The Stream, May 25: Amid Deadly Protests, India Seeks Shutdown of Water-Polluting Copper Plant

The Global Rundown

Tamil Nadu, India, seeks permanent closure of a controversial copper smelter causing air and water pollution. Deadly monsoon rains swamp Sri Lanka, displacing thousands of people. Changes in insurance policies could leave some flood victims without coverage in British Columbia. Climatologists warn that there may be little summertime relief from “alarming” drought in the U.S. Four Corners region. Forecasters predict three to six tropical cyclones in the central Pacific this year.

“No matter what, everybody needs to be prepared. It only takes one tropical cyclone that affects you directly … (and it) can really wreck your whole year.” –Robert Ballard, a representative of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on the upcoming hurricane season. Storm activity is predicted to be normal or slightly above normal in the next six months, with three to six named storms forecasted for the central Pacific. Researchers expect one to four major hurricanes (category three or higher) in the Atlantic. The New York Times

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What’s Up With Water – May 21, 2018 – “What’s Up With Water” condenses the need-to-know news on the world’s water into a weekly snapshot. Coverage this week includes: global freshwater trends, Turkey’s contentious Kanal Istanbul, and toxic algal blooms across the U.S.

HotSpots H2O, May 21: Drought, Then Floods, Destabilize KenyaIn recent years, water shortages have caused a variety of conflicts in Kenya. Now, deadly flooding could further destabilize the country.

By The Numbers

13 Number of protesters killed while demanding the shutdown of a copper smelter in Tamil Nadu, India. The Tamil Nadu government is now seeking permanent closure of the plant, which residents and environmentalists claim is contaminating the area’s water and air. Reuters

In context: Choke Point: Tamil Nadu.

40,000 Number of people displaced by heavy monsoon rains in Sri Lanka. The deluge also left 12 people dead. Although water levels are currently declining, officials warn that more rain is in the forecast. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

On Wednesday, climatologists provided an update on drought in Four Corners region of the United States, where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet. The experts called the region’s drought “alarming” and say dry conditions are unlikely to let up in coming months, even in the event of bountiful summer rains. The Denver Post

On The Radar

Victims of floods earlier this month in British Columbia, Canada, could be denied up to $300,000 in assistance due to changes in insurance. Traditionally, Canadian insurance companies did not provide coverage for flooding, making most people eligible for disaster relief if a flood occurred. In recent years, however, some insurance companies began offering optional flood insurance. Now, residents who turned down the optional flood insurance risk losing out on federal flood assistance as well. CBC

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