The Stream, September 15: Jakarta, Indonesia Plans to Build a $40bn Seawall

The Global Rundown

The Indonesian government plans to construct a giant seawall to minimize flooding in the capital city of Jakarta. A new study maps water in the moon’s soil, which could be a valuable asset in future lunar explorations. Utah may siphon water away from the Great Salt Lake in order to supply the state’s expanding population. The United Kingdom reopens an inquiry into ways of minimizing plastic water bottle waste. A recent oil spill in Greece has spread into the Athens Riviera.

“If Utah continues to grow, it’s not a matter of if but when we are going to need more water.” –Stuart Adams, a Utah Senator, in reference to the state’s skyrocketing demand for water. In the next 30 years, the population of Utah is expected to increase from three million to five million. In order to meet the growing water needs, some have suggested diverting water away from the rivers that feed the Great Salt Lake. The proposed plan would drop the lake’s water level by nearly a foot, which could devastate wetlands and harm economic growth. The Wall Street Journal

By The Numbers

20,000 Number of plastic bottles that humans produce every second, few of which are recycled. In hopes of combating plastic waste, the United Kingdom has reopened an inquiry into solutions to cut back on plastic pollution. Possible solutions include a deposit scheme and taxes on single-use bottles. The Guardian

4 meters Distance that northern areas of Jakarta, Indonesia have sunk in the past 40 years. The low-lying coastal city is extremely vulnerable to floods, prompting officials to unveil a plan for a $40 billion seawall. Critics of the plan say that it does not address land subsidence and could damage the city’s fishing industry. Reuters

In context: As groundwater withdrawals increase, Jakarta sinks.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Scientists from Brown University released the first quantitative map of water in the moon’s soil. Water is most concentrated in the moon’s polar regions, but was found “nearly everywhere” on the lunar surface. Researchers say that the map could serve as a good starting point for understanding how lunar water resources could be utilized in the future. Science Daily

On The Radar

An oil spill off the coast of Greece, which occurred after a tanker sank over the weekend, has now spread to the Athens Riviera, several miles from the original spill. Cleanup is underway, but residents worry that beaches will be marred for the foreseeable future. Reuters