The Stream, September 6, 2019: Chile Forms Water Crisis Team Amid Worst Drought in Decades

The Global Rundown

Chile forms a water crisis team as the worst drought in 60 years envelops the country. Kenya ousts people from the Mau forest in an attempt to preserve the country’s key “water tower.” Hurricane Dorian brings flooding and outages to North Carolina. Unfinished designs delay connection of the Flint, Michigan, back-up water source. Tropical Storm Podul damages nearly 250,000 hectares of Thai cropland. 

“The water shortages and drought… has become more extensive and more intense, and that is reflected in many ways: a decrease in precipitation and rainfall in virtually all of Chile’s regions, a decline in river flows, less water in our reservoirs and less snow on our mountain ranges.” –Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile, in reference to the country’s worst drought in 60 years. In response, the government has formed a water crisis team of government agencies, academics, and industry members to help tackle the crisis. Reuters

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By The Numbers

60,000 Settlers in Kenya’s Mau forest that are being targeted for eviction, according to human rights groups. The government is removing forest residents in an attempt to protect the forest, which is known as the country’s most important “water tower” due to its key role in supplying the Mara River, as well as residents of Nairobi and other cities, with water. Settlement in the land, which the government says is illegal, has led to rampant logging and other degradation. Residents, however, claim that they hold titles to the land. Reuters

240,000 hectares (593,000 acres) Crops in Thailand that were damaged by Tropical Storm Podul. Flash floods from the storm also left 16 people dead. The inundation comes after months of drought in the country. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

Hurricane Dorian, still a Category 2 storm, was near Cape Fear, North Carolina, as of late Thursday evening. The hurricane has brought flooding, storm surges, and power outages to the state. The New York Times

On the Radar

A pipeline to a back-up water source for Flint, Michigan, is being delayed until next year due to unfinished designs. The pipeline, which will be connected to the Karegnondi Water Authority, was supposed to be completed by December 31 of 2019, but final designs for the project have reportedly still not been submitted. MLive

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