The Global Rundown
California says it will sue the Trump administration over plans to pump more water out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Drought-stricken Zimbabwe removes import controls on maize and wheat flour following a poor harvest. The “dead-zone” in the Chesapeake Bay measures within a normal range this year despite adverse weather conditions, signalling improvements to water quality. The United Nations Development Programme and the Somali government establish a mobile alert system to warn about droughts and floods. The U.S. Congress extends the federal National Flood Insurance Program for a thirteenth time since 2017.
“As stewards of this state’s remarkable natural resources, we must do everything in our power to protect them.” –Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, in reference to the state’s water supplies. On Thursday, California announced that it would sue the Trump administration over plans to pump more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Trump’s plan would increase water supplies for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, but risks disrupting the Delta’s ecosystem and jeopardizing fish populations. A 610-page report by Newsom’s administration offers an alternative plan for the Delta’s water, although environmental groups say the state’s proposal still might not offer enough protection for endangered species. Sacramento Bee
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
Baltimore Council Approves Income-Based Water Bills — Mayor is expected to sign measure tying water bills to household earnings.
Navajo Generating Station, a Union of Coal and Water, Shuts Down — The big coal-fired power station was the engine that moved Colorado River water into central Arizona.
By The Numbers
800,000 tonnes Maize needed to cover a grain deficit in drought-stricken Zimbabwe. In order to bridge the gap, the country has temporarily removed import controls on maize and wheat flour. Reuters
13 Times that the U.S. Congress has granted short-term extensions for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which covers 5 million households in the United States. Congress is currently debating ways to reform the NFIP. The extension gives lawmakers until December 20 to revise and reauthorize the program. The Hill
Science, Studies, and Reports
An annual “dead zone” report card for the Chesapeake Bay analyzes the amount of low-oxygen, hypoxic water in the bay. In 2019, dead-zone conditions were within a normal range, despite high river inflows and light winds, both of which contribute to hypoxia. Scientists say the findings are a sign of improving water quality. Science Daily
On the Radar
A new mobile phone alert system is set to be introduced across Somalia to signal impending droughts and floods in the country. The program is part of a joint effort by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Somali government to improve the nation’s climate resilience. Reuters
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