The Global Rundown
Michigan health director Nick Lyon is set to stand trial over involuntary manslaughter charges related to the Flint water crisis. The thickest sea ice in the Arctic breaks up for the first time on record. Floodwaters begin to recede in swamped Kerala, India. A long-term study of California’s Carrizo Plain details the impacts of drought on plant and animals species. Elsewhere in California, farmers protest a plan to increase water flow in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Aid groups warn of looming water, food, and medicine shortages in Syria.
“People will be stranded with nowhere to go, with no aid–what other word can we use besides catastrophic.” –Joelle Bassoul, a spokeswoman for Care International, in reference to an impending army offensive against rebel-held Idlib, Syria. Living conditions in Idlib are already dire, with acute shortages of clean water, food, and healthcare. If the offensive takes place, aid agencies warn that it would cause extreme suffering among civilians. Reuters
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
What’s Up With Water – August 20, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a weekly snapshot. Coverage this week includes: devastating monsoon flooding in Kerala, water shortages in Delhi, and drought in Australia.
HotSpots H2O, August 20: Taliban Attack on Ghazni, Afghanistan, Cuts Off Water, Power – After a five-day siege, conditions in Ghazni remain “particularly grim,” according to the United Nations. The battle shut down water supply, electricity, and telecommunications in the city of 270,000.
By The Numbers
17 °C (63 °F) A record-high temperature recorded last week at the Arctic’s Kap Morris Jesup weather station. At the same time, the strongest ice in the Arctic has begun to break up for the second time this year, an event which has never been observed until this summer. Warm winds and a northern hemisphere heatwave caused the phenomenon, which could cause long-term changes to the Arctic sea ice. The Guardian
10,000 Number of salmon that have returned to California’s San Joaquin Basin in 2017, compared with 70,000 in 1985. In an attempt to revitalize the salmon population, California is considering a plan that would boost the amount of water that must flow freely through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Farmers, however, say that the plan would leave less water for farms in the state’s Central Valley. The New York Times
Science, Studies, And Reports
A decade-long study of California’s Carrizo Plain, a “global hotspot of endangered species,” details how plants and animals in the valley reacted to the state’s 2012-2015 drought. Researchers found that some endangered species actually thrived as the dry spell dwindled numbers of the “dominant” species. The study also noted that carnivores, such as coyotes and badgers, were hardest hit at the end of the drought. Science Daily
On The Radar
Nick Lyon, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director, is set to stand trial for two counts of involuntary manslaughter due to the deaths of two men from Legionnaires’ disease during the Flint water crisis. Prosecutors say that Lyon failed to protect the public despite knowledge of Flint’s contaminated water, and also tried to cover up the source of the city’s 2014-2015 Legionnaires’ outbreak. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for next week. MLive
In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.
Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.
Floodwaters are beginning to recede in Kerala, India, where the worst monsoon flooding in a century ravaged homes and businesses. Authorities are now prioritizing the restoration of clean drinking water and electricity to Kerala’s 33 million residents. The Guardian
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