The Stream, January 11: Monsoon Plays Outsize Role In India Groundwater Levels, Study Says

The Global Rundown

Changing rainfall patterns are the key driver of groundwater levels across much of India, and also influence the amount of groundwater pumped for irrigation, a new study found. Islamic State militants cut off water to dozens of neighborhoods in Mosul amid continued fighting in the Iraqi city. The approval of a new coal seam gas development in Queensland is now contingent upon its handling of wastewater after a successful campaign by citizen groups, while the approval of a Great Lakes water diversion for Waukesha, Wisconsin may get a rehearing. Freezing temperatures in central Europe resulted in a shipping ban along the Danube River in Bulgaria and Hungary. Snow and rainstorms in California sent billions of liters of water into Lake Tahoe.

“The big mining lobby should stop deriding Queenslanders and start recognizing the vital role that communities play in ensuring environmental laws are upheld to protect the land and water our regional communities rely on.” –Paul King, secretary of the Western Downs Alliance, after the citizen group successfully pressured Australia’s environment and energy minister to limit wastewater discharges into rivers as a condition of approval for a coal seam gas development in Queensland. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

30 neighborhoods Number in Mosul, Iraq where Islamic State militants cut water supplies this week as they fought for control of the city. The Telegraph

127 billion liters Amount of water that has recharged California’s Lake Tahoe since the start of the month due to a number of large storms. Los Angeles Times

-30 degrees Celsius Temperature recorded in some areas of central Europe over the weekend. The cold, combined with low water levels, forced officials to ban shipping along the frozen Danube River in Bulgaria and Hungary. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Changing groundwater levels in southern and north-central India are largely explained by variations in monsoon rainfall, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Researchers said that while pumping for irrigation drives groundwater depletion in northwestern India, shifting rainfall patterns also affect how much water is withdrawn. Nature Geoscience

In context: Explore India’s water management challenges through Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: India reporting.

On The Radar

The Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Cities Initiative, a coalition of more than 100 mayors and city officials in Canada and the United States, has requested a rehearing to contest a water diversion from Lake Michigan for the city of Waukesha, Wisconsin. The diversion, approved last year by the Great Lakes states, is the first exception made under an agreement that limits out-of-basin water transfers. Wisconsin Public Radio

In context: Learn more about Waukesha’s application and how the diversion was approved.