The Stream, July 17: Hundreds of Rivers Overflow in China Amid Heavy Rains

The Global Rundown

Heavy rains cause intense flooding along hundreds of Chinese rivers. A new study claims that Cape Town’s severe drought was three times more likely due to climate change. Violent protests in Iraq, partially fueled by chronic water shortages, spread across the country. Residents in a Mexican mountain town turn to Coca-Cola amid limited water access. In the midst of a sweltering summer, residents of the Gaza Strip swim in the Mediterranean Sea despite wastewater pollution.

“We can see the sewage clearly, and we still come here – it costs us nothing. Life is depressing and difficult and people have no escape but the sea.” –Maher Taha, a resident of the Gaza Strip, in reference to swimming in the Mediterranean despite heavy wastewater contamination. Chronic power shortages in Gaza mean a majority of sewage goes untreated and is discharged directly into the sea. The power cuts have complicated household water access in Gaza as well. Reuters

In context: Israel’s Mediterranean Desalination Plants Shift Regional Water Balance.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – July 16, 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: flooding in Japan, toxic river pollution in Bangladesh, and drought along the Colorado River.

HotSpots H2O, July 16: War, Drought, and Upstream Dams Hinder Water Access in Iraq   – In Iraq, water availability has been both a casualty and a catalyst of conflict.

By The Numbers

3 People killed in protests in Iraq during the past week. Dozens more have been injured in the demonstrations, which are driven by widespread unemployment and a lack of basic services throughout the country. The Independent

In context: HotSpots H2O, July 16: War, Drought, and Upstream Dams Hinder Water Access in Iraq.

2 liters (0.53 gallons) Average amount of Coca-Cola consumed each day by residents of San Cristóbal de las Casas, a mountain town in Mexico’s Chiapas state. Potable water is nearly nonexistent in San Cristóbal, prompting many residents to drink cheap, easily-accessible Coca-Cola instead. The heavy soda consumption is having detrimental effects on residents’ health. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

A new analysis by the World Weather Attribution group claims that Cape Town’s devastating drought was three times more likely due to climate change. According to researchers, Cape Town’s intense water shortage was a rare event, and is unlikely to repeat itself soon. Still, the study’s risk-based, multi-method approach showed that climate change increased the likelihood of such a drought by roughly three times, and could intensify future drought risk as well. World Weather Attribution

In context: Cape Town’s Harrowing Journey to the Brink of Water Catastrophe.

On The Radar

Heavy rains and thunderstorms in China have caused 241 rivers in 24 provinces to overflow in recent days, totaling nearly $4 billion dollars in economic losses. More storms are expected in coming days. Reuters

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

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