The Stream, March 15: Turkish Troops Cut Water Supply to Afrin, Syria

The Global Rundown

Turkish troops seize the main dam and water plant supplying Afrin, Syria, leaving thousands without water. A U.S. federal judge rules that the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for recurring flooding along the Missouri River. Residents of Kenya’s largest slum brace for a week of heavy rains and floods. California Governor Jerry Brown proposes new fees to pay for a clean-up of the state’s contaminated water systems. Kansas declares a drought emergency as dry weather threatens winter wheat yields across the U.S. Plains.

“I fear there is going to be a notable loss of plant population if we don’t see a rain event.” –David Streit, an agricultural meteorologist with the Commodity Weather Group, in reference to dry conditions across the U.S. Plains which are jeopardizing winter wheat yields. Twenty percent of Kansas, the top wheat-producing state, is under extreme to exceptional drought, prompting Governor Jeff Colyer to declare a drought emergency in 28 counties. Reuters

Further reporting by Circle of Blue on agriculture in Kansas: Kansas farmers cut Ogallala water use – and still make money

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Water-Stressed Beijing Exhausts Its Options – After depleting groundwater reserves, China’s capital is becoming increasingly reliant on water pumped from the country’s flood-prone South.

What’s Up With Water – March 12, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a snapshot for the start of the workweek. Listen to this week’s edition to hear coverage on groundwater conservation in Kansas, accusations of water theft from the Murray-Darling basin, and conflict in drought-stricken Somalia.

By The Numbers

500,000-1 million Estimated number of people who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya. Meteorologists have warned Kenyans to brace for a week of heavy rains and flooding, events that are especially devastating in Kibera, where poor drainage leads to water pollution, improper sanitation, and waterborne diseases. Al Jazeera

1 million Number of Californians who are exposed to contaminated water in their homes and communities each year. California Governor Jerry Brown has proposed new fees for residential and commercial water users in order to fund a clean-up of the contaminated systems. The Sacramento Bee

In context: California mobile home park residents face barriers to clean water

Science, Studies, And Reports

A U.S. federal judge ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for recurring flooding in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. The ruling was based on reports of river mismanagement by the Corps of Engineers, which controls the system of dams and locks along the Missouri River. The flooding has allegedly caused $300 million in damages since 2004. U.S. News & World Report

On The Radar

Water to Afrin, Syria, has been cut for a week after Turkish troops seized the city’s main dam and water plant, forcing residents to rely on untreated water from boreholes. The situation is expected to worsen as Turkey attempts to take Afrin town from the Kurdish YPG militia. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, March 12: Spotlight on recent unrest in Syria.

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