The Stream, September 5, 2019: Severe Water Stress Engulfs Jordan Due to Climate Change, Population Growth

The Global Rundown

Climate change, a growing population, and a lack of funds threaten water availability in Jordan. Australia’s third year of drought is likely to cut wheat harvests. Back-to-back tropical storms menace Thailand. Researchers study the impact of California wildfires on water resources. Rescue teams search for survivors in the Bahamas, where Hurricane Dorian washed away entire villages. 

“We can expect more deaths to be recorded. This is just preliminary information.” –Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, in reference to a death toll of seven as of Wednesday afternoon. Rescuers are rushing to the Bahamas after parts of the archipelago were devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Twitter reports warn that entire villages were washed away, and harrowing pictures show shredded homes and submerged cities. Dorian was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the island nation. Reuters

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By The Numbers

660,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan. This influx in population, alongside other factors such as climate change, over pumped aquifers, and a lack of funds to harness alternative water sources, are leaving Jordan vulnerable to severe water scarcity. The Middle Eastern nation receives less than 50 millimeters (2 inches) of rain each year, and ranks as one of the world’s most water-stressed countries. In response, Jordan is attempting to implement a large-scale desalination project in partnership with Israel. Nature

10 percent Amount that Australia’s predicted wheat crop fell compared to previous estimates as the country endures its third year of drought. Australia, once the world’s top wheat supplier, is falling behind other nations, including rival Black Sea producers such as Russia and Ukraine. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

A team of researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looked at the impact of California wildfires on subsequent large-scale hydrological processes. The study found that the aftermath of wildfires often led to greater winter snowpack, greater summer runoff, and a boost in groundwater storage. Science Daily

On the Radar

Tropical Storm Podul caused heavy flooding in northern Thailand over the weekend, and now Tropical Storm Kajiki is closing in on the inundated nation. Officials are rushing water pumps and other machinery to help drain off water in flooded areas. Relief Web

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