The Stream, June 7, 2019: Rural Russians Fear River Pollution from Moscow’s Dumped Trash

The Global Rundown

Russia plans to dumps Moscow’s trash in a remote northern region, but locals fear the refuse will pollute nearby rivers. Newly-designed floating homes could boost sustainability in coastal Bangladesh. Villagers in rural South Africa try drip irrigation and drought-hardy crops as the fear of another dry spell looms. Drought leaves more than 360,000 people in Madagascar on the edge of famine, the United Nations warns. Officials grapple with growing water shortages as Bangalore, India, continues to boom.

“Bangalore has gone from being the city of lakes to the city of concrete. Because of this, all the water has disappeared.” –Chandra Shekhar, a resident of Bangalore, in reference to the breakneck development of the ‘Silicon Valley’ of India. The city distributes 1.4 billion liters of water each day–an amount that still falls 800 million liters short of meeting the city’s needs. Bangalore’s population is expected to reach 20 million by 2031, but experts warn the city’s water sources could be all but depleted by then. Reuters

In context: Booming Infrastructure Poisons Bangalore’s Lakes, Depletes Groundwater.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

New Circle of Blue reporting on ecological disaster in Fair Bluff, North Carolina:

Two Hurricanes, Two Floods: North Carolina Town Fights To Stay Alive — In tale of its time, Fair Bluff is buckled by ecological turmoil.

Aging Sewer System Imperils North Carolina Town’s FinancesShrinking and storm-damaged town struggles to shoulder the costly burden of clean water.

The Rural Dilemma: Q&A With Al Leonard, Fair Bluff Town Manager  — The North Carolina town, whose population is down by one-third after being flooded twice in three years, can’t recover on its own, Leonard says.

Photo Gallery: Scenes from Fair BluffThe scenic town on the banks of the Lumber River was damaged by hurricanes twice in three years.

By The Numbers

1,125 kilometers (700 miles) Distance between Moscow and Shiyes, a former village to the north where Russian officials want to dump the capital city’s trash. Work on the Shiyes landfill is underway, but locals are attempting to halt the dump, which they say could allow toxic waste to infiltrate the nearby river Dvina. Al Jazeera

360,000+ People in southern Madagascar that are at risk of famine due to recurrent drought and natural disasters in the region. The island nation is prone to natural disaster, having faced 35 cyclones, eight floods, and five droughts in the past 20 years. Thomas Reuters Foundation

Science, Studies, and Reports

Just a year after Cape Town, South Africa, averted the looming ‘Day Zero’ crisis, residents of rural South Africa see they are again facing dry conditions. Villagers say the return of drought is a daily fear, and many are implementing drip irrigation and drought-resistant crops into their farming practices. Reuters

In context: Cape Town’s Harrowing Journey to the Brink of Water Catastrophe.

On the Radar

Nandan Mukherjee, a researcher from the University of Dundee in Scotland, has designed a small floating home that he believes could allow coastal communities to exist sustainably in the midst of a changing climate. The homes, which were piloted in Bangladesh, are resistant to cyclones, earthquakes, and erosion–but widespread adaptation of the homes would require lowering costs and redefining home ownership norms in low-income coastal communities. Reuters

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