The Stream, December 13: Tackling Water Pollution a Top Priority, Says China

The Global Rundown

China announces an increased focus on fighting water pollution. Industry officials warn that India’s sugarcane output may fall next year as drought hampers planting. Farmers in parts of southern Bolivia rely on contaminated river water to irrigate their fields. Michigan lawmakers approve a bill to replace the decades-old Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. A drought-contingency plan to preserve the Lake Mead reservoir heads to the Arizona state legislature.

“While it’s probably not perfect, it’s close. It’s good.” –Leslie Meyers, an official at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in reference to a drought-contingency plan intended to conserve water levels in Lake Mead, a key reservoir in the western U.S. After weeks of deliberation, the plan received approval from the board of the Central Arizona Project. The $135 million plan will now head to the Arizona Legislature. Arizona Daily Star

In context: Lake Mead Record Low Reflects Changing American West.

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By The Numbers

62.5 percent Proportion of crops sold at markets in La Paz, Bolivia, that a recent audit deemed “rejectable” quality. Farmers living downstream of the Bolivian capital rely on river water to irrigate their fields, but the water is contaminated with untreated sewage and other pollutants. Farmers say they know the risks of growing crops with the tainted water, but that clean water is too expensive to use in irrigation. The New York Times

65 years Age of the Line 5 pipeline, which carries oil and natural gas between Wisconsin and Ontario. On Tuesday, the Michigan Legislature approved a $350-$500 million plan to replace a stretch of the pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. The project is expected to take seven to 10 years. The New York Times

In context: Study: Line 5 Oil Spill Would Inundate Large Swaths Of Great Lakes Shoreline.

Science, Studies, And Reports

As drought grips India’s major sugar-producing states, industry experts warn that the country’s cane output will likely drop in 2019/2020. Overall, production during this period is expected to be between 28-29 million tonnes, down from 31.5-32 million tonnes this year. Reuters

On The Radar

The Chinese government announced a change in priorities on Wednesday, saying it will place extra emphasis on infrastructure, exports, and fighting water pollution in coming years. At the same time, China plans to work on efforts to minimize overcapacity for its coal and steel industries. Reuters

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