The Stream, March 28: Water Supply in Maputo, Mozambique Could Be Wiped Out by El Niño

The Global Rundown

Water supply in Maputo, Mozambique, could be wiped out if an El Niño weather pattern occurs in the coming year. Canada’s Husky Energy faces ten charges over a 2016 pipeline spill that contaminated the North Saskatchewan River. Pakistan faces water shortages after years of poor planning and unchecked urbanization. In 30 years, 3.4 billion people in the Asia Pacific are expected to be living in water-scarce areas. Dozens of people are rescued from flash floods in Cairns, Australia.

“They’ve gone through a devastating ordeal. They’ve lost a lot of their caravans, their vehicles … All of their livelihood, their clothing, all their personal belongings would be damaged.” –Lance Duncan, a member of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, in reference to flash floods that swept through two caravan parks near Cairns, Australia and stranded 42 people. Cairns is experiencing its worst flooding in years, with 24-hour rainfall totaling 600mm (23.6 inches) in some areas. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

25 percent Current capacity of the Pequenos Libombos dam, which provides water to Maputo, Mozambique. The minimal water supply must last the city until the next rainy season, which starts in November. Meteorologists have warned that Maputo’s increasingly low water supply could be completely depleted if an El Niño weather pattern brings drought to southern Africa next year. All Africa

10 years Length of time until the population of Pakistan will face severe water shortages, largely due to years of rapid population growth and poor water management. Government leaders are being urged to invest in water infrastructure, as most of the country is reliant on a network of 100-year-old irrigation canals. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

Researchers predict that, in the next 30 years, 3.4 billion people in the Asia Pacific will be living in water-scarce areas. Population growth and urbanization are increasing both residential and agricultural water demand, and that climate change is exacerbating the problem. Al Jazeera

On The Radar

Canada’s Husky Energy Inc. is facing ten federal and provincial charges related to a 2016 pipeline leak that released 1,570 barrels of oil into the North Saskatchewan River. The spill forced a number of Saskatchewan cities to temporarily stop drawing drinking water from the river. The company is expected to appear in court on Thursday. Reuters  

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