The Stream, June 11, 2019: Barge Traffic Across the Midwestern U.S. Slowed by High River Levels

The Global Rundown

Flooding in the midwestern United States halts barge traffic. A new state budget announced in California omits a controversial water tax. Many residents of Abidjan, the largest city in the Ivory Coast, are still kilometers away from a clean water source. India’s monsoon rains arrive a week later than usual. Despite lessening drought across the continental U.S., many households in the southwestern Navajo Nation remain without water.

“It’s like when you’re driving on an interstate and there’s an accident in front of you and there’s nowhere to go.” –Jeff Webb, president of Cargill Marine and Terminal, a company that operates nearly 1,500 barges. Those barges, plus thousands of others, are trapped at various points along the midwestern United States’ largest rivers due to ongoing flooding in the region. Months of above-average rainfall have made rivers too deep and fast-moving to safely navigate, severely restricting normal shipping activities. The New York Times

In context: Historic Missouri River Flood Damages Water Infrastructure.

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By The Numbers

40 percent Proportion of households in the Navajo Nation, which spans parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, that do not have running water, even as drought conditions ease in the southwestern U.S. Families in the Navajo Nation are 67 times more likely that the average American to be without clean water, the non-profit Navajo Water Project reports. Pacific Standard

5 million Population of Abidjan, the fast-growing economic capital of the Ivory Coast. Rapid urbanization, declining water reserves, and a variety of other factors have led to severe water shortages in the city, with some residents forced to travel several kilometers to fetch clean water. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

After an extra week of waiting, India’s monsoon rains finally arrived in the southern part of the country this weekend. The delayed monsoon, which brings roughly 70 percent on India’s precipitation, has left many farmers and residents grappling with water shortages. Reuters

On the Radar

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new state budget over the weekend, which excluded a proposed $140 million tax on California water users to help deliver clean drinking water to underserved communities. The controversial tax was replaced by a $133.4 million budget for clean water projects across the state. Los Angeles Times

In context: Despite Unity of Purpose, Familiar Schisms Appear As California Lawmakers Rekindle Clean Water Funding Debate.

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