The Global Rundown
Flooding kills dozens and displaces thousands in Afghanistan. Another deadline passes for states in the western U.S. to complete a Colorado River drought contingency plan. Changing weather patterns stunt olive groves in Italy. Damages from recent flooding in northern California top $155 million. Villagers in Mexico push back against mining activities on ancestral lands.
“The effects (of mining) on the air, on the water, worry us.” –Victor Martinez Lobato, an indigenous leader in Tecoltemi, Mexico, in reference to the impacts of mining activities on ancestral lands. Mexico’s mining law prioritizes mining over other land use rights, including indigenous land titles. Later this month, a court will rule for the first time on the constitutionality of the mining law. The case involves accusations that mining activities in 2016 near the town of Ixtacamaxtitlan caused contamination of water sources. Reuters
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By The Numbers
$155 million Estimated damages caused by flooding in Sonoma County, California, last week. Nearly 2,000 homes and 578 businesses reported damages after heavy rainfall caused the Russian River to flood its banks. CBS San Francisco
57 percent Drop in Italian olive harvests this season, the worst in 25 years. Experts say climate change, which has caused inconsistent rainfall, summertime droughts, and other weather issues, is responsible for the poor harvest. The Guardian
Science, Studies, And Reports
Flooding in Afghanistan has left at least 32 dead and displaced thousands since Friday, according to aid groups. Officials say the current devastation is “just an early warning” of what could come in April and May, when more flooding is predicted. Norwegian Refugee Council
On The Radar
A second federal deadline for the seven Colorado Basin states to complete drought contingency plans has passed. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation originally requested that all states submit plans by January 31, or else face federal intervention in the allocation of the Colorado River. Arizona and California failed to meet the deadline, which was then moved to March 4, and missed again. The Bureau is moving forward with its own contingency plan, but says it can call off the process if all seven states finalize their plans. Associated Press
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter