The Stream, September 21: Nile Countries Commission Study On Grand Renaissance Dam

The Global Rundown

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have commissioned an independent assessment of the Grand Renaissance Dam and its effects on the Nile River Basin. Airstrikes destroyed a humanitarian convoy meant to deliver water and food to communities near Aleppo, Syria. A new report found that a carcinogenic chemical is present at worrying levels in U.S. drinking water. Government officials are urging India to transport more of its cargo by river. Small countries are struggling to access climate adaptation funding pledged by the international community.

“We have many climate adaptation projects identified, to move villages and other settlements, but they depend on getting climate money. We know what we need to do, but to do it we need to understand the process.” –Jitoko Tikolevu, Fiji’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, on the complicated bureaucratic hoops countries must jump through in order to receive internationally pledged funds to help them adapt to climate change. Smaller countries are particularly disadvantaged because they have limited institutional capacities, according to the Commonwealth Secretariat, an association representing 53 countries. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

18 trucks Number in a humanitarian convoy hit by airstrikes in Syria on Monday, which killed at least 12 people. The convoy was meant to bring aid to communities near Aleppo, where water and food are in short supply. Reuters

25 percent Proportion of India’s domestic cargo that should be shipped via rivers to relieve pressure on roads and railways, according to the chairman of the country’s Inland Waterways Authority. Improving navigation channels to reach that goal could cost $12 billion or more. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

A new report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, said worrying levels of the chemical chromium-6 are present in U.S. drinking water. The chemical has been linked to cancer in lab animals, but there are no federal limits on how much can be present in drinking water. Instead, guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends no more than 100 parts per billion of all types of chromium in water. California, however, set a legal limit of 10 parts per billion and recommends no more than 0.02 parts per billion. The report found that drinking water for approximately 7 million U.S. residents exceeds California’s legal limit, and water for 218 million residents exceeds the state’s recommended standard. CNN

On The Radar

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed contracts Tuesday directing two French companies to independently assess how Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam could affect downstream water users along the Nile River. The study of the controversial, 6,000-megawatt dam is slated to begin later this year and will take 11 months to complete. Meanwhile, construction on the dam is expected to finish next year. Reuters