The Stream, November 20, 2019: Major Power Outage Hits Barbados, Disrupting Water Supply

The Global Rundown

A major power outage in Barbados disrupts water supply on the island. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says the country needs to divert more water to parched northern areas, as well as investing more in infrastructure. Saginaw, Michigan, plans to replace its 16,000 lead water lines, which will involve a hike in water rates. Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal plant in the western United States, shuts down. Residents of Venice, Italy, assess damages to their homes and businesses after a week of unprecedented flooding. All except one of the 459 endangered species in the United States are vulnerable to a warming climate, a new study warns.

“This study confirms that the climate crisis could make it even harder for nearly all of our country’s endangered species to avoid extinction.” –Astrid Caldas, co-author of a new study looking at the potential impacts of climate change on the 459 endangered species in the United States. The study found that all but one species is vulnerable to warming temperatures. Many of the risks the species face come from changes in water quality or accessibility associated with climate change, as well as rising sea levels. The Guardian 

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – November 18, 2019  — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on thousands of hazardous dams in the United States, discolored water in Cleveland, Ohio, and how water connects climate to health. 

HotSpots H2O: Bushfires Raze Parts of Eastern Australia as Government Quarrels over Climate ChangeDevastating wildfires are sweeping across large swathes of Australia’s drought-stricken eastern coast, heralding what is likely to be a long and unforgiving bushfire season. 

By The Numbers

2 Days that Barbados has endured a widespread power outage. On Monday, an engine failure at the Barbados Light & Power Company started the outage, which forced several schools and businesses to close. Many residents reported water supply issues, including low pressure, discoloration, or a lack of running water. Reuters

16,000 Lead and galvanized water service lines that will be replaced in Saginaw, Michigan. The replacement is set to begin in January 2021 and last 20 years. The estimated cost will be around $50 to $60 million, and will be partially covered by raising water bills. MLive

Science, Studies, and Reports

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang says that the country must divert more water to dry northern provinces, as well as continuing to invest in water infrastructure. Experts, however, say the ongoing diversion of water from the Yangtze river to the country’s north is jeopardizing the long-term health of the river. Reuters

In context: Choke Point: China

On the Radar

The Navajo Generating Station near Page, Arizona, has shut down after 45 years of operation. Officials say the coal plant, which was the largest in the western United States, was shuttered due to the increasing competition from natural gas and renewable energy. AZ Central 

Residents of Venice, Italy, are assessing the damage to homes, businesses, and historic landmarks in the wake of three exceptionally high tides over the past week. Volunteers are reportedly helping older residents dispose of flood-damaged appliances, in addition to helping salvage ancient books and other curios in Venice’s many libraries and cultural institutes. NPR

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