The Global Rundown
Devastating flooding continues to wreak havoc on rural China. New Mexico is granted access to billions of gallons of water after a drought left large portions of the Rio Grande dry. Millions of people are displaced due to intense flooding in India and Nepal. A new study from a Japanese university finds terrestrial water could have originated inside the snow line. Many UK residents are still waiting for their homes to be repaired after winter flooding.
“Everything should’ve been done by the middle of May. That’s when the kitchen would’ve been fitted, the carpets would’ve been laid. [The pandemic] added at least another month to the work and extra costs.” –Daniel Greenslade, a British resident who was forced to evacuate his home with his partner and newborn daughter after it flooded in November. Renovations on their home, like many Brits who were affected by winter flooding, were stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many residents are still waiting to see when renovations will even begin, blaming insurance companies’ late response. The Guardian
Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue
Phoenix Tests Water Shutoff Alternative — Before the pandemic, the city had started installing a device that severely limits water flow into homes that are behind on bills. Other utilities are interested.
HotSpots H20: Water Outages Return to Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon as Covid-19 Cases Surge — Nearly 2,000 people on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon have been ordered to boil their water for the last several weeks due to a broken pipe that decreased water pressure for a substantial portion of the reservation.
Zambia Enters Pivotal Season with Few Covid-19 Cases But High Risks — Coronavirus has yet to peak in Zambia, but observers worry about the country’s ability to fight a disease surge.
What’s Up With Water–July 20, 2020 — This week’s edition of What’s Up With Water includes coverage on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the Yangtze River in southern China and the Great Lakes.
By The Numbers
38,000 acre-feet Amount of stored water that New Mexico can now access after receiving permission from neighboring states. The state’s Rio Grande Compact Commissioner John D’Antonio submitted the emergency request after little rainfall, low runoff and high temperatures have left large stretches of the river south of Albuquerque dry. Page Pegram, the Rio Grande Basin Manager for the Interstate Stream Commission, said that this is a short-term solution and, in the future, they are looking for better ways to share the water. Albuquerque Journal
4 million People who have been displaced by three waves of floods in India and Nepal since early May. Over half of those displaced are from the Indian state of Assam, where 79 people have died. In Nepal, more than 100 have died in floods and landslides since June, officials said. Floods and landslides are common during the rainy season, which annually devastates the region. Reuters
Science, Studies, and Reports
A group of scientists out of Hokkaido University found that heating interstellar organic matter at high temperatures could yield abundant water and oil. The study adds to the mounting research into the origin of water on earth, which previously suggested that terrestrial water had been delivered by comets or meteorites containing hydrous silicates from outside the “snow line,” or boundary beyond where ice can condense due to low temperatures. The new study suggests that water can be produced within the snow line, without the contribution of comets and meteorites. Hokkaido University
On the Radar
Torrential rain continued to ravage China over the weekend during the worst bout of flooding in over 30 years. Since the unusually devastating rains began at the beginning of the month, 141 people have died or gone missing and at least 28,000 homes have been destroyed. The major city of Wuhan declared red alerts as heavy rains forced rivers and lakes to rise dramatically. Voice of America
Jane is a summer intern at Circle of Blue writing on domestic and international water issues. Jane also writes The Stream for Circle of Blue. Her work is funded through the Allen and Helen Hunting Innovation and Research Fund at the Annis Water Resources Institute. She is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied Multimedia Journalism and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. During her time at Grand Valley, she was the host of the Community Service Learning Center podcast Be the Change. Currently based in Alma, Michigan, Jane enjoys listening to music, writing and spending time outdoors.