The Global Rundown
Nairobi, Kenya, seeks new water sources amid faltering rainfall. The mayor of Flint, Michigan, pledges to fight “unwarranted” state oversight of the city’s water system. South Africa lifts its drought national disaster as dry conditions ease. New research shows that annual storm-related flood damages could double as coral reefs die off. Water service slowly returns across Puerto Rico, but problems remain.
“When there is a water shortage it is our children who suffer the most. It is good for our leaders to look for alternative sources of water.” –Damaris Kiarie, a resident of Nairobi, in reference to water shortages in Kenya’s capital. Nairobi receives the majority of its water from the Ndakaini dam, but the dam’s supply is proving inadequate as rains become less predictable. In response, the city hopes to harness nearby wetlands as a new water source. Reuters
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.
HotSpots H2O, June 11: Over 200,000 Rohingya Refugees At Risk from Monsoon Flooding, Landslides – After fleeing brutal attacks in Myanmar, the Rohingya face another threat: monsoon season.
By The Numbers
96 percent Proportion of Puerto Ricans who have their water service restored eight months after Hurricane Maria, according to territory officials. Many residents, however, report ongoing issues with their water supply, including poor quality and intermittent service. TIME
3 months Length of South Africa’s national state of disaster, which was declared in mid-March after months of severe drought. On June 13, the government allowed the state of disaster to lapse due to the end of the country’s “acute” dry spell. Independent Online
In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of Cape Town.
Science, Studies, And Reports
A new study by UC Santa Cruz claims that coral reefs halve the cost of flood-related damages worldwide. The reefs serve as natural barriers against coastal flooding, but they are becoming less effective as large amounts of coral die off. Without living reefs, researchers estimate that annual flooding damages would increase by $4 billion. UC Santa Cruz
On The Radar
Karen Weaver, the mayor of Flint, Michigan, says she refuses to cooperate with “unnecessary and unwarranted” state oversight of the city water system. In a letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Weaver claims that the state oversight will do nothing to further the city’s recovery. A spokeswoman for the DEQ says the organization is reviewing the letter and is committed to working with Flint to restore the city’s water. MLive
In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.
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