The Stream, May 10: UK Coastal Communities May Need to Relocate Due to Rising Flood Risks

The Global Rundown

Rising global temperatures could lead to the deluge of coastal and riverside communities in the United Kingdom. The U.S. Geological Survey measures water levels in Evart, Michigan, near a controversial Nestlé well. Zimbabwe announces possible power cuts as dam levels drop. Engineers say severe flooding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month could have been prevented by proposed drainage improvements. Colombians who relocated due to violence are now faced with flooding and other disasters.

“As they fled the war, they found very cheap lots and sites in areas right next to the river. And now they are victims of natural disasters.” –Jose Antonio Castro, mayor of Mocoa, Colombia, in reference to flooding and mudslides that struck the city in 2017. Many families have left their homes due to guerilla violence, but worsening rains, flash floods, and mudslides are making life dangerous in other parts of the country. Reuters

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HotSpots H2O: Floods, Sanctions, and Shortages Deluge IranThe Trump administration announced last week that it will no longer provide sanction exemptions to countries importing oil from Iran, a move that could hurt Iran’s economy and impair its capacity to respond to devastating floods that rampaged through the county just weeks ago.

What’s Up With Water – Jakarta, Indonesia’s Sinking Capital — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on flooding in Iran, low water levels in the Panama Canal, and plans by Washington D.C. to upgrade its flood-prone buildings.

By The Numbers

25 Death toll from flooding last month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Intense flooding is a frequent occurrence in the city, especially in favelas (slum neighborhoods). After severe floods struck Rio in 2010, city officials drew up plans to improve drainage and canals across the city. Most of the projects were never started, though, a move that engineers say likely cost the lives of several people during the city’s recent flooding. Reuters

1.5 million Properties in England that will likely face significant flooding risk by 2080 as increased global temperatures lead to rising sea levels. The country’s Environment Agency warned that some coastal and riverside communities will need to be moved further inland as flood risks rises. The Guardian

Science, Studies, and Reports

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is gathering data at two spring-fed creeks in Evart, Michigan, near a wellhead where water bottling company Nestlé hopes to increase its groundwater extraction. Michigan officials issued a permit to Nestlé last year which would allow them to boost extraction from 250 to 400 gallons-per-minute, although the company still needs to get approval for its plan to monitor water levels at the wellhead. Nestlé says the USGS will provide objective data on water flows at the well. Bridge

On the Radar

Zimbabwean officials warned this week that power rationing may be necessary as drought slows hydropower output at the country’s largest plant. In capital city Harare, some residents say they are already dealing with power outages. Reuters

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