The Stream, April 10: Drought-Stricken Israel Plans to Build New Desalination Plants

The Global Rundown

Israel plans to build two new desalination plants to combat ongoing drought. A deadly oil spill dirties waterways as it spreads along the coast of Borneo, Indonesia. Mountain snowpack in Colorado shrinks to 66 percent of its normal size. California revives the possibility of a two-tunnel water delivery project  Environmental groups organize clean-ups of Asia’s heavily polluted Yangtze River. Michigan announces that water in the city of Flint has been restored and ends the distribution of free water bottles.

“… Trust was broken, and families in Flint still don’t feel that the water in their homes is safe to drink.” –Jim Ananich, a Michigan senator, in reference to a recent announcement that healthy drinking water has been restored in the city of Flint, where high levels of lead contamination were detected four years ago. Data shows that lead contamination in the city’s water has decreased, but many residents continue to question the safety of their drinking water. Detroit Free Press

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – April 9, 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 water rights in New Mexico, Australia’s Murray-Darling basin plan, and Libya’s Great Man-Made River.

HotSpots H2O, April 9: Spotlight on Libya  – In 2011, amid the chaos of civil war, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. Unrest continues today, along with the breakdown of basic services such as water and sanitation.

By The Numbers

1.5 million tonnes Amount of plastic that Asia’s Yangtze River carries out to sea each year. In an effort to minimize pollution and protect marine life, environmental groups in China are organizing volunteer clean-ups of the contaminated river. Al Jazeera

16 miles Distance that a deadly oil spill has spread along the coast of Borneo, Indonesia. The spill, which happened last week and killed several people when it ignited, has tainted local waterways. The Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Mountain snowpack in Colorado is 66 percent below normal, according to a recent survey, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare drought in nearly a quarter of the state. This year’s stream flows are expected to be half of average, raising concerns about adequate water supply. The Denver Post

On The Radar

Israel plans to build two new desalination plants and expand pipelines to help combat five years of continuous drought. The prolonged dry spell has stressed the country’s existing desalination plants and left natural water sources at their lowest levels in a century. Reuters

Earlier this year, California largely dismissed the possibility of a two-tunnel water delivery project, but the option is back on the table at the request of several board members of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California. On Tuesday, the MWD board will vote on whether to provide $5.2 billion in funding for a single tunnel, or up to $10.8 billion for a two-tunnel system. Los Angeles Times

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