The Stream, June 29: Water-Related Quarrels and Killings Rattle Parched New Delhi

The Global Rundown

Summer drought leads to brawls and killings in and around New Delhi, India. A persistent dry spell causes a rat “plague” in Inner Mongolia. Nearly half of South Asia will be affected by changes in temperatures and rainfall by 2050, according to World Bank estimates. The U.S. Forest Service offers a three-year permit to Nestlé, which would allow the bottled water company to continue extracting California groundwater. Farmers in the United Kingdom rush to protect crops and cattle as soaring temperatures deplete water supply.

“Bottled water is hopelessly impractical for cows, so you have cows in this heatwave that haven’t got anything to drink. It’s a desperate situation. It is not just us, it’s affecting a whole load of farms in the area. It’s having a huge effect on business.” –Richard Webster, a farmer near Ashbourne, England, in reference to the impact of water shortages on area cattle. Webster’s farm is currently without running water, and his local water utility offered only bottled water to hydrate his cattle. A scorching heatwave is threatening livestock and crops across the U.K. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

9.8 million acres Amount of land in Inner Mongolia that is experiencing a rat “plague” due to prolonged drought. Dry conditions, which rats are able to adjust to easily, are currently affecting 40 percent of the remote region. Reuters

3 Number of people who have been killed in recent skirmishes over water in New Delhi, India. Water-related fights have been a frequent occurrence in the Indian capital as long summer months exhaust supply. Much-anticipated monsoon rains are expected to arrive later this week. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

More than 800 million South Asians currently live in areas that could become climate “hotspots” in coming decades, according to a World Bank analysis. The study integrated household survey data with future temperature and rainfall predictions, and concluded that half of South Asia will likely be negatively impacted by climate change. Reuters

On The Radar

The U.S. Forest Service offered Nestlé, the United States’ largest bottled-water company, a three-year permit allowing the brand to continue withdrawing water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest. Nestlé has extracted an average of 62.6 million gallons of water from the forest since 1947, but a recent investigation found that the company lacked proper permits for the withdrawals. Nestlé has 2 months to decide if they will accept the new offer. NPR

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