The Stream, July 19: Efforts To Save Tanzania River Could Evict Thousands of Farmers

The Global Rundown

Tanzania’s government is considering the eviction of thousands of farmers along the Great Ruaha River, which it says has been damaged by agriculture. Inadequate infrastructure and hot weather conditions are causing water shortages in the West Bank. California’s water board set a new drinking water standard for a carcinogenic chemical in the state’s water. Water managers and scientists are at odds over plans to restore the Everglades in Florida. Excessive rainfall caused widespread flooding in Istanbul. A heat wave in France forced officials to cut power generation at a nuclear power plant to preserve water quality and wildlife in the Rhone river.

“It’s scandalous…it’s impossible to accept that hundreds of families are drinking water out of bottles and barrels.” — Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council in the West Bank, commenting on water shortages affecting Palestinians and Israelis in the region. The shortages have been blamed on inadequate infrastructure, hot weather, and water theft. (The Jerusalem Post)

In context: Israel’s Mediterranean desalination plants shift regional water balance.

By The Numbers

5 parts per trillion New drinking water standard passed by California for the chemical 1,2,3-TCP, which the state considers a carcinogen. Drinking water systems serving about 1 million residents may be contaminated with dangerous levels of the chemical. NBC Bay Area

1 year of rainfall Amount that fell over a 12-hour period in Istanbul, causing major flooding that disrupted transportation throughout the city. BBC News

Science, Studies, And Reports

A rift continues to grow between water managers in South Florida and a scientific board meant to oversee restoration efforts for the Everglades. Scientists have raised concerns about how restoration projects will address climate change, while water managers argue the board is becoming too concerned with legal and budgetary issues. Sun-Sentinel

In context: Toxic algae flourish as Everglades solution eludes Florida.

On The Radar

Thousands of farmers in Tanzania could be evicted as the government tries to preserve the Great Ruaha River. The government claims water-intensive agriculture is to blame for dwindling water supplies in the river, though farmers say it is the result of drought. Reuters

Officials in France cut power generation at the Tricastin nuclear plant Tuesday due to a heat wave. The move aimed to send less heated water from the reactors into the Rhone river and “preserve plant and animal life.” Reuters