The Stream, September 5: Water Use Spikes in Asia As Demand For Meat and Seafood Grows

The Global Rundown

Water use in Asia is set to rise as the continent’s appetite for meat and seafood grows. Tropical Storm Gordon barrels toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. India experiences its rainiest August in five years. International donors pledge more than $2 billion in aid to the parched Lake Chad region. As sea levels rise, Fiji grapples with a drop in drinking water supplies. Water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs continue fall.

“I want people to know that what’s going on at Lake Mead is very, very closely tied to what’s going on Lake Powell. We’re draining Lake Powell to prop it up.” –Doug Kenney, chair of the Colorado River Research Group, in reference to water levels in the two major reservoirs, which are fed by the Colorado River. The river has been drying for the past two decades, and regional water demand has begun to exceed supply. The reservoirs are feeling additional pressure from drought, climate change, and a growing population. Arizona Republic

In context: Lake Mead Record Low Reflects Changing American West.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Toxic Water, Toxic Crops — India’s Public Health Time Bomb — Raw sewage and industrial wastewater contaminated with metals and chemicals irrigate much of the nation’s food.

By The Numbers

$2.17 billion Amount of aid pledged to the tumultuous Lake Chad region by international donors. The drought-stricken region narrowly averted famine last year, largely due to humanitarian efforts. Reuters

In context: International conference discusses remedies to Lake Chad crisis.

8 inches Amount of rain forecast in some parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast once Tropical Storm Gordon makes landfall, which is expected to occur early Wednesday. Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have all declared states of emergency in preparation for the storm. The New York Times

Science, Studies, And Reports

A recent report by Asia Research and Engagement Pte Ltd, a consultancy firm in Singapore, predicts that demand for meat and seafood in Asia will rise by 78 percent from 2017 to 2050. Water use is expected to jump from 577 billions cubic meter (bcm) per year to 1,054 bcm per year in order to meet the growing demand. Reuters

On The Radar

As rising sea levels threaten to submerge Fiji, the Pacific island nation is also facing shortfalls in drinking water supply. Some of Fiji’s islands have no groundwater source, and changing rainfall patterns are complicating rainwater harvesting. The Washington Post

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

This year was India’s rainiest August since 2013, although showers were still 6.4 percent below the normal range. Typically, monsoon rains let up in mid-August, but rainfall remained steady throughout the entire month this year. Times of India

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