The Stream, June 13: Israel Plans to Refill Sea of Galilee As Water Levels Drop to 100-Year Lows

The Global Rundown

Israel plans to pump desalinated water into the Sea of Galilee as the lake drops to its lowest level in a century. National forests in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico close as wildfires spread in the drought-stricken region. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to finish an environmental study of the Dakota Access pipeline within the next two months. Researchers suggest that climate change played a role in the abrupt die-off of several thousand-year-old African baobab trees. Monsoon rains arrive in Bangladesh, killing 12 people.

“Sodden and unstable hills have collapsed over the weekend, destroying latrines. At lower levels, water from flash floods is washing over latrines, carrying sludge through the camps.” –Sanjeev Kafley, a Red Cross representative, in reference to the deteriorating conditions in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the temporary home to thousands of Rohingya refugees. The first wave of heavy monsoon rains arrived in Bangladesh on Monday, and has already killed 12 people and hastened the spread of waterborne diseases. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, June 11: Over 200,000 Rohingya Refugees At Risk from Monsoon Flooding, Landslides.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – June 11, 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: Turkey’s postponement of filling the Ilisu Dam, rising water prices in Egypt, and changes in the speed of tropical cyclones.

Kentucky AG Investigates Rural Water System That Has Been Failing for Decades – State’s top lawyer opens inquiry into the management of the troubled Martin County Water District.

By The Numbers

15 percent Amount that Colorado’s “416” wildfire is contained. The blaze is spreading quickly through the state’s warm, dry forests, prompting the closure of the San Juan National Forest. Drought-stricken National Forests in Arizona and New Mexico have been temporarily closed to visitors as well due to extreme fire danger. NPR

100 cubic metres Amount of desalinated water that Israel plans to pump into the Sea of Galilee annually by 2022. The lake, which once provided a large amount of the region’s freshwater, has dipped to historically low levels. The Guardian

In context: Israel’s Mediterranean desalination plants shift regional water balance.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Four of the 13 largest African baobab trees have died unexpectedly in the last decade, according to a recent study. Researchers say that the iconic trees, which store massive amounts of water and can live up to 3,000 years, are very difficult to kill. The team speculates that climate change may be linked to the sudden deaths, but further research is needed to verify why the demise took place. The Guardian

On The Radar

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that its environmental review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline should be completed within the next two months. The Corps recently consulted four American Indian tribes who are fighting the pipeline in court. The New York Times

In context: At Standing Rock – Water, history, and finance converge as Sioux Nation mounts storied battle over Dakota Access pipeline.

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