The Stream, June 20, 2019: Authorities in Chennai, India, Criticized as City’s Four Main Reservoirs Run Dry

The Global Rundown

Authorities in Chennai, India, are criticized for the city’s extreme water shortage. Namibia plans to auction off hundreds of wild animals as water sources run dry in the country’s national parks. Costa Rica manages to keep its electricity production clean even amid drought. Capacity in the Kariba Dam, the key source of power for Zambia and Zimbabwe, drops below 30 percent. Drought and a drop in exports hurt Canadian farming.

“It’s definitely reminding me of the late ‘90s, early 2000s, where we had to really squeeze every penny and make sure every decision was the right one.” –Shaun Dyrland, a farmer near Kyle, Saskatchewan, in reference to the impact of drought and rising costs on Canada’s farming industry. In addition to the dry conditions, the industry is also reeling after China stopped purchasing canola, Canada’s largest crop. Reuters

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By The Numbers

97 percent Amount of electricity that Costa Rica derived from renewable sources during the first four months of the year, despite dry conditions at the time. Officials say the drought, which is now over, was a crucial test of the country’s reliance on clean energy. Reuters

29 percent Current capacity of the Kariba Dam, which is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia and supplies a majority of the two countries’ electricity. Zimbabwe’s energy minister warned that power production at the dam may be suspended in September if dry conditions persist. The dam was at 88 percent capacity at this time last year. Bloomberg

In context: Zambia Electricity Shortage Highlights Africa’s Hydropower Shortfalls.

Science, Studies, and Reports

Namibia’s second drought in three years is depleting food and water sources in the country’s national parks, prompting the government to auction 1,000 wild animals. The animals, including 600 buffaloes and 60 giraffes, will likely be sold to game farmers. The Independent

On the Radar

The Madras high court in Tamil Nadu, India, criticized authorities in Chennai for inaction in the lead-up to the city’s current water crisis. Water shortages have been plaguing India’s sixth-largest city for weeks, but were expected to be eased by monsoon rains. The monsoon still hasn’t reached the city, however, and Chennai’s four main reservoirs are now dry. The Guardian

In context: Chennai’s Security Tied to Cleaning Up Its Water.

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