The Stream, May 9: Thousands of Communities Run Out Of Water In India

The Global Rundown

More than 10,000 communities have run out of water and are relying on tankers in India’s Rajasthan state. In Jaipur, hundreds of people were sickened by contaminated water. India’s government may shut down some coal-fired power plants to cut pollution and water use. A hearing in the Philippines will examine the liability of fossil fuel companies for extreme weather events linked to climate change. Water levels remain critical at a major hydropower dam in drought-hit Venezuela. The majority of U.S. gas supplies now come from hydraulic fracturing.

“The amorphous nature of climate change presents unique problems that courts are now being asked to rule upon. Judges are generally cautious when it comes to developing the law, but given the urgent need to tackle the harmful effects of climate change they must be willing to so.” –Gillian Lobo, a climate lawyer for ClientEarth. A human rights hearing in the Philippines is set to gauge the liability of 50 large fossil fuel companies for their role in causing climate change and associated extreme weather events. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

37 gigawatts Capacity of coal-fired power plants in India that may be shut down in an effort to cut carbon emissions and save water. Bloomberg

13,500 communities Number that have run out of drinking water in Rajasthan, India as groundwater levels decline. NDTV

350 people Number sickened in Jaipur, India due to drinking water that is believed to have been contaminated by sewage. One child has died. The Tribune

Science, Studies, And Reports

Two-thirds of the U.S. gas supply is now produced by hydraulic fracturing operations, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Fracking has sparked concerns about the contamination of water supplies, as well as the potential links between fracking wastewater disposal and earthquakes. Bloomberg

On The Radar

Despite some rain, water levels remain critical at the hydropower reservoir supplying much of Venezuela’s electricity. The country has implemented a number of measures, including shorter work weeks, to relieve pressure on its power sector amid a severe drought. EFE

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