The Stream, December 5: El Niño Could Cut Colombia’s Rainfall by 80 Percent, Environmental Minister Warns

The Global Rundown

The emerging El Niño weather pattern may slash Colombia’s rainfall by 80 percent in the first months of 2019, the country’s environment minister warns. Newark, New Jersey, continues to grapple with lead contamination in its water supply. Atlanta, Georgia, lifts its citywide boil-water advisory. Tourism is straining water supplies on Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands. The Australian Conservation Foundation launches a water-related court challenge against the proposed Carmichael mine.

“Water is precious on our dry continent, yet Adani [mining company] wants to take billions of litres of river water every year – nearly as much as all local farmers combined.” –Kelly O’Shanassy, the chief executive of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), in reference to Adani’s planned Carmichael coal mine. The ACF launched a federal court challenge against the proposed mine, saying that Australia’s environment minister failed to adequately assess the mine’s impact on Queensland water supplies. The Guardian

In context: Australia Coal Mines Prompt Concerns about Groundwater and Climate.

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By The Numbers

80 percent Amount that El Niño could reduce rainfall in Colombia during the first quarter of 2019, according to the country’s environment minister. Previous El Niño events have caused crops failures and flash flooding in Colombia. Reuters

40,000 Water filters distributed in Newark, New Jersey, as part of the city’s plan to address lead contamination in its drinking water supplies. An analysis showed that lead is entering Newark’s water system due to ineffective corrosion treatment at the city’s Pequannock plant. Officials are also trying to trace the source of elevated lead levels in homes served by the city’s Wanaque plant. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

Local sources report that a water crisis is unfolding on Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands, a popular tourist hotspot. The growing number of visitors is straining the islands’ freshwater sources, and also leading to pollution as businesses drill new borewells in areas contaminated with pathogens and heavy metals. TIME

On The Radar

A citywide boil water advisory in Atlanta, Georgia, was lifted on Tuesday afternoon after test results showed no contamination in the wake of a water pressure failure. The advisory was put in place the morning of Monday, December 3. AJC

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