The Stream, March 18: Water Supplies Insufficient For Future Energy Needs, Report Says

The Global Rundown

There may not be enough water in the future to meet global demands for energy production, according to a report from the World Energy Council. Nearly 50 million people in Africa could face hunger if immediate action is not taken to respond to droughts across the continent. A Native American community in Louisiana is the first to be relocated due to rising sea levels and erosion that have made coastal islands and wetlands disappear. U.S. lawmakers called on Michigan’s governor to resign during a Congressional hearing on the Flint water crisis. The city of Portland, Oregon will join a lawsuit against Monsanto over PCB contamination in its rivers. Oklahoma is ordering disposal well operators to reduce the amount of fracking wastewater they inject underground. An international research team will spend a year at sea studying Arctic sea ice decline.

“Plausible deniability only works when it’s plausible and I’m not buying that you didn’t know about any of this until October 2015. You were not in a medically induced coma for a year and I’ve had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies.” –U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, speaking to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder during a Congressional hearing on the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint. Cartwright called for the governor to resign. The same day, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its outlook for Michigan’s credit rating in part due to the Flint debacle. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

98 percent Amount of land lost since the 1950s by the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians due to rising sea levels, erosion, and sediment loss that shrank the coastal Louisiana islands and wetlands where they live. The entire community is being forced to relocate. Reuters

400 disposal wells Number in central Oklahoma that were ordered to reduce the amount of fracking wastewater they inject underground in order to reduce total wastewater injections by 40 percent. Wastewater disposal has been linked to earthquakes in the state. Bloomberg

$1 billion Amount the city of Portland, Oregon has spent cleaning up the Willamette River, which is still contaminated with PCBs. The city announced it will join a lawsuit against agrochemical company Monsanto over PCB pollution. Oregon Public Broadcasting

Science, Studies, And Reports

Global water supplies will likely be insufficient to meet future demands for energy, food, industry, and cities, according to a report released by the World Energy Council. The report said new research is needed to evaluate the amount of water required for an array of energy sources, as well as how to finance energy projects in a way that takes water risks into account. Circle of Blue

An international research team will spend an entire year on a ship studying the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. The extent of Arctic sea ice has been declining, and this year’s ice cover could be the lowest on record. Guardian

On The Radar

International aid agencies warned that the number of people facing hunger in Africa could increase to 49 million in the absence of a swift response to current droughts. The agencies said governments and humanitarian organizations should coordinate their response to the regional emergency, which is linked to the El Nino weather pattern. Reuters

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