The Stream, January 4: New Michigan Governor Asks for Review of Controversial Pipeline Deal

The Global Rundown

Michigan’s new governor asks for a review of a controversial pipeline deal. Ethiopia says it will begin initial operations of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in late 2020. Officials test water from the Cleveland, Ohio, airport after several passengers fall ill. Millions of people in Pakistan’s vast Baluchistan province live without clean drinking water. Water content in California’s snowpack is “adequate,” according to the season’s first snow survey.

“If there is snow on the ground now, that is a good indicator that we should see more snow going forward. The more snow on the ground, the greater the chance of it hanging around.” –John King, a water resources engineer and snow surveyor, in reference to current snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The first snow survey of the season showed that snow water content is 67 percent of normal, an “adequate” amount, according to surveyors. Last year at this time, snowpack was 29 percent of normal. San Francisco Chronicle

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Photojournalist’s Notebook: São Paulo’s Portelinha FavelaThose living in Portelinha are among the roughly 40 percent of the world’s population that are affected each day by water scarcity and pollution.

Photojournalist’s Notebook: São Paulo’s WastewaterDespite new expansion efforts, wastewater treatment in São Paulo remains woefully inadequate.

By The Numbers

62 percent Proportion of residents in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province that do not have access to clean water. The province, which is home to 12 million and comprises 40 percent of the country’s land area, is in the midst of a prolonged water crisis due to scarce rainfall and government neglect. Many residents are leaving Baluchistan as water problems worsen. Los Angeles Times

6 Passengers that fell ill on a flight from Cleveland to Tampa on Tuesday. Cleveland’s health department is unsure what sickened the passengers, but says that all six may have used airport drinking fountains prior to the flight. In response, the airport shut down its Concourse A water fountains and is having the water tested. NPR

Science, Studies, And Reports

Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s new governor, has requested an opinion from state Attorney General Dana Nessel on the legality of a planned pipeline replacement in a key section of the Great Lakes. In November, former Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan legislature passed Public Act 359, which calls for the replacement of a stretch of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in the Mackinac Straits. Whitmer and Nessel have both expressed concern over the line’s possible environmental impact. The New York Times

On The Radar

Ethiopia’s water and energy minister announced that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is set to begin initial operations in December 2020. Completion of the contentious $4 billion Nile River dam has been slowed by a variety of delays and criticisms. Reuters

In context: Spotlight on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

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