The Stream, November 8: Michigan Governor-Elect Says Clean Drinking Water is First Priority

The Global Rundown

Michigan’s governor-elect names clean drinking water as her top priority. Mining replaces agriculture in India’s drought-stricken Bundelkhand region. Developing weather patterns spell more drought for parched Australia. A major lithium producer in Chile’s Atacama desert announces a new technology that triples lithium production without using additional water. Zambia’s pivotal Kafue river is at risk of over-extraction, researchers say.

“We are home to 21 percent of the world’s fresh water and we’ve got a lot of communities that can’t drink the water coming out of their tap. So, working on infrastructure in Michigan is at the top of the list.” –Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s newly-elected governor, speaking about the importance of clean drinking water. Whitmer will replace Rick Snyder as the state’s governor. MLive

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

2018 Election: Voters Reject Stricter Rules for Oil, Gas, and MiningWater protections and spending were at stake in state and local ballot initiatives.

By The Numbers

50 percent Proportion of Zambia’s electricity that is powered by the Kafue river. The waterway is also a crucial part of the country’s economy. A new report, however, warns that industry, hydropower, and agriculture have maxed out the Kafue, and say the river is at high risk of over-extraction.

70 percent Likelihood of an El Niño weather pattern developing soon. Another weather pattern, called the Indian Ocean Dipole, also looks likely to form. According to meteorologists, both these events could shift summer rains away from Australia, which has already endured months of harsh drought. Al Jazeera

Science, Studies, And Reports

U.S.-based Albemarle Corp, a top lithium producer operating in Chile’s water-stressed Atacama desert, claims to have developed a technology for tripling lithium production without using more water. Regulators, however, say the details of the technology are unclear, and rejected Albemarle’s first request to implement the new process. The company is preparing a revised request. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, October 22: Lithium Miners Battle for Water in Chile’s Atacama Desert

On The Radar

A decade of drought has forced India’s Bundelkhand region to turn from agriculture to mining. Scientists fear that the mining operations are exacerbating drought, though, by disrupting the region’s groundwater table. Mining has also led to deforestation and other negative environmental impacts. Asia Times

In context: India’s Severe Drought Causing Havoc

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