The Stream, June 26: Invasive Asian Carp Found Near Lake Michigan

The Global Rundown

An adult Asian carp was found near Lake Michigan, past the barriers meant to keep the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes. Scientists in Australia warn that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan needs to set aside more water for the environment. If low-rainfall conditions continue in England, data suggest that nearly a quarter of the country’s rivers could run dry. A drought in Italy has cost farmers more than $1 billion, according to the country’s agriculture association. A landslide triggered by heavy rains may have killed more than 100 people in China. A new report found that the Great Barrier Reef contributes billions of dollars to Australia’s economy each year, and that more must be done to address threats to the reef from climate change and poor water quality.

“Scientists like myself have a responsibility to provide politicians with advice on what a certain volume of water will and won’t do. The sort of volumes of water that are [currently] available won’t deliver the conservation of some of those key environmental assets they said the plan was about.” –Jamie Pittock, lead author of a new report released by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists in Australia that argues environmental restoration efforts under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan have not been effective. The report recommends a one-third increase in the amount of water kept in the river basin for environmental purposes, but also calls for $600 million to be set aside to help rural communities affected by the plan. (ABC News)

In context: Australia’s water markets are succeeding, yet severe challenges loom.

By The Numbers

120 people Estimated number buried in a landslide triggered by heavy rain in China’s Sichuan province over the weekend. Fifteen people had been confirmed dead by Saturday, while more than 1,000 workers searched for the missing. Reuters

$1.12 billion Amount a drought in Italy has cost farmers this year, according to the country’s national agricultural association. As a result, a state of emergency has been declared near Parma and Piacenza. Reuters

$6.4 billion Amount the Great Barrier Reef contributes to Australia’s economy each year, in addition to supporting 64,000 jobs, according to a report by Canberra-based Deloitte Access Economics. The report urged greater action to save the reef by improving water quality and fighting climate change. Australian Associated Press

Science, Studies, And Reports

Nearly a quarter of the rivers in England could dry out this summer if dry conditions continue after rainfall between October and March reached its lowest level in 20 years, according to data acquired by WWF from the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency. The group warned that this would harm wildlife, and called on the government to update rules regarding water withdrawals in order to take the ecological health of rivers into account. Guardian

On The Radar

Officials in Illinois found an adult Asian carp 14 kilometers away from Lake Michigan, past the electric barriers meant to keep the invasive fish out of the Great Lakes. While researchers said the fish is not evidence of a breeding population in the lakes, regional lawmakers called the finding a “wake-up call”. If Asian carp establish a population in the Great Lakes, they could devastate the region’s $7 billion sport-fishing industry. Guardian

In context: Asian carp swarm south of Chicago as consensus on a permanent solution eludes the nation.