The Stream, April 6: Human Interventions Along the Mississippi River Increased Flooding, Study Finds

The Global Rundown

A new study finds a link between human interventions and increased flooding along the Mississippi River. The Philippines government approves a six-month closure of Boracay, a heavily-polluted tourist hotspot. Australia’s Murray-Darling basin plan crumbles amid mismanagement, water theft, and ongoing debates. Early forecasts warn that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be above average. Commercial agriculture and minimal rainfall devastate water supply in rural Morocco.  

“Imagine women and children not washing for a month because there wasn’t drinkable water, and they couldn’t use the salty water.” –Jamal Akchbab, an environmental activist in Zagora, Morocco, which had no running water for three months last summer. On average, Zagora and other Moroccan desert towns receive 2 inches of rain per year. Climate change and commercial agriculture are further stressing the region’s water supply. The shortages have sparked protests and unrest in Morocco’s parched villages. USA Today

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Recurring Dry Spells Fuel Water Worries in Tokyo  – Although Tokyo generally enjoys plentiful rainfall, the Japanese megacity could soon face water shortages.

What’s Up With Water – April 2, 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 drought-driven migration in India, water shortages in Mozambique, and the role of water in Iran’s ongoing protests.

By The Numbers

63 percent Chance that the United States will get hit by a major hurricane during the 2018 Atlantic season, according to an early forecast by Colorado State University. Researchers predict the season will be “above average,” and could include up to 14 named storms. Bloomberg

86 percent Proportion of residential and business properties on the Philippines’ Boracay island that have no sewage discharge permit and are likely draining wastewater directly into the sea. The inadequate disposal of sewage and trash have prompted the government to close Boracay for 6 months in order to clean up the island’s polluted shores. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

A new study of the Lower Mississippi River analyzed flood patterns over the past 500 years and found that the volume and frequency of flooding events has increased in the last 150 years. Researchers believe that the increased flooding is due to human interventions, such as levees and channels that were put in place to straighten the river. The Washington Post

On The Radar

Australia’s Murray-Darling basin plan, which began in 2012 and was intended to restore Australia’s inland river system, is struggling to move forward amid mismanagement and unmet expectations. The plan has cost the government $9 billion so far, but has failed to deliver widespread environmental improvements. Several key adjustments to the plan are now being debated in the Australian senate. The Guardian

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