The Global Rundown
Egypt and Ethiopia announce another round of talks on the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Drought-tolerant juniper trees begin to die unexpectedly in parched Utah. Tropical depression Toraji triggers flash floods and landslides in central Vietnam. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister pledges an extra $500 million for water infrastructure projects. The Central Arizona Project board introduces a short-term Drought Contingency Plan.
“We are close. We are very close, I believe, to a path forward for DCP that represents and respects all of the big tent of stakeholders in Arizona that we are trying to include.” –Stephen Ray Lewis, Tribal Governor of the Gila River community, in reference to a newly-drafted Drought Contingency Plan (DCP). The plan, put together by the Central Arizona Project (CAP) board, is an effort to keep Lake Mead reservoir levels from dipping dangerously low. Negotiations on the DCP have stalled for several weeks, but are underway again. Arizona Daily Star
In context: Lake Mead Record Low Reflects Changing American West.
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HotSpots H2O, November 19: Deadly Water Disputes Intensify in Central Asia as Glaciers Melt – In Central Asia, small-scale water conflicts flare frequently along the jigsaw borders that separate Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
By The Numbers
12 People killed by flash floods and landslides in central Vietnam over the weekend as tropical depression Toraji moved through the area. The storm blocked roads and damaged infrastructure in the country’s Khanh Hoa province. Channel NewsAsia
$500 million Additional funding that the Australian government will commit to water infrastructure projects, according to Michael McCormack, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister. The amount will be added to an existing $520 million in funding. Lawmakers have not specified which projects will be supported with the funding. The Guardian
Science, Studies, And Reports
Supposedly drought-resistant juniper trees are dying in Utah, and scientists are unsure why. Last year was the driest on record in Utah, as well as the second-warmest. Researchers are theorizing that the parched conditions, combined with insect attacks, may be responsible for the trees’ surprising mortality. The Salt Lake Tribune
On The Radar
Over the next two weeks, Egypt and Ethiopia will meet to discuss ongoing disagreements over construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt fears the $4 billion project will restrict its water access, a claim that Ethiopia denies. The dam was slated for completion in 2020, but will likely be delayed by several years. Reuters
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter