The Stream, May 2: Droughts Cut Rice Stockpiles in Asia
The Global Rundown
El Nino-linked droughts in India, Thailand, and Vietnam are expected to cut stockpiles of rice this year in the world’s three top exporters. Floods in Texas are contaminating rivers with oil and chemicals from fracking, while an attack on an oil pipeline in Colombia created a spill in the Bojaba River. Australia coal mines are preparing for floods from La Nina, and the country’s government plans to release a targeted virus into the Murray-Darling Basin to eradicate invasive carp. Illegal gold mining is expanding in Peru near the Santiago River. The United States and Canada have warned that climate change is damaging communities in the Arctic.
“In the Amazon gold extraction is only known about in the Madre de Dios and Puno regions in the south of the country. The shift to the north, where in the Santiago basin it started within the last three years, is something new.” Esteban Valle Riestra, a consultant for Lima-based nongovernmental organization DAR, on the expansion of illegal mining in Peru’s forests near the Santiago River. (Guardian)
By The Numbers
85 percent Number of Australia’s coal mines that had to close or limit production in 2010 and 2011 due to floods brought by the La Nina weather phenomenon. The country’s mines are preparing for a similar event this year. Reuters
1/3 Estimated drop in rice inventories by the end of the year in India, Thailand, and Vietnam, the world’s three top exporters. Droughts across Southeast Asia are hurting harvests and cutting into stockpiles. Reuters
$15 million Amount Australia plans to allocate to eradicate invasive carp in the Murray-Darling River Basin by using a herpes virus that targets the fish. Guardian
Science, Studies, and Reports
Rapidly rising temperatures in the Arctic and the associated loss of sea ice are washing away communities and threatening to create “climate refugees,” according to officials in the United States and Canada. The Obama administration is calling on legislators to take action to support these communities and help build resilience to climate change. Guardian
On The Radar
An attack by rebel fighters in Colombia on a state-owned oil pipeline caused oil to spill into the Bojaba River. The spill has not yet affected drinking water supplies, and the company said it would halt pumping on the 780-kilometer pipeline. Reuters
Floods in Texas have washed chemicals and oil from drilling operations into nearby rivers. The contamination is raising concerns about the potential health effects for people and livestock. Associated Press
A news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes.
Contact Codi Kozacek
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