The Stream, February 22: New Delhi Water Canal At Center Of Protests

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Protesters briefly took control of a major water canal supplying New Delhi over the weekend before India’s army recaptured it. Meanwhile, drought-hit farmers in rural India are asking the government to support a jobs program that provides work on public projects. A strong tropical cyclone damaged water supplies and crops in Fiji, a drought in Thailand could cut water supplies in Bangkok, and Colombia strengthened protections for the paramos ecosystems that provide much of its water. Australia announced plans to track foreign ownership of water rights, while job cuts at the country’s largest water supplier raised concerns about future water quality.

“Even though this right-based program is marred by poor performance and rampant misuse, it has become the only hope for many for survival.” –Jagmohan Singh, an activist with the human rights group Akhil Bharatiya Samaj Sewa Sansthan in India’s Bundelkhand region, referring to a troubled government jobs program that has become a lifeline for farmers and rural communities hit by consecutive years of drought. (Bloomberg)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

3/5 Proportion of New Delhi’s water supplied by the Munak canal, which was captured by protesters over the weekend. The Indian army later regained control of the canal. Reuters

10 million people Number in Thailand served by the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority, including residents of Bangkok. The water utility is preparing to decrease the volume of water it produces amid a drought and water shortages. The Nation

17 people Number confirmed dead after tropical cyclone Winston hit Fiji over the weekend. The storm, one of the most powerful on record, caused flooding and raised concerns about a health crisis due to damaged crops and water supplies. Reuters

70 percent Portion of Colombia’s population supplied with water from high-altitude paramos ecosystems. A ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court closed a loophole that would have allowed oil, gas, and mining activities in the paramos. Guardian


Science, Studies, And Reports

Six positions, including senior scientists, have been cut from WaterNSW, Australia’s largest water supplier. Some politicians in New South Wales have raised concerns that the cuts could hamper Sydney’s water quality, though WaterNSW insists water quality will remain high. ABC

On the Radar

On The Radar

Australia plans to establish a register tracking foreign ownership of water rights across the country by December 1. Approximately 14 percent of Australia’s water rights were held by foreigners as of 2013. Reuters

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