at risk if the country moves ahead with plans to develop irrigation projects upstream. China will appoint “river chiefs” in the next two years to curb water pollution. Water distribution projects in Haiti aim to decrease the risk of cholera contamination. An oil spill in North Dakota highlights the risks to water that helped stop the Dakota Access pipeline. Excessive grease and cooking oil from holiday meals could increase the risk of “fatbergs” in sewers across the United Kingdom, according to water utilities.

“There is no need to compete over water because all economic activities on the river are complementary.” –Robinson Gaita, director of irrigation and water storage at Kenya’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation, on the government’s plans to develop more dams and farms along the Tana River. Communities in the Tana Delta are concerned, however, that the infrastructure projects could threaten the water supplies they depend on to raise fish and grow crops. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

666,232 liters Amount of oil that spilled from a ruptured pipeline into a creek in North Dakota earlier this month, further highlighting concerns about water pollution that helped stall the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline project. Approximately 140,000 liters of oil have been been recovered from the spill. Associated Press

In context: Read how the struggle over the Dakota Access pipeline is a distinctive event in the history of American environmentalism.

60,000 people Number who will gain access to a daily source of clean drinking water due to a distribution project in Haiti, according to the United Nations. The project is part of the organization’s efforts to tackle the country’s cholera crisis, which the U.N. has been blamed for helping to create. UN News Centre

Science, Studies, And Reports

China plans to appoint “river chiefs” throughout the country by the end of 2018 to manage and protect waterways, according to government documents published on Sunday. The new positions will exist at the provincial, city, county, and township levels, and will focus on pollution prevention and ecological restoration. Xinhua

In context: Explore Circle of Blue’s comprehensive Choke Point: China report on the confrontation between water, food, and energy development.

On The Radar

Water utilities in the United Kingdom are asking residents to refrain from dumping cooking oil and grease down their drains. They warn that the holiday season could increase the risk of “fatbergs” building in sewers, where they can cause blockages and flooding. Press Association