The Stream, February 22: A Study of 571 European Cities Details Risks from Floods, Droughts, Heatwaves

The Global Rundown

A recent study models flood, drought, and heatwave risks for 571 cities in Europe. Farmers in California are told to expect minimal water as the state’s drought worsens. Cape Town, South Africa, hopes to serve as a “beacon of hope” for other water-stressed cities across the globe. Solar-powered water pumps provide a lifeline for Nepali villagers. African nations, especially those reliant on hydropower, are urged to diversify their energy supplies.

“You need a mix that allows you to mitigate those types of issues.” –George Njenga, GE Power’s regional executive for sub-Saharan Africa, in reference to diversifying energy sources to alleviate the impact of drought. Industry experts are urging African nations to avoid complete reliance on hydropower following a number of severe dry spells throughout the region. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – February 19, 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. Listen to this week’s edition to hear coverage on Cape Town’s Day Zero, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and other WaterNews from across the globe.

HotSpots H2O: Spotlight on SomaliaLow rainfall is largely to blame for Somalia’s drought, but ineffective governance and ongoing conflict have also played a role.

By The Numbers

10 billion liters Amount of water that the Groenland farmers association released from their private reservoirs into one of the main dams for Cape Town, South Africa. The farmers’ water, along with a decrease in urban water use, has pushed Cape Town’s Day Zero to July 9. As Day Zero continues to move further into the future, officials hope that the city’s resilience will be a “beacon of hope” for other water-stressed cities. Reuters

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.

40,000 liters Amount of water provided to Nepali villagers each day by a huge solar panel pump. After Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, many Nepalis found themselves without access to clean water. The solar-powered water pump, which serves about 120 households, has improved water availability and slowed the spread of waterborne diseases. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A three-year study by Newcastle University modeled the potential impacts of floods, droughts, and heatwaves in 571 European cities by the year 2050-2100. Researchers found that the effects of climate change could be worse than previously thought, even in “low-impact” scenarios. The study predicts that all 571 cities will endure worsening heatwaves, and many could experience a sharp increase in floods and droughts. The Guardian

On The Radar

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation warned farmers south of California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that they should expect only 20 percent of their requested water allocation from the federal Central Valley Project. Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is at 20 percent of normal levels and the state’s rainfall has been scarce. Sacramento Bee

In context: Choke Point Index: California Central Valley