The Stream, September 6: Johannesburg Enacts Water Restrictions

The Global Rundown

Dwindling water supplies in the Vaal River system have forced Johannesburg, South Africa to implement water restrictions for residents. India’s Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu, despite dry conditions in the Cauvery River Basin. An independent adviser told Japan that treated water stored at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant can be safely released into the ocean. Warming coastal waters have made typhoons in the western Pacific more intense and destructive. Financial institutions need to more adequately assess environmental risks, according to a report released at the G20 meeting in China. The Italian town hit by a major earthquake last month is also without a safe water supply.

“Inadequate understanding of growing environmental sources of risk could allow threats to financial institutions to accumulate and limit progress towards sustainable global growth.” –Excerpt from a report released by the Centre for Sustainable Finance at the University of Cambridge. The report was commissioned by the G20 Green Finance Study Group, and was presented at the international economic meeting in China this week. (Bloomberg)

By The Numbers

15 percent Cut in water consumption Johannesburg, South Africa must make in order to avoid water shortages. The city has implemented water restrictions as supplies drop in the Vaal River system. Mail & Guardian

668,352 metric tons Amount of treated water stored on site at Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. The water is safe to be released into the Pacific Ocean, according to the former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who advises the plant’s managers. Bloomberg

425 cubic meters per second Amount of water India’s Supreme Court ordered Karnataka to release from the Cauvery River to Tamil Nadu for 10 days. The decision marks a temporary solution to the states’ dispute over irrigation supplies, which was sparked by dry conditions in the basin. The Tribune

Science, Studies, And Reports

Typhoons in the western Pacific have become stronger and more destructive over the past four decades due to warming coastal waters, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Researchers found that the storms’ intensity increased an average of 15 percent, while their destructive power increased 50 percent. Guardian

On The Radar

A major earthquake in Italy two weeks ago devastated the small town of Amatrice and contaminated its water supply. The town’s mayor issued an order warning citizens not to use the water after the discovery of high levels of bacteria in the supply system. The Local