The Stream, March 20: Peru Floods Amid Coastal El Nino

The Global Rundown

Floods and mudslides swept across Peru last week, the latest onslaught driven by a localized El Nino weather pattern. Drought conditions in Kenya continue to stoke violence between herders and farmers. A new law in Nigeria could make it a crime for Lagos residents to get water from private sources. The Dakota Access oil pipeline is expected to begin operation this week as construction finishes under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. A 5-year-old desalination plant in Victoria began its first water delivery to Melbourne. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a grant to help Flint, Michigan replace lead water pipes. To celebrate World Water Day, India’s state railway plans to release a new policy to use recycled water.

“If I came to your house to take water from your property, the law would criminalize me and you. The state is not providing water and they’re also not allowing people to fend for themselves to survive.” –Akinbode Oluwafemi, director of corporate accountability at Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria, commenting on legislation that could criminalize actions many Lagos residents use to secure water supplies, including drilling private wells and purchasing water from private vendors. (The World Post)

By The Numbers

10 people Number killed during clashes over grazing land in northern Kenya on Sunday. A severe drought in the region has been cited as a driver of recent violence, including the invasion of farms and ranches. Reuters ; Guardian

$100 million Amount of a grant the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized Friday to help the city of Flint, Michigan replace lead service lines and improve its water infrastructure. Reuters

In context: Learn more about the Flint water crisis.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Ten times the normal amount of rain has fallen in Peru this rainy season amid a localized El Nino weather event, according to government reports. Floods and mudslides have killed at least 62 people and displaced more than 70,000 others. Reuters

On The Radar

The Wonthaggi desalination plant in Victoria began delivering water to a reservoir near Melbourne for the first time on Sunday, five years after its completion. The plant is slated to supply a minimum of 15 billion liters of water to Victoria each year. Australian Associated Press

The Dakota Access oil pipeline could begin transporting oil today after months of high-profile opposition from Native American communities and environmental activists who warn the pipeline puts water supplies in North Dakota at risk. A federal appeals court on Saturday denied a request for an emergency order to stop the pipeline’s operation. Associated Press

In context: Explore Circle of Blue’s Biggest Dry report to learn about the drought that forced Australia to rethink its water systems.

Indian Railways, the state rail company, plans to reveal its first official water policy this week to mark World Water Day. The policy includes actions to reduce water consumption and expand the use of recycled water for non-potable purposes. The Times of India