The Stream, November 22: Murray-Darling River Should Get Less Water, Basin Authority Says

The Global Rundown

The agency responsible for managing Australia’s Murray-Darling River Basin recommended that the government reduce the amount of water it buys from farmers to aid the environment. Bolivia’s federal government declared a state of emergency amid the worst drought in a quarter-century. Police in North Dakota used water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse protestors demonstrating against the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Floods triggered by Storm Angus lashed England and Wales. Saudi Arabia announced plans for a national program to improve water and power efficiency.

“They’re using everything and anything.” –Tara Houska, an organizer with Honor the Earth, after police in North Dakota resorted to using water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of “water protectors” who were demonstrating against the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline Sunday night. Police called the protesters “very aggressive”. (Bismarck Tribune)

By The Numbers

172 cities Number in Bolivia that have declared emergencies amid the worst drought to hit the country in 25 years. The federal government followed suit on Monday. Reuters

75 flood warnings Number issued in England and Wales on Monday as Britain was battered by Storm Angus. The floods hit at the same time news surfaced that no government funding has yet been allocated specifically for natural methods of flood protection, such as planting trees and “rewilding” rivers. Press Association ; Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Less water should be set aside for the environment in Australia’s northern Murray-Darling River Basin under a government plan that seeks to restore the river system to health, according to a review released by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Citing concerns about the economic toll of the plan on farmers, the MDBA recommended that the new water recovery target should be 320 gigaliters, down from 390 gigaliters. ABC

On The Radar

A new national program in Saudi Arabia will encourage water and energy efficiency through a review of policy incentives, government officials announced Monday. The kingdom is in the midst of a transition away from generous government subsidies for water and electricity. Reuters