The Global Rundown
South Africa imposes emergency water restrictions following an unusually dry summer. Officials in Turkana, Kenya, explore the possibility of a desalination plant with a Saudi investor. Lawmakers in Australia question the equality of funding given to drought-hit communities. Advocates and residents praise new flood-disclosure requirements for home sellers in Texas. Several large fires blaze in California.
“Indications are that are our rainfall patterns are getting harder to predict. What we’re seeing, like other parts of the globe, is the dry season is getting longer, harsher and more intense. Climate change is a reality and is affecting South Africa.” –Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, in reference to falling dam levels in the country. Reservoirs across South Africa have fallen by 10 to 60 percent compared to this time last year, prompting the government to enact emergency water restrictions. Reuters
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By The Numbers
$48-$97 million Cost of a potential desalination plant in Kenya’s parched Turkana region. Officials are negotiating a partnership with the Saudi-owned Almar Water, and say an agreement is likely to be reached within a few months. The Guardian
$2.5 million Total drought funding received by several small Australian city councils through the country’s drought communities program. Four of the councils that have received $2.5 million had a population of less than 350 people. Some lawmakers are now questioning the equity of the grants, as the same amount has been received by councils with up to 160,000 residents. The Guardian
Science, Studies, and Reports
As of September, home sellers in Texas are now required to answer eleven questions related to the flood risk and flood history of a house. The increased disclosure was spurred by 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, which flooded thousands of homes in the Houston area. A recent poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 74 percent of U.S. residents support a national standard for providing home buyers with a property’s flood history. NPR
On the Radar
Several large fires are blazing in California, including the Tick fire in Santa Clarita, the Kincade fire in Sonoma County, and the Getty fire on the west side of Los Angeles. Several homes have been destroyed and thousands of structures are under mandatory evacuation orders as firefighters rush to contain the flames. Los Angeles Times
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