The Stream, August 18, 2020: Report Says California’s Water Suppliers Are Overestimating Demand

The Global Rundown

A new report recommends shifts in water supply forecasting as Californians become acclimated to conservation. The death toll continues to rise after flooding in Sudan. Water in unique wetlands in southeastern Arizona are being depleted by the construction of the border wall. Negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam resume. New tools for extreme weather forecasting could help citizens of Bangladesh avoid flood crises.

“The money will help us survive this flood. If we have anything left one the floods are going, then we are going to build our house on higher ground and hopefully next time it won’t be as bad.” – Rowshan Ara, who received a cash payment of 53 dollars (41 euros) from The World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Federal of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). WFP and IFRC have begun using advances in data collection and weather forecasting systems to develop a mechanism that disburses funding for humanitarian aid before a flood occurs. The goal of the program is to create a faster, more efficient and humanitarian response to disasters, which also protects development gains and prevents crises before they occur. The Independent

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By The Numbers

65 The number of people dead after flooding in Sudan that has destroyed more than 14,000 homes. Sudan’s Khartoum, Blue Nile and River Nile states have been hit the hardest, and more than 1,600 water sources have been contaminated or have been deemed non-functional, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan. Flooding is common in Sudan, which suffers from poor infrastructure and lacks functional sewer systems and storm drains, during the Horn of Africa’s rainy season from June to October. Al Jazeera

2300 The number of acres on the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, whose wetlands are being threatened by the U.S. funded border wall between the United States and Mexico. The agency in charge of building the wall was warned of water depletion in the unique wetlands of southeastern Arizona, but immigration officials largely ignored them, according to dozens of records obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity. A report by the Fish and Wildlife Service showed that millions of gallons of water were withdrew from a well 1.5 miles from the refuge, resulting in lower water levels within the refuge and even emptying some ponds. Santa Fe New Mexican

Science, Studies, and Reports

A new report by the Pacific Institute suggests that Californians have adapted so well to water conservation efforts that water forecasters need to rethink their approach to predicting long-range water demand. The authors of the report said that suppliers have overestimated demand, which can result in unneeded water supply and treatment infrastructure, higher costs to ratepayers and unnecessary adverse environmental impacts. The report concludes that future forecasters need to evaluate water use trends and the accuracy of demand forecasts, develop standards and guidelines for urban water demand forecasts and advance tools and resources for small and medium-sized water suppliers. The Pacific Institute

On the Radar

Negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) resumed on Sunday after Sudan and Egypt called for a suspension earlier this month. The decision to resume the talks, which are currently being moderated by South Africa, came a day after Sudan and Egypt voiced optimism that a deal could be reached. Al Jazeera

In context: HotSpots H2O: Tensions Rise in Horn of Africa as Ethiopia Fills Controversial Dam

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