The Stream, January 23: Gila River Indian Community Threatens to Withdraw Support of Arizona Drought Plan

The Global Rundown

The Gila River Indian Community threatens to withdraw from Arizona’s drought contingency plan. Drought and disease hamper farming in South Africa. Gretchen Whitmer, the newly-elected governor of Michigan, commits to providing Flint residents with bottled water until all pipes are repaired. A desalination system is under consideration in Walgett, Australia after high sodium levels are found in the city’s drinking water. Tropical Cyclone Desmond inundates Mozambique’s fourth-largest city.

“This is a direct assault on the community’s water rights. It’s a poison pill. If this bill were to be considered and enacted into law, the community will withdraw its prior approval (of the drought-contingency plan) and, more importantly, its water.” –Don Pongrace, an attorney representing the Gila River Indian Community. The tribe has threatened to withdraw its support of Arizona’s Colorado River drought plan if HB 2476, a bill bolstering farmers’ rights to the Gila River, is considered. Arizona Daily Star

In context: In Drying Colorado River Basin, Indian Tribes Are Water Dealmakers.

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By The Numbers

277 millimeters (10.9 inches) Rainfall in Biera, Mozambique, on Tuesday as Tropical Cyclone Desmond hit the coast. The torrential rains submerged cars, flooded homes, and shut down roads. More rainfall is predicted. Al Jazeera

300 milligrams a liters Sodium detected in the bore water supply of Walgett, New South Wales, Australia, compared to a drinking water guideline of 180mg/L. The city has relied on bore water for 18 months since the region’s two major rivers ran dry. The local government may install a desalination system to help combat the issue. The Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Drought and disease are hitting South Africa’s agricultural sector. Dry conditions in South Africa’s maize belt have persisted for months, delaying planting and jeopardizing output. At the same time, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease is sickening cattle and sheep in the northern part of the country. Reuters

On The Radar

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will guarantee that residents of Flint receive bottled water until all lead pipes are replaced. In April 2018, former governor Rick Snyder announced an end to government-provided bottled water. Nestlé Waters North America is expected to supply the city with free bottled water until April 2019, but it is unclear if Governor Whitmer will seek to use state funding to continue to provide bottled water after the donated supplies is gone. The Detroit News

In context: Circle of Blue’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.

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