The Stream, May 11: U.S. Infrastructure Funding More Than $1 Trillion Short

The Global Rundown

Funding commitments for water, electricity, roads, and other infrastructure in the United States are currently more than $1 trillion short of the needed amount, according to a new report. In the Solomon Islands, five islands have disappeared due to sea level rise and wave damage. Researchers found that unusually dry and wet periods are more common in Australia than the previous 100 years would suggest, necessitating shifts in water management. A major water supplier in California will no longer enforce allocations for deliveries to utilities, limits that were implemented due to the state’s drought. Protesters in Tibet are calling for the end of mining operations that they fear will pollute a nearby river.

“All these headlines are certainly pushing things a bit towards the ‘climate change has made islands vanish’ angle. I would prefer slightly more moderate titles that focus on sea-level rise being the driver rather than simply ‘climate change’.” –Simon Albert, a researcher at the University of Queensland, on media coverage of a recent study he authored that found five islands in the Solomon Islands have disappeared from sea level rise and wave damage over the past six decades. He cautioned that climate change is not the only factor influencing sea level rise in this region, but also said that the study provides a preview of what could happen as sea levels rise in the future, as they are expected to due to climate change. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

$1.44 trillion The estimated funding gap between what the U.S. has committed to spend on infrastructure and what it needs to spend by 2025 in order to keep up roads, water, and electricity networks, according to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Reuters

100 people Number in Tibet protesting and blocking operations by a Chinese mining company over concerns about pollution of the Lung River. Radio Free Asia

Science, Studies, And Reports

Extended periods of drought and wet weather were much more common in Australia over the past 1,000 years than they have been in the past century, according to a study by researchers at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre. As a result, much of Australia’s water management is based on unrealistic assumptions and should be updated to take into account the risks posed by greater variability, the authors found. Guardian

On The Radar

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which sells water to utilities that supply more than 19 million people, will no longer limit its deliveries to customers. The MWD imposed water allocations on its members last year due to California’s severe drought. Los Angeles Times

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