The Stream, February 13: Philippine President Threatens to Shut Down Popular Tourist Island Due to Water and Sewage Mismanagement

The Global Rundown

The Philippine President threatens to close tourist hotspot Boracay as overdevelopment turns the island into a “sewer pool.” Data gathered from a remote area of the South Indian Ocean reveals an alarming amount of plastic contamination. A multi-million dollar project connects researchers with urban officials in an effort to build resilient cities. Cyclone Gita causes flash floods in Samoa and is now moving toward Tonga. As drought looms in California, questions arise as to why a $2.7bn fund to increase water storage capacity has gone unused.

“Four years later [after the bond vote] and no storage money has been spent. That’s the disgusting and frustrating way government works.” –Jim Nielsen, a California Senator, in reference to a $2.7 billion bond earmarked for water storage expansion that has gone untouched. Voters eagerly approved the funding during the state’s last drought, but the California Water Commission has failed to allocate any of the money so far. Los Angeles Times

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – a condensation of the world’s water February 12, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a snapshot for the start of the workweek.

HotSpots H2O, February 12: Spotlight on Drought and Unrest in Iran  – Scarce rainfall and poor water management have led to prolonged drought in Iran.

By The Numbers

42 particles per cubic metre Number of plastic particles detected in an “extremely” remote area of the South Indian Ocean. The high number of particles surprised researchers and fueled ongoing concern over the global scale of plastic pollution. The Guardian

In context: Vietnam’s tourism and fishing industries drown in waste.

2 million Number of domestic and foreign tourists who travel to the Philippines’ Boracay island each year. Rapid development has led to improper sewage and water treatment practices throughout the island. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is threatening to shut down the Boracay’s tourism if an urgent clean-up is not conducted. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A $3.7 million initiative, launched over the weekend, will pair researchers and urban officials in an effort to build resilient cities. The project, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, will focus on projects such as flood defense infrastructure, clean water systems, and the addition of green spaces in major cities. Reuters

On The Radar

Tropical Cyclone Gita hit the two Samoas on Saturday, causing extensive flooding and damage to homes and utilities. The cyclone, which could strengthen into a Category 4 storm, is now en route to the island kingdom of Tonga. Al Jazeera