The Stream, November 7: Arizona Cities Request More Water Ahead of Possible Colorado River Drought

The Global Rundown

Arizona cities stockpile water in anticipation of a future Colorado River drought. Villagers in Bangladesh use geology to avoid arsenic-polluted groundwater. A new study explores the link between water scarcity and human migration in the Mediterranean region. Data shows that pollution from pharmaceutical drugs concentrates in stream bugs, which then spread the contaminants to predators. Farmers in Mali turn to hybrid crops to survive drought.

“I really understood the importance of these new strains last year.” –Baba Berthé, a farmer in southern Mali, in reference to the drought-resistant sorghum that he harvested last year. Researchers in Mali are working to develop hybrid grains, which cross traditional crops with drought-resistant varieties. The new strains have given Malian farmers an alternative to maize, which is heavily dependent on adequate rainfall. Thomas Reuters Foundation

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – November 5, 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: Falling water levels in key European waterways and lead contamination in the Newark, New Jersey, water system.

HotSpots H2O, November 5: Rohingya Refugees Face Uncertain Return HomeIn the Rohingya refugee camps, water access and quality is abysmal, despite tireless efforts by humanitarian organizations. Most refugees receive 15 liters of water per day, and some survive on less.

By The Numbers

610,825 acre-feet Water that cities and industries in Arizona ordered from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) for 2019, up from the 587,324 acre-feet in 2018. The CAP is responsible for transporting water from the Colorado River to Arizona’s Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties. Cities in Arizona are beginning to stockpile water ahead of possible future drought cuts. Phoenix New Times

69 Pharmaceutical drugs that have been found in stream insects. Pollution from pharmaceuticals is ubiquitous in global surface waters, and recent research show that the pollutants concentrate in stream insects. From there, the contaminants can be spread to a variety of insect predators, including trout, platypus, spiders, birds, and bats.

Science, Studies, And Reports

In Bangladesh, arsenic accounts for one in every 20 deaths. The naturally-occurring element contaminates the groundwater in shallow, hand-pumped wells. For nearly two decades, researchers have been mapping arsenic levels and conducting health surveys in hopes of minimizing arsenic-related health issues. In 2000, only 25 percent of wells met the World Health Organization’s safety guidelines; today, the number is close to 70 percent due to deeper wells and increased geological understanding. Science Daily

On The Radar

A recent study explores whether water scarcity and other climate changes are driving increased migration in the Mediterranean region. The study concludes that a multidisciplinary approach is needed to determine the extent of climate-driven migration, including a recognition of the longstanding“push” and “pull” factors influencing Mediterranean migration.

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