The Stream, May 13: Pakistan Textile Industry Reels Under Drought

The Global Rundown

Pakistan is spending billions of dollars to prop up its textile industry as drought damages domestic cotton supplies. Water and sewage companies in the United Kingdom have received record fines for polluting rivers. A new solar-powered desalination plant will come online in Dubai this month. The United States is promoting agriculture in Gaza, where the industry has declined due to water and farmland-damaging conflicts. A global La Nina weather pattern is expected to develop by the end of the year. The U.S. Senate approved a bill to increase funding for energy and water programs.

“All of the produce and seafood you see before you, that you are eating right now, the fruit in the special juices we have — all of it was produced in Gaza. I don’t think anyone in Jerusalem has been able to say that for the last 10 years.” –Donald Blome, American Consul General in Jerusalem, speaking at a party promoting U.S. support for reviving agriculture in Gaza. For the past decade, the agricultural sector in Gaza has been deeply damaged by conflicts that destroyed farmland and water supplies. (NPR)

By The Numbers

$4 billion Amount Pakistan is spending annually to import cotton for its textile industry due to a drought that has damaged domestic crops. Reuters

$37.5 billion Amount approved by the U.S. Senate to fund water and energy programs next year, a $355 million increase from current levels. Associated Press

$7.2 million Cumulative amount of the eight largest fines for water pollution in the United Kingdom since stiffer penalty guidelines came into effect in 2014. Two water and sewage companies were fined record amounts, more than $1.4 million each. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

As more communities around the world consider desalination facilities to deal with water scarcity and drought, they face a significant challenge to power the energy-intensive process in ways that do not emit greenhouse gases. Solar power may help solve the problem, and this month a new solar-powered desalination plant will come online in Dubai. MIT Technology Review

On The Radar

A La Nina weather pattern is expected to develop quickly this year on the heels of one of the strongest El Ninos on record. The global weather pattern could increase the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, as well as bring drought to Brazil and floods to Australia. Bloomberg

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