The Stream, July 19, 2019: Trump Administration Plan to Pump More Water to California Farmers Endangers Salmon, Biologists Say

The Global Rundown

U.S. biologists say a plan by the Trump Administration to pump more water to California’s Central Valley farmers could harm salmon. British environmental groups call on Southern Water company to pay for damages caused by pollution spills. A river breach in Bangladesh worsens monsoon flooding in the northern part of the country. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, declares a local state of emergency over a major water main break. Sickness and food insecurity soar in drought-stricken North Korea

“We are already seeing the impacts of this drought on vulnerable people. Rates of malnutrition and water borne diseases like diarrhoea and colitis are on the rise.” –Mohamed Babiker, head of North Korea’s International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies office, in reference to several months of dry weather in the isolated nation. A majority of crops that were meant to be harvested between June and September have been devastated by drought. Relief Web

In context: HotSpots H2O: Lowest Rainfall In Decades Pushes North Korea Toward Famine

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By The Numbers

40 Villages deluged in northern Bangladesh when the Jamuna river breached an embankment on Wednesday night. The breach displaced more than 200,000 people, in addition to thousands already forced from their homes by intense monsoon rains. Flooding continues in India, Nepal, and Pakistan as well. Reuters 

40 million gallons Water processed daily by the Fiveash water treatment plant, Fort Lauderdale’s larges treatment facility. A work crew damaged a key water line on Wednesday night, cutting off water to the Fiveash plant. Officials say the outage could last up to two days, and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis declared a local state of emergency. CBS Miami 

Science, Studies, and Reports

The Trump administration wants to deliver more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to California’s Central Valley farmers, but an environmental review of the plan warns that it could hurt the region’s endangered Chinook salmon. The Obama administration tightened the delta’s water export laws due to the endangerment of Chinook and other native fish. Now, federal biologists say the same risks remain if delta pumping is increased again. Los Angeles Times

On the Radar

British environmental groups say Southern Water, one of the nation’s largest utilities, should pay for environmental restoration following countless pollution spills over the past several years. Recently, evidence has emerged that Southern Water covered up thousands of spills, and a fine of £126M ($158M) was recently levied against the company. However, green groups argue that a key part of the fine was reduced from £37.7M ($47.3M) to £3M ($3.8M), and say the £34.7M ($43.6M) difference should go toward restoration of habitats and wildlife. The Guardian

1 reply
  1. Name says:

    Federal biologists should be taken seriously by the Trump administration. The danger to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Chinook and other native fish species is real.

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