The Stream, June 21: Record Number Of Environmental Activists Killed In 2015

The Global Rundown

Nearly 200 environmental campaigners were murdered globally in 2015, the most of any year on record, according to a new report. Floods across southern China killed dozens of people. The expanded Panama Canal is expected to open on June 26, using less water than the current locks. The governors of eight Great Lakes states will vote today on a measure to divert Lake Michigan water outside of the basin. Abandoned oil and gas wells in the United States, many with unrecorded locations, pose pollution risks to water.

“All these operations run on water, and with no water, there can be no Panama Canal.” –Angel Ureña, manager of environmental assessment for the Panama Canal Authority, on the 196 million liters of water required to move a ship through the Panama Canal. An expansion of the canal to accommodate larger ships is set to open on June 26. The new locks will recycle 60 percent of the water used in the canal. (Miami Herald)

By The Numbers

22 people Number killed in severe flooding across eight provinces in southern China. The floods also destroyed crops and homes, and forced 200,000 people to evacuate. Reuters

2.6 million Number of oil and gas wells in the United States that are no longer in use. The abandoned wells are of growing concern because they can leak methane and other pollutants into nearby water supplies. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

At least 185 environmental activists campaigning against mining, agribusiness, hydropower, and other projects were killed around the world in 2015, the highest number on record, according to a report by UK-based Global Witness. The countries with the highest death tolls included Brazil, the Philippines, and Colombia. Guardian

On The Radar

Governors of the eight Great Lakes states will vote today on a proposal to divert Lake Michigan water to Waukesha, Wisconsin, a city that lies just outside of the Great Lakes Basin. The final vote is the first test of the bi-national Great Lakes Compact, a legal agreement between the states and two Canadian provinces that aims to prevent out-of-basin water transfers. Circle of Blue