The Global Rundown
Heavy rainfall in New South Wales, Australia, alleviates water shortages in more than a dozen towns. Albemarle, the world’s top lithium miner, plans to monitor water flows in Chile’s Atacama salt flat. A new study maps possible drought, floods, and forest fires that could occur across Europe in coming years. Residents of Yorkshire, England, decry inadequate flood protections in riverside towns. The drowning of a young girl in South Africa intensifies frustrations over chronic water shortages.
“We have to strike and burn things, only then do we get water.” –Malgas “Skinny” John, a resident of Mandela Park township in South Africa, in reference to ongoing water shortages in the area. Last month, an eight-year-old girl drowned while trying to fetch water from a polluted stream nearby. The incident spurred a week-long riot over water shortages, and residents say they will continue protesting unless the government helps ensure better water supply in the township. Reuters
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By The Numbers
20 Towns in New South Wales, Australia, where recent rainfall alleviated emergency water security concerns. Over the past week, drought-stricken parts of Australia received their heaviest rainfall in several years, easing water shortages and bushfires. Despite the boost in water supply, officials note that many towns are still short on water reserves. The Guardian
3 Major floods that have hit the town of Mytholmroyd, in Yorkshire, England, in the past decade. Flood events in villages along Yorkshire’s River Calder and River Aire are becoming more frequent, spurring increased funding for flood defense schemes. Residents of riverside towns are growing frustrated, however, with the pace and quality of flood prevention efforts. The Guardian
Science, Studies, and Reports
Detailed maps created by the European Environment Agency show the potential damages that could be caused by floods, droughts, and forest fires on the continent by the end of the century. The modeling warns that many Dutch and English coastal cities will undergo severe flooding from rising sea levels, while parts of Spain, Portugal, and France will be faced with desertification. The Guardian
On the Radar
Albemarle, the world’s top lithium producer, has filed for a network that would monitor water flows beneath Chile’s Atacama salt flat, a region where water supplies are becoming depleted. Residents and lawmakers are increasingly scrutinizing lithium production, and its water usage, in the salt flat. Reuters
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter