The Stream, August 2, 2019: In Coastal U.S., New Homes Being Built Faster in Flood Zones Than Safe Ground

The Global Rundown

New housing is being built faster along flood-prone coastlines than in inland areas in the U.S. The town of Whaley Bridge, England, is evacuated following a dam burst. Scientists harness fog to provide a drinking water supply. The Cadiz water project in California’s Mojave Desert faces a new round of environmental reviews. French farmers who signed up for parametric insurance are receiving quick payouts as drought hits cropland. A record-breaking drought in southwest China cuts tea crops. 

“The entire precipitation pattern has changed due to global warming.” –Xiao Chan, head of weather services at China’s National Climate Center in Beijing, in reference to record-setting drought in the country’s southwest highlands. The area is a key tea-growing region, and tea farmers say this year’s drought slashed spring production in half. Trees that survive the dry spell could take several years to recover. Voice of America

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By The Numbers

5,000 People living in Whaley Bridge, England, who had to evacuate the town on Thursday after a dam breach. The dam sustained damages and released some water, and officials warn that additional flooding is possible. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

A project by Cadiz Inc. to pump and sell water out of California’s Mojave Desert has hit a variety of obstacles in recent years, and is now subject to a new round of environmental reviews. In an effort to ensure adequate protection of the Mojave’s ecosystem, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring an environmental study and approval State Lands Commission. Los Angeles Times

On the Radar

In U.S. coastal states, new homes are being built more rapidly in flood zones than elsewhere, according to scientists from the non-profit Climate Central. In states like Connecticut and New Jersey, flood-prone homes are being built at almost three times the rate of homes in other areas. Reuters

A type of catastrophic weather insurance, known as parametric policies, has become more common in France in recent years. This year, hundreds of French farmers signed a drought contract, and they are now enjoying quick payouts as heat and drought damage crops. In comparison, payouts through government insurance will likely take at least a year. Reuters

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