The Stream, October 28: Mekong Delta At Risk From Fewer Tropical Storms

The Global Rundown

Fewer tropical storms crossing over the Mekong River Basin due to climate change could actually harm the river’s delta, according to new research. A study of climate change effects in the Mediterranean region found that deserts in Spain and northern Africa will likely expand, even if warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius. A program in Senegal’s capital city aims to reduce urban flooding and redirect runoff for beneficial uses. In the United Kingdom, a multi-million dollar project will open up the River Severn to spawning fish. Open-source databases on water quality could change how clean water initiatives are conducted around the world. Defendants in class action lawsuits over the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan have requested that a judge move the trials out of the state.

“Ninety percent of shallow wells tend to become dangerously contaminated within a year of their creation. mWater brought that kind of finding to light because we now have monitoring data on massive amounts of water sources across different geographies and over time.” –Annie Feighery, CEO and co-founder of the app mWater, on the potential for data to improve water quality around the world. mWater has created an open-source database monitoring water quality at sites in 73 countries. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

$23.6 million Cost of a project to install fish passages that will allow the threatened twaite and allis shad fish species to reach spawning grounds in the Severn, the longest river in the United Kingdom. Press Association

920,000 people Number living in the suburbs of Dakar, the capital of Senegal, who stand to benefit from a project that seeks to reduce urban flooding by improving drainage and directing runoff to gardens and other beneficial uses. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Tropical storms are responsible for delivering a third of the sediment that replenishes the Mekong River Delta, but new research published in the journal Nature suggests that the frequency of such storms in the Mekong basin will decline due to climate change. Sand mining and dams that trap sediment also threaten the future of this critical food-producing region. The Third Pole

Unless global temperature increases are limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, vegetation in the Mediterranean region could change significantly from what has existed over the past 10,000 years, according to a study by scientists at France’s National Center of Scientific Research. If temperatures rise beyond that level, deserts will likely expand in Spain and northern Africa, the study found. Associated Press

On The Radar

Two class action lawsuits over the Flint water crisis could be moved out of the state if a judge grants the requests of the current and former employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality who are being sued. The state agency was one of several at the heart of the lead-contaminated water scandal that could have long-term health effects for the city’s residents. Reuters