The Stream, November 30: Thousands Lose Water in Mosul Attack

The Global Rundown

Fighting damaged a pipeline in Mosul, cutting water supplies to thousands of people in the Iraqi city. Aid agencies warned that millions of people face hunger in Somalia due to a drought. Slovenia voted to include a right to drinking water in its constitution. Water managers in Israel presented plans to revive an ailing Lake Kinneret by transporting desalinated water to the lake. A major new development opened in Miami this week, despite concerns about sea level rise in the coastal city. Officials in Mississippi reported that highways are cracking as a drought dries the soil beneath them.

“The water will start coming up from the floor. There’s not much we can do. That’s the reality.” –Alan Faena, one of the developers of Miami’s new Faena Forum, which opened Sunday. Rising tides and sea levels are not stopping new offices, hotels, and apartment buildings from sprouting along the city’s waterfront. (Bloomberg)

By The Numbers

650,000 people Number living in Mosul, Iraq that lost water supplies this week after a pipeline was damaged in the fighting between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State. Al Jazeera

60 kilometers Average distance covered by livestock herders in Somalia to find water amid a severe drought. An estimated 5 million people in the country face hunger, according to aid agencies. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Lake Kinneret, a critical source of fresh water in Israel, is losing so much volume that water managers may reverse a pipeline to bring desalinated water from the coast to the lake, according to representatives of the Water Authority presenting at the Public Water Forum at Tel Aviv University. Managers blame the lake’s declining levels on shifting rainfall patterns. Haaretz

In context: Read about the rapid construction of desalination plants, water recycling facilities, and other innovations in Israel.

On The Radar

A parliamentary vote this month enshrined the human right to drinking water in Slovenia’s constitution, specifically naming water as a “public good” that is “not a market commodity.” The country’s prime minister said the amendment is necessary to guard against future exploitation by private companies and foreign countries. Agence France-Presse

In context: Learn how the public trust doctrine is being implemented to protect the Great Lakes and rivers in Hawaii.

In addition to drawing down reservoirs and rivers, a drought in the southeastern United States is also causing highways to crack in Mississippi. The phenomenon is due to the state’s clay soil, which shrinks when it is dry, and could force officials to dig up and replace sections of road. Sun Herald