The Stream, September 9: U.K. Prepares For More Frequent, Severe Rainfall

The Global Rundown

Flood preparations in the United Kingdom should now take into account a 20 to 30 percent increase in severe rainfall events, according to a national review. The severe drought in South Africa will likely continue without much relief, a government team warned. Kenya announced plans to reforest nearly a tenth of its land to protect against climate change and environmental degradation. A forthcoming decision on the Dakota Access oil pipeline prompted North Dakota to ready its National Guard troops. The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General outlined why providing water and sanitation to all is so important.

“I tried to imagine the grief of those children’s parents and siblings. I asked myself what the victims might have made of their lives had they had what all human beings should have – a healthy start in life. And I decided, then and there, to never stop fighting for the fundamental right for all to water and sanitation.” –Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, on seeing people who had died from water-related diseases in Somalia in 1992. He has since fought tirelessly to raise awareness about the costs of inadequate water and sanitation and to place water firmly on the international policy agenda. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

5.1 million hectares Area in Kenya that will be restored and reforested by 2030 under a new initiative announced by the government to improve food and water security and make communities more resilient to climate change. Reuters

100 National Guard troops Number on stand-by in North Dakota as the state awaits a court decision on the fate of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The pipeline has stoked a fierce backlash from Native American communities and conservationists who argue it would harm cultural sites and water supplies. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

The United Kingdom should prepare for 20 to 30 percent more extreme rainfall events as it adjusts flood defenses for the future, according to a national flood resilience review that identified 530 infrastructure sites at risk from inundation. In the short term, the U.K. government plans to quadruple the number of temporary barriers available this winter to guard against floods. Guardian

On The Radar

South Africa should expect “little relief” in the coming months from a severe drought that has cut maize plantings and cattle herds and forced water restrictions in Johannesburg, according to a government taskforce. Still, officials did not call for a national disaster declaration. Reuters