The Global Rundown
The Washington state senate passes legislation banning new permits for water bottling in the state. Homes and business remain without power in Jackson, Mississippi, and other areas hit by recent flooding in the southern U.S. More rain from Storm Dennis is expected to hit the United Kingdom, where several communities are already deluged. A U.S. federal judge dismisses a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers related to flooding during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. Murrurundi, Australia, remains parched despite recent rainfall in surrounding areas.
“You can watch storms go straight around and you won’t even get wet here. It gets frustrating. It makes you want to run up into the hills and see if you can bring it back.” –Sally Roser, a resident of Murrurundi, Australia, in reference to a lack of rainfall in the small town. Recent rainfall has revitalized several parts of drought-stricken eastern Australia, but has almost entirely skirted Murrurundi, which has been under the country’s highest level of water restrictions since July 2018. Reuters
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
What’s Up With Water – February 17, 2020 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on increased reservoir levels in Sydney, Australia, new funding for clean drinking water in the Gaza Strip, and new legislation on overdue water bills in Ohio.
HotSpots H2O: Drowning In South Africa Sparks Riot Over Water Shortages — A young girl’s drowning in eastern South Africa this January aggravated existing frustrations over water supply in the parched nation.
By The Numbers
500 Customers in and around Jackson, Mississippi, who are still without power following recent flooding. Heavy rains continue to fall in several parts of the southern U.S., prompting several flood warnings and causing some school delays in Alabama. Associated Press
25,000 Properties in the United Kingdom that have been spared from Storm Dennis thanks to flood defences and temporary barriers. Officials report that floodwaters have breached 599 properties in England and another 800 in Wales, as of Tuesday afternoon. Rainfall is expected to continue across some parts of the country until this weekend. The Guardian
Science, Studies, and Reports
In the midst of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was forced to open the floodgates of the Addicks and Barker dams in Houston, Texas, an event that deluged several downstream neighborhoods. This week, U.S. federal Judge Loren A. Smith ruled that the Corps is not liable for the damages caused by opening the dams, arguing that the neighborhoods would have been flooded regardless of whether the Corps opened the floodgates. The Texas Tribune
On the Radar
The Washington state senate banned any new permits for water bottling operations in the state, asserting that “any use of water for the commercial production of bottled water is deemed to be detrimental to the public welfare and the public interest.” Washington is the first U.S. state to impose such a restriction. The Guardian
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