The Stream, March 8: EU Seeks Fine Against Greece for Nitrate Pollution in Waterways

The Global Rundown

The European Union asks it’s top court to fine Greece over nitrate pollution in its waters. Agriculture stresses water resources in rural California. The Prime Minister of Thailand calls for crisis management plans as dam levels drop in parts of the country. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announces the country will begin filling its Ilisu dam in June. Over eight million Ethiopians are in need of food aid due to drought and violence.

“The impacts of the climate change-induced droughts of 2016 and before have persisted. Moreover, violence in many parts of the country have added to the burden.” –Mitiku Kassa, Ethiopia’s commissioner of national disaster risk management, in reference to food shortages across Ethiopia. The government has appealed for $1.3 billion in aid for 8.3 million residents. Reuters

In context: Ethiopia Hunger Reaches Emergency Levels.

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By The Numbers

23,753 euros ($26,600 USD) Amount that the European Commission wants the EU’s top court to fine Greece each day if the country fails to address nitrate pollution in its waters. In 2015, the court ruled that Greece was failing to protect its waters from agricultural runoff, but the problem has yet to be resolved. The New York Times

$1.6 billion Cost of Turkey’s Ilisu dam project. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the country will begin filling the dam’s reservoir in June. Turkey began temporarily filling the dam in summer 2018, but stopped amid protests from Iraq, which says the Ilisu will create downstream water shortages. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Water levels in dams and waterways across Thailand are dropping, prompting Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha to request drought crisis management plans. The government has asked farmers to cut back on water use, and is analyzing water needs in non-irrigation zones. The government has also initiated cloud-seeding operations. Relief Web

On The Radar

Agriculture is sapping aquifers in rural California, leading to water shortages and increasing concentrations of naturally-occurring elements, such as arsenic, in groundwater. Many small towns have been without steady or safe water sources for years, and the problem is set to worsen as big agriculture grows. The Guardian

In context: California’s Dogged Drought Cutting Off Water Supplies to State’s Poor.

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