The Stream, August 27, 2019: Indonesia to Move Capital to Borneo as Jakarta Sinks

The Global Rundown

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announces that the country’s capital will be moved from Jakarta to the island of Borneo, largely due to Jakarta’s land subsidence problems. Newark, New Jersey, plans to borrow $120 million to fix aging water lines in the city. Reservoir levels in Sydney, Australia, drop below 50 percent for the first time since 2004. A Nebraska court affirms an alternative route for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Activists say a plan by food and beverage company Nestlé to withdraw water from Florida springs could devastate the local ecosystem. 

“It’s impossible to withdraw millions of gallons of water and not have an impact. If you take any amount of water out of a glass you will always have less.” –Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, a director of the not-for-profit Our Santa Fe River, in reference to a plan by Nestlé Waters North America to withdraw 1.1 million gallons (4.2 million liters) per day from springs fed by the Santa Fe River in Florida. Nestlé is waiting on a go-ahead from the local Suwannee River water management district, and activists are utilizing the delay to speak out against the planned withdrawal. They say that the Santa Fe River, which is recovering from over-pumping in years past, won’t be able to replenish the amount of water that Nestlé plans to withdraw. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

$120 million Amount of money that Newark, New Jersey, plans to borrow to expedite replacement of the city’s aging pipelines, which are likely linked to elevated lead levels in drinking water throughout the city. Newark hopes to replace 18,000 lead service lines in the next 24 to 30 months. The New York Times

49.7 percent Dam storage levels in Sydney, Australia, as of Thursday, August 22. Last week was the first time since 2004 that the city’s reservoir levels dipped below 50 percent. The city has been under stage one water restrictions since May. The Guardian

Science, Studies, and Reports

A Nebraska court affirmed an alternative route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, eliminating one of the last obstacles blocking the proposed pipeline. The line, which would run from Canada to Texas, has been embroiled in a decade-long legal battle and has faced staunch opposition from environmentalists and landowners. Reuters

In context: Water and Climate Safety, Finance Security, Drive Keystone XL Conflict.

On the Radar

Indonesian President Joko Widodo shared details about the relocation of the country’s capital city, which will be moved from Jakarta to eastern Borneo, which lies several hundred miles from Jakarta across the Java Sea. Widodo says the move is largely due to land subsidence, as well as heavy congestion, in Jakarta. NPR

In context:
A Sinking Metropolis (published by The Wilson Quarterly)
Capital Flight? Indonesia Leader Suggests Moving Government Out of Sinking Jakarta 

Coverage from World Water Week

This year’s World Water Week kicked off on August 25 in Stockholm, Sweden. The event, which brings together 1,1196 organizations from 127 countries, is focusing on “water for society – including all,” as its theme this year.

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