The Stream, February 1: Half of U.S. Military Bases Worldwide Are Threatened by Climate Change

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 DistributionResidents 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