The Global Rundown
Three major dam projects in Nepal, the Solomon Islands, and Tajikistan may receive backing from the United Nations’ green climate fund, a move that is opposed by environmental groups. A new map and analysis shows where the United Kingdom is spending its flood defense money. Streams in Switzerland are heavily polluted with agricultural pesticides, a study found. A former U.S. security official warns that climate change will create more conflict and refugees in the Asia-Pacific region. Rainfall from the remnants of Cyclone Debbie flooded New Zealand’s North Island this week. A plan to take groundwater from the Mojave Desert to California cities is one step closer to reality.
“Climate-exacerbated water insecurities could eventually become a tipping [point] to wider conflict or instability in the region. We see this now playing out in various ways around the world, but particularly here in the Asia-Pacific region.” –Sherri Goodman, former U.S. deputy under secretary of defense, warning that climate change could cause more refugees to flee to Australia, and exacerbate tensions between countries like India and Pakistan. (Guardian)
In context: Track where water and conflict converge around the globe with Circle of Blue’s HotSpots H20 series.
By The Numbers
$136 million Amount that may be used from the United Nations’ green climate fund to finance major dams in Nepal, the Solomon Islands, and Tajikistan. Nine environmental groups submitted a letter opposing the plan due to concerns about emissions, indigenous rights, and biodiversity. Guardian
103 schools Number closed across New Zealand’s North Island as the remnants of Cyclone Debbie triggered record rainfall, floods, and mudslides. Stuff
Science, Studies, And Reports
Government spending on flood defense projects in England focuses on London and the southeastern region of the country, which together account for 60 percent of planned flood defense spending, according to an analysis and interactive map released by the London-based organization Carbon Brief. The analysis has raised new accusations that government projects give preferential treatment to wealthier regions. Guardian ; Carbon Brief
A stream monitoring study in Switzerland detected the presence of 128 different herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides in water samples, and 80 percent of the samples exceeded legal water quality limits for at least one substance. Researchers say the study, conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, highlights the threat to small waterways from agricultural pesticide use. They note that streams and brooks account for nearly three-quarters of Switzerland’s river network. Science Daily
On The Radar
A plan to pipe groundwater from beneath the Mojave Desert to supply cities in Southern California is one step closer to reality after the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reversed a previous decision that would have required the project to undergo federal environmental studies. Opponents of the plan argue it will damage desert springs, plants, and wildlife. The Press Enterprise