HotSpots H2O, December 12: Thirty-Seven Countries Require Food Aid Due to Drought, Flooding, and Conflict

The Global Rundown

Farmers in India block a highway for seven hours, demanding a solution to the Mahadayi water dispute. The United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali delivers water, fuel, and other amenities to a 5,000-troop African force tasked with fighting extremists. A mix of drought, flooding, and conflicts perpetuate food insecurity despite a strong global food supply. Citizens of Marina, California fight to protect their depleted aquifer from over-pumping. Water trucks arrive to aid people displaced by a recent escalation of violence in Afghanistan’s Khogyani District.

“[T]his project would ignore the groundwater act’s environmental protections, deplete scarce water resources, and allow further seawater intrusion into the aquifer.” –Bruce Delgado, mayor of Marina, California, in reference to a bid by the California American Water Company (Cal Am) to sink slant wells in the City of Marina. If permitted, the wells would draw brackish groundwater from one of California’s most over-drafted groundwater basins. Residents of Marina fear that their water supply could be devastated if Cal Am is allowed to pump from the aquifer. San Francisco Chronicle

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By The Numbers

37 Number of countries that require external food assistance, mostly due to a combination of flood, drought, and conflict, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Agency. Twenty-nine of the countries are in Africa, along with hotspots such as Bangladesh and Yemen. UN News Centre

7 hours Length of time that Indian farmers staged a “rasta roko” (roadblock) on the Hubbali-Vjayapura highway to demand a solution to the Mahadayi water-sharing dispute between the states of Karnataka and Goa. The farmers, frustrated by the inaction of local representatives, burnt tires and shouted anti-government slogans. Deccan Herald

Science, Studies, And Reports

Water trucks arrived to aid Afghanis displaced by renewed fighting in the country’s Khogyani district, according to a report by the UN’s OCHA. Recent hostilities have displaced over 50,000 people in the region. Relief Web

On The Radar

The United Nations Security Council voted to allow UN peacekeepers in Mali to assist a 5,000-troop, anti-extremist African force. The peacekeeper support will include providing water, fuel, medicine, and other essentials. ABC News