The Global Rundown
Drought, flooding, and other natural disasters threaten half of U.S. military bases worldwide, according to a Pentagon report. Taps are on the verge of running dry in several major global cities, including Mexico City, Mexico; Melbourne, Australia; and Kabul, Afghanistan. Researchers find that trees in Australia ‘sweat’ to survive extremely hot, dry spells. Central South Africa and the landlocked nation of Lesotho begin to experience water shortages. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delays the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule by two years.
“The 2015 WOTUS rule developed by the Obama administration will not be applicable for the next two years, while we work through the process of providing long-term regulatory certainty across all 50 states about what waters are subject to federal regulation.” –Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, in reference to a delay of the WOTUS rule. The Trump administration is working to repeal the rule altogether. The Hill
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
Cape Town Outlines Plans for Emergency Water Distribution – Residents will be allowed 25 liters (6.6 gallons) per person per day at 200 collection points.
By The Numbers
40 percent Proportion of the world’s population affected by water scarcity. Cities are at the forefront of the problem, as booming populations increase pressure on water reserves. In addition to Cape Town, South Africa, several other major cities are experiencing acute water shortages, including São Paulo, Brazil; Lima, Peru; Amman, Jordan; Mexico City, Mexico; Melbourne, Australia; and Kabul, Afghanistan. Reuters
32 percent Current capacity of dams in Lesotho, a landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa. The low dam levels are raising concerns in South Africa’s heartland, which obtains part of its water supply from Lesotho. Reuters
Science, Studies, And Reports
Climate change poses a threat to nearly half of U.S. military bases, according to a new Pentagon study. The U.S. Department of Defense found that 1,700 sites worldwide are at risk from droughts, flooding, wind, and other natural disasters. The Guardian
In context: U.S. Military aims to improve water security, climate resilience
On The Radar
A year-long experiment in Australia found that trees exposed to extreme climate change conditions released water in order to survive. Although photosynthesis came to a halt, the trees continued to “sweat” amid intensely hot, dry spells. Researchers plan to conduct further simulations to see what happens if trees run out of water, or are exposed to longer heatwaves. The Guardian
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter