The Global Rundown
A new report by the World Bank and the FAO finds that poor institutional choices are exacerbating water issues in the Middle East and North Africa. Experts warn that post-conflict recovery in Syria will be hampered by water shortages. China’s Jiangsu province sues a chemical producer for dumping waste lye into the Yangtze River. Tourism falters in flood-hit Kerala, India. Flood in eastern China cause over $1 billion in economic losses this month. Rains renew hope in parched Australia, but officials warn that drought will continue.
“We can already see the little shoots of weed … coming through, which is just really encouraging.” –Min Coleman, a farmer in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, in reference to new growth after the province’s first rainfall in months. Some areas of NSW and Queensland enjoyed more than an inch of long-anticipated rain over the weekend. Other areas, though, received barely any precipitation, and officials say the drought is far from over. The Guardian
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
Toxic Water, Toxic Crops — India’s Public Health Time Bomb — Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food.
HotSpots H2O, August 27: Gaza Fuel Shortage Could Shut Down Hospitals, Water, and Sanitation Facilities — Fuel, medicine, and other essentials are running low in the Gaza Strip, threatening to force the closure of hundreds of health, water, and sanitation facilities.
By The Numbers
102 tonnes Amount of waste lye that two individuals working for China’s Anhui Haide Chemical Technology Corporation illegally dumped into the Yangtze River in 2014. The lye dirtied the river and disrupted water supply in the city of Xinghua for severals days. Now, under China’s new environmental compensation guidelines, Jiangsu province has successfully sued Anhui Haide for $8 million in fines. Reuters
$1.45 billion Amount of economic losses caused by flooding this month in China’s eastern Shandong province. The devastating floods were caused by a typhoon and a tropical storm, and left 14 people dead. Reuters
Science, Studies, And Reports
The World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently released a new report on water management in the Middle East and North Africa. The report noted that institutional failures in addressing water crises have compounded fragile situations in the region. Improving water management, says the report, is a key part of building resilience in the Middle East and North Africa. The World Bank
On The Radar
Syria’s civil war is beginning to abate, but analysts warn that recovery efforts could be derailed by water shortages across the country. Drought, poor crop yields, and river-sharing disputes threaten to plunge Syria into another round of conflict. Voice of America
Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.
Twelve percent of economic revenues in Kerala, India, come from tourism, but the industry is slumping after the worst flooding in a century. Roads, railways, and airports were damaged by the deluge. A majority of bookings for August and September have been cancelled, and the industry is expected to continue experiencing losses throughout peak season, which begins in October. Al Jazeera
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