The Stream, April 10: California Drought Emergency Declared Over

The Global Rundown

Officials declared California’s severe drought at an end last week, more than five years after it began. Damage from extensive flooding in Peru is expected to cost billions of dollars to repair. The Great Barrier Reef has suffered two consecutive years of mass coral bleaching, a problem exacerbated by poor water quality. South Australia wants to expand its irrigated agriculture by using more recycled water. Low water levels along the Danube and Rhine rivers are inhibiting shipping in Germany.

“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner. Conservation must remain a way of life.” –California Governor Jerry Brown, officially declaring an end to the state’s drought emergency on Friday. An extremely wet winter this year built the state’s snowpack to 150 percent of average and refilled reservoirs. (Reuters)

In context: The California drought tested the capacity of residents, farmers, businesses and governments to ensure the state’s water security in a new era of climate change.

By The Numbers

$9 billion Amount it will cost, over five years, to repair the damage caused by extensive flooding in Peru, according to President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. He estimated that $3 billion of that amount will be needed for immediate reconstruction. Reuters

12 billion liters Amount of recycled water South Australia hopes to produce each year through a new project that would expand the Northern Adelaide Plains irrigated food production area. The state has committed $110 million to the plan, and is asking the federal government for an additional $46.5 million. The Advertiser

Science, Studies, And Reports

Unusually warm water temperatures triggered coral bleaching across two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef over the past two years, according to aerial surveys by the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Damage from starfish, and poor water quality due to nutrient and sediment runoff, are also causing the reef to deteriorate. Guardian

On The Radar

Low water levels are once again inhibiting shipping along the Rhine and Danube rivers in Germany. As a result, ships have to reduce their cargo, and freight prices are increasing. Reuters