The Stream, August 4, 2020: Future Monsoon Seasons in India Will Be Weaker, Study Says

The Global Rundown

A new study predicts future monsoon seasons will be weakened in India. New York passes new drinking water regulations. The Navajo Nation approves spending for coronavirus relief. Hurricane Isaias threatens the Florida coast. A new study finds hundreds of dams are being built on protected areas globally.

“Rivers are the lifeblood of ecosystems. Any policy that aims to conserve nature must prioritize the free flow of rivers.” – Michele Thieme, lead freshwater scientist at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A new study, led by Thieme, found that over 500 dams are planned or under construction in protected areas. The findings are seen as a red flag to many environmentalists, as dams have been linked to the decline of freshwater biodiversity. The report also found that over 1200 large dams already exist in protected areas, most of which were built before the area was deemed protected. WWF

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By The Numbers

1 part per billion The standard for 1,4 Dioxane in drinking water, according to new water quality standards in New York. The chemical, which can be found in baby products, shampoos, body washes and lotions, is hard to remove and experts consider it a likely carcinogen. Citizen groups hope the move will encourage other states to follow suit. Great Lakes Now

$651 million The amount of spending passed by the Navajo Nation Council late Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including money for water projects. The money will go to addressing challenges like lack of running water and access to electricity that have exacerbated coronavirus on the reservation. AP

In context: As Pandemic Magnifies Navajo Nation Water Deficit, Coronavirus Funding Questions Arise

Science, Studies, and Reports

A new study warns that warming in the Bay of Bengal could weaken the monsoon season in India, which is the main water source for agriculture in half of the country. The study, which is part of a project to build models to project annual monsoon rainfall, used decades of reported warm sea surface temperatures that corresponded with weaker monsoon rains. Hindustan Times 

On the Radar

After tearing through the Bahamas on Sunday, Hurricane Isaias is headed to Florida’s coast. Although no immediate evacuation orders have been given, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that 12 counties adopted states of emergency, and urged people to prepare stockpiles of water, food and medication. Evacuation centers are on standby in Miami that could be set up with Covid-19 safety measures. Some islands in the Bahamas, which are usually capable of withstanding strong hurricanes, have been destabilized both by the pandemic and damage caused by last year’s Hurricane Dorian. The Guardian

In context: In Pandemic, New Thinking on Responding to Weather Disasters

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