The Stream, February 7: South Africa Water Utility Needs $Billions For Infrastructure

The Global Rundown

It will take nearly $15 billion to build the infrastructure necessary to supply water in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Almost 2 million people do not have reliable, safe drinking water in Aleppo, Syria. The U.S. government may approve a permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross Lake Oahe by the end of the week. A comprehensive review highlights discrepancies in the implementation of environmental laws across the European Union. Coimbatore, a city in Tamil Nadu, resorts to pumping the dregs of its dwindling reservoir.

“Our position is the tribe’s treaty rights and the law require the full (Environmental Impact Study) process that the government initiated in December. Issuing the easement without that process will be a serious violation of the law.” –Jan Hasselman, an attorney at Earthjustice representing the Standing Rock Sioux, on their steadfast opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may approve an easement for the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota by the end of the week, despite promises to study alternative routes. (Reuters)

In context: Take a deep dive into South Africa’s water challenges with Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: South Africa series.

By The Numbers

$14.9 billion Amount that Umgeni Water, the largest drinking water supplier in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, estimates it will need to update and expand its infrastructure. Bloomberg

20 to 30 million liters Amount of water officials will pump each day from the Siruvani reservoir to supply the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. The reservoir is already depleted, and the water will be pumped from its “dead storage” until levels reach the lowest intake. The Hindu

Science, Studies, And Reports

The European Commission released 28 country reports mapping out the differences in the implementation of environmental laws across the European Union. It found large gaps in performance on water quality, air quality, waste management, and biodiversity protections. European Commission

On The Radar

An estimated 1.8 million people in Aleppo, Syria have not had reliable water supplies for nearly a month, according to the United Nations. UN agencies supplied fuel for water pumps in the city, and called for improved humanitarian access to communities across the war-torn country. UN News Centre