The Stream, October 19: French Water Utility Calls Cyber Attacks “Main Threat”

The Global Rundown

French water utility Veolia Environment SA said hacking presents one of the most serious threats to its operations. More than a million people are facing severe food insecurity in Kenya due to a drought. Officials in Sri Lanka are calling for an overhaul of water policy to better manage droughts and floods. Record global temperatures in 2016 are providing more evidence that climate change is happening now. Thousands of endangered frogs have died in Lake Titicaca, possibly due to water pollution.

“Right now there is very little coordination between various entities handling water, from power to agriculture. We need a much more cohesive water management policy to safely release water stored for agriculture.” –S.L. Weerasinghe, director-general of Sri Lanka’s national irrigation department, outlining some of the persistent challenges the country faces as it oscillates between periods of drought and floods. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

1.3 million people Number in Kenya who are facing hunger due to a drought. Officials warned that food security conditions in some areas could deteriorate into “alarm or even emergency phase” if seasonal rains fail. Bloomberg

10,000 frogs Number of an endangered Lake Titicaca water frog species that have died and washed up on the lake’s shoreline. The cause of the die-off is unknown, but water pollution may be a contributing factor. UPI

Science, Studies, And Reports

Global average temperatures are on track to make 2016 the hottest year on record, and could reach 1.25 degrees Celsius above temperatures seen in the late 19th century, according to researchers at NASA. With El Nino conditions returning to normal, the record temperatures this year provide evidence for an upward trend caused by climate change. Guardian

On The Radar

The head of security for French water utility Veolia Environnement SA this week called cyber crime the “main threat” to the company’s operations. The utility is increasing its cyber security to guard against potential hacks, and has added new sensors to detect a broader range of poisons. Bloomberg