The Stream, November 29: India Explores Small Hydropower Projects In Himalayas

The Global Rundown

Small-scale hydropower projects in India’s Himalayas offer decentralized electricity to rural communities. A new survey suggests that millions of hectares can be restored in the Sahel to protect sub-Saharan Africa from encroaching deserts. Bolivia’s drought is made worse by population growth, inadequate infrastructure, and competition between water users, environmentalists say. The unrelenting drought in California could force the state to once again curb water deliveries to farms and cities. The public water utility in Ireland should be funded through general tax funds, not unpopular water charges, according to an independent commission. The governor of North Dakota has issued an evacuation order for a protest camp near the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

“In recent years, there has been a big increase in conflicts over water in both rural and urban areas, which compete over water resources, and between indigenous groups in rural areas. It’s a combination of water infrastructure that’s obsolete, poor mismanagement of the public water companies and rapid population growth in urban areas. It’s a dangerous combination.” –Gonzalo Colque, head of the Bolivian environmental group Tierra Foundation. Environmental campaigners say that the country’s current drought crisis is compounding chronic water problems. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

166 million hectares Area of Africa’s Sahel region that can be restored through reforestation efforts to stop the advancing Sahara desert, according to a new survey published by the food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Reuters

7,000 megawatts Electrical generating capacity that India aspires to create from small-scale hydropower projects by March 2017. The projects could especially aid rural communities in the Himalayas, though proper oversight is necessary to avoid cumulative effects on rivers, according to researchers. Guardian

In context: Learn how India’s mega-hydropower projects are struggling in the Himalayas.

20 percent Proportion of requested water deliveries that California expects to make in 2017 through its State Water Project, which provides water to 25 million people and more than 300,000 hectares of farmland. Capital Public Radio

In Context: Explore Circle of Blue’s comprehensive reporting on the California drought.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Ireland’s government should fund its water utility, Irish Water, through a general tax, rather than through fees collected from individual ratepayers, according to a draft report issued by the Independent Water Commission. The introduction of water fees in Ireland in 2014 triggered widespread public protests, and the government suspended the fees earlier this year. Irish Independent

On The Radar

The governor of North Dakota issued an emergency evacuation order Tuesday calling on thousands of protesters, referred to as water protectors, to leave a camp near the under-construction Dakota Access oil pipeline. Both the governor’s order and an earlier directive from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers claim that winter weather is creating unsafe conditions at the camp. Reuters