The Stream, July 12: 250,000 Homes Without Water in the Wake of Japan Floods

The Global Rundown

Hundreds of thousands of homes in flood-hit Japan remain without water. A truck crashes in Colorado, spilling mine wastewater into a creek. South Africa’s Western Cape plans to enforce water restrictions until dam levels reach 85 percent. In a re-vote, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California again pledges funding for the state’s delta tunnel project. Falling water levels leave dozens of water buffalo dead in Iraq.

“Water became scarce and boats stopped coming to the area and after that our animals started to lose weight and then die. We gave them medicine, but in vain.” –Ahmed Sabah, a herder in Iraq’s southeastern wetlands. Recently, water levels in the marshes have dropped by a third, alongside increasing water salinity. The harsh conditions have killed at least 30 water buffalo in the past month, and more are expected to die if water levels continue to decline. Reuters

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By The Numbers

254,084 Latest data on the number of homes in Japan’s Hiroshima, Ehime, and Okayama prefectures that are without water following the country’s worst flooding in decades. In many areas, landslides wiped out water pipes and mains, and there is no estimate for when water will be restored. The death toll from the disaster has climbed to 170. The Japan Times

$11 billion Amount of funding re-approved by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for the state’s delta tunnel project. The district was forced to re-vote after some board members were accused of violating California’s open meetings law prior to the original vote. Los Angeles Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

Dam levels in South Africa’s Western Cape are rising steadily, according to weekly progress reports. Overall dam levels have risen to 53.05%, and the province’s largest dam contains nearly twice as much water as this time last year. Despite the improvements, the Western Cape plans to keep water restrictions in place until dams exceed 85 percent capacity. All Africa

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.

On The Radar

A truck from Colorado’s Gold King mine crashed earlier this week, spilling treated wastewater into a creek. In 2015, a spill at the Gold King mine contaminated rivers in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. U.S. News & World Report

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