The Stream, March 17: Europe Coastlines May Experience Extreme Floods Every Year By 2100

The Global Rundown

A new study anticipates extreme coastal flooding events will occur in Europe every year by the end of the century. Researchers in China warn the headwaters of the Lancang River are at risk from receding glaciers. Syria’s government is asking the United Nations and U.S. coalition forces to quell air strikes near major dams. Repairs to an important California water pump, damaged during large winter flows, are not expected to interrupt water supplies to the state’s southern region. Rising water levels threaten holding ponds at a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon. Efforts to reduce regulatory “red tape” in Manitoba could have ramifications for water quality and infrastructure. Cameroon plans to draw more water from the Sanaga River to improve water supplies in its capital, Yaounde.

“The total destruction of these dams that are being targeted by the air strikes will wash away and flood cities, towns and villages, endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in those areas.” –Mounzer Mounzer, Syria’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, asking the U.N. Security Council to stop U.S. coalition air strikes near the Euphrates and Tishrin dams. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

35 percent Proportion of water needs that are supplied by piped sources in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon. Residents instead rely on bottled water or rainfall, but the city plans to increase potable supplies by withdrawing more water from the Sanaga River. Voice of America

30-45 days Time California estimates it will take to complete repairs on a major pump that draws water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and sends it to farms and cities in Southern California. The repairs, necessary because of erosion caused by high water flows this winter, should not interrupt water deliveries, according to state officials. The Sacramento Bee

Science, Studies, And Reports

Rising sea levels, coupled with stronger waves and larger storm surge, will make extreme coastal flooding events “a part of most Europeans’ lives,” according to researchers at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Their study, published in the journal Earth’s Future, found that 100-year coastal flooding events could happen every year by the end of the century, putting 5 million people at risk. Climate Central

Receding glaciers at the headwaters of the Lancang River are causing seasonal dry-outs and desertification in a newly created reserve in China, according to researchers. A policy brief released this week by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by DuPont details the many pressures on water sources farther downstream, where the Lancang becomes the Mekong. chinadialogue ; Economist Intelligence Unit

In context: Learn how a drought last year magnified water challenges in the Mekong River Basin.

On The Radar

Holding ponds at a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon are at risk from overflowing due to heavy winter rain and snow. The mine operator is using trucks and evaporation devices to keep the water levels in check, though environmental groups say the incident raises concerns about the mine’s long-term safety. Arizona Daily Sun

Proposed legislation in Manitoba would eliminate a rule prohibiting manure spreading on frozen ground — a practice linked to nutrient runoff — and would allow public water systems to assess their infrastructure every 10 years rather than every five years. The actions are part of the Canadian province’s effort to reduce regulatory “red tape”. Winnipeg Free Press