The Stream, April 11: Karnataka Says No Water For Farmers

The Global Rundown

Government officials in Karnataka say there is not enough water in the state’s reservoirs to provide water for agriculture. Argentina is demanding changes to operations at the Veladero gold mine to reduce the risk of cyanide spills. Researchers found a link between heavy rainfall from El Nino and an increase in cholera cases in eastern Africa. A new report calls on Latin America to build infrastructure that can withstand climate shocks. A release of floodwaters from a coal port in Queensland likely contaminated nearby wetlands.

“It’s becoming increasingly visible that it’s necessary to make infrastructure more resilient. We need to figure out what future you have to prepare for. We also suggest to take approaches that have no regrets – that make sense whatever happens.” — Marianne Fay, chief economist with the World Bank’s sustainable development division and the co-author of a new report that calls on Latin America to improve its infrastructure to withstand the droughts and extreme storms associated with climate change. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

60 days of water Amount available in reservoirs to supply the state of Karnataka, leaving no water for agricultural uses, according to the water resources minister. The state has asked farmers to refrain from pumping water from the canals and reservoirs. The Times of India

$900 million Amount Australia may loan the Adani Carmichael coal mine to help finance a rail line to transport coal to port. The mine project has been opposed over water concerns, and scientists recently called attention to the contamination of wetlands near Adani’s Abbot Point port terminal in Queensland after the port released floodwaters from Cyclone Debbie. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Cholera cases in eastern Africa tripled when El Nino weather events occurred between 2000 and 2014, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Heavy rainfall associated with El Nino can cause sewer systems to overflow and contaminate water sources, and researchers say advance warning of El Nino events could help prevent cholera deaths. Reuters

On The Radar

Officials in Argentina are demanding that Barrick Gold Corporation change operations at its Veladero gold mine to prevent further leaks of cyanide solution. Three leaks have occurred in the past two years, raising concerns about the potential contamination of water supplies. Bloomberg

In context: Grave economic hazards await mining companies that fail to anticipate water risks.