The Stream, September 18, 2019: Third Flooding Event Possible Along Missouri River

The Global Rundown

Another wave of flooding is expected along the Missouri River following heavy rainfall. Vale SA, owner of two mining dams that collapsed in Brazil in recent years, misled the public by saying they had shut down similar structures, according to Reuters. Zambia considers doubling electricity prices amid ongoing drought. Extreme precipitation events are on the rise in India. Indigenous groups protest Mexico City’s new airport, saying it will devastate a critical aquifer. 

“Water is a vital liquid that moves us all. Where will all the water that will be needed to maintain this monster come from?” –Filiberto Mena Laiza, a farmer living just north of Mexico City, in reference to the potential water demand of the city’s new airport. Indigenous groups are fighting back against the planned international airport, which they say could devastate a nearby aquifer and, in turn, surrounding cropland. Reuters 

In context: Floods and Water Shortages Swamp Mexico City

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By The Numbers

17.92 million meters Amount of water that is forecast to flow down the Missouri River this week, up from 1.22 million meters, following heavy rains. The increased water flows could cause the river’s third major flooding event this year. Associated Press

In context: Historic Missouri River Flood Damages Water Infrastructure.

240+ People who have died in two mining dam collapses in the past four years in Brazil. Facing public pressure, the owner of the dams, Vale SA, issued a statement stating that it had shut down similar dams in the country. A review by Reuters, however, found that Vale had only shut down a smaller, different type of dam, and misled the public about other planned dam closures. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

Extreme precipitation events are becoming more common in parts of India, according to experts from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and other organizations. In one study, a three-fold rise in periods of intense rainfall was recorded between 1950 and 2015. Experts say the heavy rainfall, along with unchecked urbanization and land degradation, increases the risk for deadly flooding. Yale Environment 360

On the Radar

Drought continues to sap hydropower output in Zambia, prompting the country’s energy minister to warn that the country may increase power tariffs by 100 percent. The country is in the midst of a several-month drought. BNN Bloomberg

In context: Zambia Electricity Shortage Highlights Africa’s Hydropower Shortfalls

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