The Stream, June 1: Water Use Soars As Pakistan Experiences World Record Heat

The Global Rundown

Water use spikes in Pakistan amid sweltering heat. China struggles to enforce countrywide water quality standards. India shuts down a water-polluting copper plant but makes no plans for groundwater cleanup. Fighting intensifies in Derna, Libya, cutting off the water supply of thousands. Tourists are warned to stay away from Shimla, India, a vacation destination that has been without water for nearly two weeks.

“We have had to close our doors because we’re not able to accept any more bookings.” –Gopal Agarwal, owner of a hotel in Shimla, India, where taps have been dry for more than a week. Residents are urging tourists to stay away from the parched town, a popular Himalayan vacation spot. Shimla is currently relying on trucked-in water. BBC

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What’s Up With Water – May 28, 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: closure of a water-polluting copper plant in India, possible water shortages in England, and water contamination from oil spills in Nigeria.

By The Numbers

50.2 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) Peak temperature in Nawabshah, Pakistan, in April, possibly a new world record for the month. Sweltering heat has persisted in the country for weeks, causing a spike in water use. Officials fear that Pakistan could face severe water shortages soon, with the blistering temperatures expected to continue through June and July. Reuters

125,000 Number of people in Derna, Libya, who have been cut off from their main water supply as fighting escalates in the war-torn city. Humanitarian organizations have been unable to deliver aid to the city, which is also short on food and medicine, since mid-March. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

A recent report by the Chinese government found that, although the country is making progress in combating water contamination, it is struggling to enforce unified pollution standards across all regions. In 2017, water quality across the entire country improved, but 27 sites, including the capital Beijing, saw quality decline. Reuters

In context: Water-stressed Beijing exhausts its options.

On The Radar

Officials in Tamil Nadu, India, have committed to closing down a copper smelting plant that was heavily polluting groundwater in nearby towns. A government report on the pollution, however, mentions nothing about purifying the groundwater, raising fears that that contaminants from the plant will linger for years to come. The Guardian

In context: What’s Up With Water – May 28, 2018

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