The Stream, September 12: Lack of Funding Hobbles Haiti Cholera Fight

The Global Rundown

A reduction in international funding for anti-cholera efforts in Haiti has led to more deaths from the outbreak. Irrigation is expanding in Tanzania as farmers pursue ways to adapt to erratic rainfall patterns. Australia’s environmental laws provide inadequate protection to water and endangered species, a new report found. An abandoned gold mine in Queensland is the site of a proposed solar farm and pumped storage facility. Melbourne will still need water from a desalination plant this summer, according to Victoria’s water minister. Water quality in Flint, Michigan is not expected to improve significantly by the end of the year.

“We’re going to be where we are now for the rest of the calendar year.” –Mark Durno, deputy chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emergency response branch, on the outlook for water quality in Flint, Michigan. The city is still instructing residents to use filters as it struggles to remove lead contamination from its drinking water system. (Detroit Free Press)

By The Numbers

$7.9 million International funding provided this year to fight the ongoing cholera crisis in Haiti, about half the amount given last year despite evidence that the outbreak was caused by United Nations peacekeepers in 2010. The drop in financial support has hurt prevention and treatment efforts, leading to more deaths, according to the UN. Reuters

150,000 hectares Irrigated area of small farms in Tanzania, a more than fourfold increase from 2010. As more farmers contend with unpredictable rainfall patterns due to climate change, the country could potentially add irrigation to 29 million hectares, according to researchers. Reuters

300 megawatts Capacity of a pumped hydroelectric energy storage project proposed for two abandoned gold mine pits in Queensland, Australia. The pumped storage system will be coupled with a 50-megawatt solar farm. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Environmental laws in Australia are insufficient to protect water supplies, safeguard habitat for endangered species, and curb climate emissions, according to a report by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Environmental Defenders Office of Australia. In the case of the controversial Carmichael coal mine, for example, it found that even though the coal company is required to complete research about how to protect the Doongmabulla Springs, it does not need to do so before mining commences. Guardian

On The Radar

Victoria, Australia still plans to secure 50 gigaliters of water from desalination in order to boost supplies later this summer, according to the state’s water minister. The water delivery will cost $9.57 million and is meant to help the city of Melbourne, where rainfall is below the 30-year average. Australian Associated Press