The Stream, April 18: Australia’s Northern Territory Lifts Fracking Ban on 700,000 sq km, Raising Concerns of Water Contamination

The Global Rundown

Australia’s Northern Territory lifts a ban on hydraulic fracturing, opening up 700,000 square kilometers to gas exploration. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh brace for the oncoming monsoon season. Four states in the Upper Colorado River Basin accuse Arizona of withdrawing too much water from the Colorado River. The India Meteorological Department predicts normal monsoon rains for the country in 2018. Logging in the Solomon Islands is jeopardizing water quality, a study finds. Drought in Mauritania forces male pastoralists to travel in search of pasture, leaving women in villages to manage harvests and household finances.

“Transhumance – the seasonal migration of pastoralists and their herds to neighboring Senegal or Mali – normally starts in October but the rains were so bad last year that people started leaving in August.” –El Hacen Ould Taleb, head of a local charity, in reference to the severe drought in Mauritania. Although the drought has disrupted the lives of Mauritania’s pastoralists, it has also fostered independence and economic involvement among the country’s women, who manage village affairs while their husbands are away. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – April 16, 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 a cholera outbreak in Malawi, plans for boosting desalination in Israel, and the most endangered river in the United States.

HotSpots H2O, April 16: Spotlight on the Refugee Influx in Uganda   – Uganda is home to the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis. The rapid influx is putting increasing stress on the country’s water availability.

By The Numbers

700,000 square kilometers Amount of land that was recently opened up to hydraulic fracturing in Australia’s Northern Territory. Last month, an independent report found that the risks associated with fracking could be adequately managed, but residents fear the practice will jeopardize the territory’s water supplies. The Guardian

42 percent Likelihood of normal rainfall in India during the upcoming monsoon season, according to the India Meteorological Society (IMD). The IMD claims that there is a low probability of drought in India in 2018. The Times of India

Science, Studies, And Reports

The Wildlife Conservation Society studied the impacts of logging on the Solomon Islands and found that increasing deforestation is threatening water quality. Even with good management strategies, the logging causes an unsustainable amount of soil erosion, dirtying downstream water. Science Daily

On The Radar

The Upper Colorado commission, consisting of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, and the U.S. government, has accused the agency that runs of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) of diverting too much water to Arizona’s major cities. The commission alleged that CAP is manipulating operations at Colorado River reservoirs in order to keep more water for Tucson, Phoenix, and Pinal County. Arizona Daily Star

In Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, home to nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees, aid workers rush to stock clinics and strengthen shelters before the monsoon and cyclone seasons arrive. The upcoming rains are expected to exacerbate conditions in the refugee camp, where water pollution, improper sanitation, and waterborne diseases are already rampant. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, February 7: Spotlight on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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