The Stream, May 23: Oil Spills Poison 90 Percent of Groundwater in Nigeria’s Ogoniland

The Global Rundown

Decades of oil spills dirty the water in Nigeria’s Ogoni region. Rising temperatures melt glaciers in Kashmir, disrupting water supply. Officials survey damage in western Montana as floodwaters begin to recede. Cities in southern Texas restrict water use as drought causes aquifer levels to drop. Rapid urbanization leaves Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo vulnerable to flash floods.

“The wellbeing of people in Colombo – especially in terms of flood protection – depends on its existing wetlands, and they need to be preserved and used wisely (and) sustainably as part and parcel of city development.” –Nadeera Rajapakse Rubaroe, a World Bank consultant, in reference to the growing risk of flooding in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. The World Bank is partially funding a $321-million urban development project intended to strengthen flood protection in the city, which was built on top of wetlands and canals. Reuters

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By The Numbers

90 percent Proportion of groundwater in Nigeria’s Ogoni region that is unfit for human consumption due to oil spills. Although a cleanup is underway, decades of oil pollution have already permeated most water sources, sickening many residents. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

Rising temperatures in the Himalayas are melting glaciers that supply water to Kashmir’s Ladakh region. This phenomenon is changing the flow of the Siachen River and putting more than 20,000 people at risk of inundation, according to a survey of the area. At the same time, winter precipitation is decreasing, further disrupting water supply. Al Jazeera

On The Radar

Cities in southern Texas, including San Antonio and San Marcos, are imposing water restrictions as drought depletes water levels in the Edwards Aquifer. Below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures are sapping groundwater sources across the Southern Plains. Seattle Times

After weeks of flooding, water is receding in western Montana, allowing officials to survey the damage to homes in the heavily-inundated Missoula area. Water levels remain high, however, and officials warn that additional flooding could still occur. U.S. News & World Report

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