The Stream, January 26: California Mulls Water Delivery Alternatives After Funding Efforts Fail

The Global Rundown

California considers alternatives to the $17 billion delta tunnel project after funding efforts fail. Flooding and landslides disrupt railway lines across Scotland. Scientists discover a drought-resistant strain of wild rice in Australia’s crocodile-infested waters. England plans to cut back on plastic pollution by installing free water refill points in every major town and city. Thames Water hires former detectives to investigate water theft in London.

“We’re not out to get people, but it’s against the law to dig up the road, find our water mains and illegally connect to our network. Thousands of litres of drinking water are lost every day. ” –Stuart Orchard, a former detective, in reference to the widespread water theft across London and its suburbs. In response, Thames Water has hired a team of ex-detectives to catch water thieves. BBC

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By The Numbers

6 Number of railway lines in Scotland that have been affected by landslides and flooding, including the Edinburgh-Glasgow line. Storm Georgina is bringing heavy rains and 80-90mph winds to the country. The Guardian

1,600 Number of water refill stations across the United Kingdom, which are being installed as part of an initiative to cut back on plastic waste. Organizers of the initiative plan to have water refill points in every major town and city in England by 2021. BBC

Science, Studies, And Reports

A team of international researchers recently found wild rice in northern Australia with drought and pest resistant traits. The rice, which has been previously overlooked due to its location in crocodile-infested waters, could potentially be bred into a high-yield, nutritious commercial strain. Reuters

On The Radar

California is weighing its option after failing to raise enough funds for a $17 billion water delivery project, which would have featured two giant water tunnels. The project’s budget is now less than $10 billion, and the project is expected to reduce the proposed tunnels from two to one that runs under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Los Angeles Times