The Stream, October 15, 2019: Key Water Infrastructure Damaged in Turkish Offensive Against Syria

The Global Rundown

Crucial water infrastructure is damaged in Turkey’s military offensive against Syria. Australia plans to allocate $680 million toward dams in parched New South Wales. Typhoon Hagibis leaves dozens dead after deluging parts of Japan with nearly three feet (0.9 meters) of rain. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, urges residents to use tap water. Water levels in the U.S. Great Lakes may be even higher in 2020, forecasts show. 

“The situation on the ground is becoming increasingly dire, and once again, civilians are paying the highest price. There are already reports of [water] shortages in some rural areas, with possibly much worse to be seen in a few days if services are not able to get back up and running soon.” –Misty Buswell, Middle East policy director at the International Rescue Committee, in reference to humanitarian dangers caused by Turkey’s military offensive against Syria. So far, the fighting has displaced an estimated 100,000 Syrians, and damaged a water pumping station serving 400,000 people. NPR

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

What’s Up With Water – October 14, 2019  — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on Typhoon Hagibis in Japan, improvements to water infrastructure in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and flood buyouts in the United States.

HotSpots H2O: Egypt and Ethiopia Spar Over Nile River Dam in Latest Round of Talks — Negotiations over how to fill and operate a controversial dam in Ethiopia are once again deadlocked after a tense back-and-forth. 

By The Numbers

50+ Death toll in Japan from Typhoon Hagibis, which hit the island nation over the weekend. Rainfall topped 35 inches (0.9 meters) in several areas near Tokyo, and some homes were flooded to their roofs after rivers breached levees. NPR

$678.7 million Amount that Australia and the New South Wales government plan to invest in dams and other water infrastructure in the drought-stricken state. Dry conditions have plagued the region since 2017, and show no signs of abating. Reuters

In context: In Australia, Echoes of Past, Glimpses of Future As Country Braces for Hot, Dry Summer

Science, Studies, and Reports

2019 brought record-high water levels to the U.S. Great Lakes, and forecasts show that 2020 water levels may be even higher. Predictions show that Lakes Michigan and Huron will begin the new year 11 inches (28 centimeters) higher than January 2019, and forecasting through March shows continued high water levels. USA Today  

On the Radar

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has launched a campaign encouraging residents to drink the city’s tap water. Some residents are reluctant, though, due to incomplete mapping of lead pipelines in the city, as well as a distrust of government among some minority and lower-income homeowners. NPR

In context:
What’s Up with Water – Speaking of Water – Who Trusts the Tap (Bonus Episode)
A Philadelphia Story: No Running Water For Eight Years

Philadelphia Water Rate Links Payments to Household Income

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