The Stream, April 25: Australia Coal Mine Could Become Stranded Asset

The Global Rundown

The Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland poses a “high level of financial risk” to investors, according to a new report. With only 88 days of water left in its reservoirs, the city of Cape Town, South Africa is asking residents to reduce their water use. A hackathon competition hopes to solve Lake Erie’s water problems. The 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize winners include activists in Australia and Guatemala who were recognized for their work protecting water and land from mines. Scientists found that upstream dam releases have a discernable effect on water levels and currents in the estuary of Spain’s Guadalquivir River.

“Adani took a calculated business risk on this speculative project in 2010 but the world has changed. No longer strategically aligned nor financially robust, today it is less a gamble, more a shot in the dark.” –Tim Buckley, director of energy research at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis in Ohio, referring to the Carmichael coal mine project in Australia. A report by IEEFA, which researches economic issues related to energy and the environment, concluded that the Carmichael mine could create a “high level of financial risk to both shareholders and potential financiers.” The project has been opposed over concerns about carbon emissions and water use. (Guardian)

In context: Water scarcity is altering the global economy and stranding billions of investor dollars.

By The Numbers

88 days of water remain in the reservoirs supplying Cape Town, South Africa. Water use is still above target levels, according to the city, which aims to bring usage down to 600 million liters per day. News24

$40,000 Prize money up for grabs in “Erie Hack”, a technology competition to design solutions for harmful algal blooms and other water problems in Lake Erie. It is the first water hackathon for the Great Lakes. NPR

In context: In 2014, a toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie poisoned drinking water supplies for nearly half a million people in Toledo, Ohio.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Large discharges of water from dams along the Guadalquivir River in Spain can influence water levels and currents in the river’s estuary for up to 60 days, according to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. Researchers found that the changes are linked to the release of suspended sediment. EOS

On The Radar

Six activists from around the world have been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. The 2017 winners include Rodrigo Tot of Guatemala and Wendy Bowman of Australia, who both worked to protect their land and water supplies from expanding mines. Guardian