The Global Rundown
Egypt limits water-intensive crops as Ethiopia prepares to fill the reservoir behind its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Heavy rainfall and localized flooding is expected in drought-stricken Cape Town, South Africa. Researchers warn that California could experience “precipitation whiplash,” alternation between drought-like conditions and intensely rainy winters. Afghanistan faces severe drought after the driest winter in years. Maputo, Mozambique, implements strict water restrictions amid ongoing drought.
“I don’t have hope. This is a normal crisis. They can have promises of getting water but nothing is done.” –Antonieta Ruben, a 53-year-old widow in Maputo, Mozambique, in reference to deepening water shortages in the city. In the wake of failed rains, Maputo has imposed strict water restrictions and has begun cutting tap water every other day in parts of the city. The city’s poor neighborhoods, which received running water only recently, are most affected. The Guardian
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
What’s Up With Water – April 23, 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 fracking in Australia, the decline of water privatization in Europe, and efforts by the U.S. Air Force to remediate water pollution in Colorado.
HotSpots H2O, April 23: Spotlight on South Sudan – Conflict with anti-government rebels has aggravated water shortages in a country where public services are already in short supply.
By The Numbers
724,000 feddans (750,000 acres) Amount of rice that can be planted in Egypt this year, versus an estimated 1.8 million feddans that were cultivated last year. As Ethiopia prepares to fill the reservoir behind the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam, the Egyptian government is bracing for downstream water shortages by limiting water-intensive crops. Reuters
20 Number of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces that are suffering severe water scarcity. Rain and snowfall in the provinces were at a 60 percent shortfall over the winter, prompting drought emergency alerts across the country. Reuters
Science, Studies, And Reports
A group of climatologists warn that “precipitation whiplash,” a phenomenon where dry, drought-like conditions alternate with severely rainy winters, is becoming increasingly likely in California due to global warming. This weather pattern will strain water supplies, the researchers warn, as warmer, rainy winters lead to less mountain snowpack, making it difficult to store precipitation for drier months. Sacramento Bee
On The Radar
A cold front is descending on South Africa’s Western Cape, prompting the national weather service to issue flood warnings for drought-stricken Cape Town. Rainfall of 5mm to 20mm is expected in the city. News24
In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter