The Stream, June 2: U.S. Withdraws From Paris Climate Agreement

The Global Rundown

The landmark Paris climate deal to cut global carbon emissions lost one of the world’s biggest polluters after U.S. President Donald Trump decided that the country will no longer participate in the agreement. Kazakhstan says efforts to restore the northern portion of the shrinking Aral Sea have helped revive the region’s commercial fishing industry. Increasing levels of nutrient pollution in New Zealand’s waterways have raised alarms about the intensification of dairy farming. The city of Cape Town, South Africa is reducing water pressure as it struggles to conserve what little water is left in its reservoirs. Scientists found that a virus may have played a role in the release of toxins from a Lake Erie algal bloom that contaminated water supplies in Toledo, Ohio in 2014.

“It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Mich., and Pittsburgh, Pa., along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris, France. It is time to make America great again.” –U.S. President Donald Trump, justifying his decision Thursday to withdraw the United States from the international Paris climate agreement, which aims to curb global carbon emissions. While the decision means the United States will cease actions to meet its commitments under the agreement, fully withdrawing from the accord will take almost four years. Many of the most dire effects of climate change are expected to manifest in water through more extreme droughts, floods, and rising seas. (The New York Times)

In context: Water gained stature at Paris climate talks.

By The Numbers

2 to 5 liters of water Amount officials in Cape Town, South Africa encouraged residents to keep on hand due to possible service disruptions caused by reduced water pressure. The low pressure is an intentional move by the city to conserve water supplies as its reservoirs reach critically low levels. News24

6.6 million cows Number in New Zealand, where declining water quality has sparked a backlash against the dairy industry and the expansion of irrigated farmland in the Mackenzie Basin. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

A virus that infected the cells of cyanobacteria that made up Lake Erie’s 2014 algal bloom may have played a role in releasing more toxins from the bloom, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The toxins contaminated water supplies in Toledo, Ohio, forcing the city to issue health advisories for nearly half a million residents. Science Daily

In context: Toledo issues emergency ‘Do Not Drink Water’ warning to residents.

On The Radar

A commercial fishing industry is returning to the northern portion of the Aral Sea, which suffered when river diversions for irrigation caused the sea to shrink dramatically in the second half of the 20th century. Kazakhstan points to a dam it built in 2005 as the primary driver of the rebound. Reuters