The Stream, December 28: Lower Himalayas of India and Nepal Face Water Crisis

The Global Rundown

Rising ocean temperatures and poor waste management devastate the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Aging water lines in Omaha, Nebraska, break as frigid weather sweeps across the Midwestern U.S. Small towns and villages in the lower Himalayas of India and Nepal run low on water. New Delhi, India, raises water tariffs by 20 percent. Aid agencies name water and sanitation as one of the top priorities in 2018.

“The government does not consider the side effects [of tourism], such as trash and damage to our environment.” –Rabeen Vasudev, a teacher in Mussoorie, India, in reference to the growing environmental threats facing the lower Himalayas. Increased tourism, shrinking groundwater resources, and changing weather patterns are sapping the region’s water supply. The Guardian

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

The Year in Water, 2017 – A new era of severe environmental and economic disruption around the world upends freshwater supplies.

Cape Town’s “Day Zero” Approaches – Local authorities estimate that taps will be turned off by April 29, 2018.

By The Numbers

5 Number of water lines that have broken in Omaha, Nebraska, amid this week’s frigid temperatures. Many of the pipes are 100 years old and made of cast iron, which can fracture when the weather is cold and dry. U.S. News & World Report

In context: The age of U.S.drinking water pipes – From Civil War era to today.

20 percent Amount that water tariffs increased in New Delhi, India, earlier this week. The jump in water and sewage charges applies to water use above 20,000 liters. The Economic Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

Environmental societies are calling for greater protection of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which stretches 700 miles along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Mass tourism, poor waste management, and global warming are wreaking havoc on the reef, with up to 80 percent of corals in the southern region showing signs of bleaching. The Guardian

On The Radar

In a summary of aid agencies’ priorities for 2018, the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC) listed providing access to water and sanitation as one of their top goals for the upcoming year. Other groups, such as ActionAid, highlighted the importance of supporting drought-stricken communities. Reuters