The Stream, May 1: Australia Persuades the UN to Cut Criticisms of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan from Report

The Global Rundown

The Australian government persuades the United Nations to delete criticism of the Murray-Darling basin plan from a report on irrigation. Egypt hopes to speed up negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. A conservation group plans to formally challenge a Michigan decision to let Nestle withdraw groundwater from the state. The United Nations fails to deliver funding promised to help combat cholera in Haiti. Decades of deforestation threaten water supply in Melbourne, Australia.

“My hope is that at some stage people will wake up and say, ‘Oh my god, that’s the water supply for 4.5 million Melburnians. Is it appropriate to compromise the water supply of soon-to-be Australia’s largest city?”David Lindenmayer, an Australian professor, in reference to the collapse of mountain ash forests near Melbourne. Most of Melbourne’s water catchments lie in the heavily-logged forests. If the forests are damaged or recovering, they draw significantly more water than old forests, which could greatly impact the city’s water supply. The Guardian

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – April 30, 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 water access in India, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, and water withdrawal from Lake Michigan.

HotSpots H2O, April 30: Spotlight on Herder-Farmer Conflict in West AfricaAn ongoing wave of deadly clashes in Nigeria is being perpetrated by “killer herdsmen.” The violence seems to be rooted in scarce resources.

By The Numbers

800,000 Number of Haitians that have contracted cholera in the past eight years. The epidemic began after UN peacekeepers accidentally dumped infected sewage into a river following the country’s 2010 earthquake. The UN subsequently pledged $400 million in funding to improve the country’s sanitation, but only 2 percent of the aid has been provided. Reuters

400 gallons-per-minute Amount that the food and beverage company Nestle is allowed to increase its groundwater withdrawal rate on a wellhead in Evart, Michigan, as of April 2. The Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) announced plans to contest the permit before a state administrative law judge, despite state claims that the permit was carefully reviewed. MLive

Science, Studies, And Reports

Australia successfully convinced the United Nations to delete recent criticisms of the Murray-Darling basin plan from an irrigation report. The “Australia chapter” of the UN’s 2017 “Does Improved Irrigation Technology Save Water?” study, which criticized several facets of the basin plan, has been removed at the urging of the Australian government. The Guardian

On The Radar

Egyptian leaders hope to speed up talks over the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, claiming the Ethiopia is stalling negotiations. The two countries, along with Sudan, are scheduled to meet on May 15 to discuss the $4 billion hydroelectric project. Reuters

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