The Stream, June 28, 2019: First Four Weeks of India’s Monsoon Rain Below-Average

The Global Rundown

The first four weeks of monsoon rains in India are below-average, sparking fear of water shortages and crop failure. Michigan files a lawsuit in an attempt to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. The number of people needing food assistance in drought-hit Kenya tops 2 million. Wildfires engulf 10,000 acres in Catalonia, Spain, as a heat wave dries Europe. Detroit, Michigan, plans a $500 million upgrade to its aging water and sewer systems. 

“Sowing has already been delayed by three weeks. If the monsoon doesn’t revive in two, three weeks, then the entire season could be wiped out.” –Harish Galipelli, head of commodities and currencies at Mumbai’s Inditrade Derivatives & Commodities, in reference to below-average monsoon rains in India. In the first four weeks of the season, rainfall has been 36 percent less than normal. Many parts of India are already grappling with water shortages, and an inadequate monsoon would greatly exacerbate the dry conditions. Reuters

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By The Numbers

10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) Land in Catalonia, Spain, that is ablaze as an intense heatwave grips Spain and other parts of Europe. The wildfires, fueled by dry and windy conditions, are the worst Catalonia has seen in 20 years. Reuters

$500 million Amount that Detroit, Michigan, will spend in a five-year effort to replace and repair the city’s aging water and sewer system. A majority of pipes in the city are more than 80 years old. U.S. News & World Report

In context: Water Utilities Call on Big Data to Guide Pipe Replacements

Science, Studies, and Reports

The number of people in drought-hit Kenya needing food assistance has risen to 2 million, up from 1.6 million in May. The country’s March-to-May rainy season was slow to arrive and below-average, fueling the food insecurity. Bloomberg I Quint 

On the Radar

On Thursday, Michigan filed a lawsuit asking for the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline to be decommissioned. The controversial pipeline runs under the Straits of Mackinac and carries 540,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Enbridge says it hopes to replace decades-old pipeline, but the lawsuit claims continued operation of the line is a violation of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. Reuters

In context: Line 5 Pipeline Task Force Highlights Weakness in Enbridge Management.

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