The Stream, August 1: Australia Moves to Expand Mining Operations Under Sydney Water Catchment

The Global Rundown

New South Wales, Australia, moves forward with the expansion of a mine under Sydney’s water catchment despite warnings from an independent panel that there was inadequate data to support the enlargement. Officials in Hanoi, Vietnam, consider evacuating thousands amid heavy rains. A draft environmental assessment of an alternative route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline claims the new path would do “minor to moderate” harm to water supplies. Laos assures residents that its state-operated dams are safe as monsoon rains inundate the country. German farmers call for $1 billion in drought relief. Kolkata, India, grapples with intensifying water issues.

“We should not be putting a handful of potential jobs ahead of the safety and security of the drinking water for millions of people in Sydney.” –Jeremy Buckingham, a New South Wales politician, in reference to plans to expand mining operations under Sydney’s water catchment despite minimal data on the potential impacts. The provincial government approved the expansion on Monday instead of waiting on two forthcoming reports detailing possible environmental impacts. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

14,000 Households that face potential evacuation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Officials are contemplating whether to order the evacuations as heavy rains raise the Bui River, which lies 12 miles from downtown Hanoi, to “alarming levels.” Reuters

1 billion euros ($1.17 billion USD) Amount of special aid that drought-stricken farmers across Germany are requesting from the government. Hot temperatures and poor rainfall have caused an estimated $1.6 million in crop damage this year. The German government says it will wait for an August harvest report before deciding whether to grant the aid. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A draft environmental assessment by the Trump administration found that an alternative route for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, which would run through Nebraska, would have “minor to moderate” effects on water and wildlife. Ranchers and environmentalists have been fighting the pipeline for several years, saying it will disrupt water, land, and cultural resources. Reuters

On The Radar

EDL-Generation Pcl, the government-controlled power producer in Laos, is assuring citizens that its 10 hydroelectric dams are safe despite heavy monsoon rains. The announcement comes after an under-construction dam, which was not operated by EDL, collapsed in Laos last week. Bloomberg

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily updates on India’s water crisis.

Kolkata, India, home to 14 million people, is becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate change. In recent years, the metropolis has endured a rise in heat waves, storms, cyclones, and floods. The city also continues to expand, building over lakes, canals, and wetlands, while simultaneously doing little to prepare for climate change. The New York Times

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