The Stream, July 24, 2020: Chennai is at risk for not meeting its drinking water requirements

The Global Rundown

A committee of irrigation officials convene to fulfill Chennai’s drinking water requirements. Tens of thousands continue to be evacuated in China due to intense flooding. Researchers discover copious amounts of microplastics in the River Thames are threatening human health and wildlife.Annual rainfall continues to wreak havoc in South Asia. Michigan’s governor slams Enbridge Inc. for seemingly failing to pay for damages caused by Line 5.

“When I was a kid, my parents taught me: ‘You break it, you pay for it.’ It seems that’s the bare minimum Enbridge owes every Michigander so long as the company continues to pump crude oil through the Straits of Mackinac.” –Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer criticized Enbridge Inc., the company responsible for the controversial Line 5 pipeline, for reportedly refusing to pay for any damages caused by the pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge has insisted that it has already promised that under a 2018 deal with former Governor Rick Snyder, although it is unclear whether that deal—which was signed by Enbridge subsidiaries—applies to the parent company, Enbridge Inc. AP

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By The Numbers

16000 The number of people evacuated from the town of Guzen in the Chinese province of Anhui after weeks of torrential rains caused a nearby river to overflow. Tens of thousands of people living in the Anhui and Hubei provinces have been evacuated over the last few weeks due to flooding and landslides amid the heaviest rainfall in decades. China’s National Meteorological Center warned local officials to remain vigilant for further flooding and mudslides, while Ministry officials said they will pay special attention to the Three Gorges Dam, whose water levels are now higher than its official warning level. Al Jazeera

15 thousand million cubic feet The amount of water the city of Chennai is entitled to each year. The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) constituted a High Power Committee with irrigation officials from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to discuss Tamil Nadu’s request to release water stored in the Kandaleru reservoir to meet Chennai’s drinking water requirements. Tamil Nadu engineers have stressed that the water will need to be released between June and October, while Andhra Pradesh officials argue it will not be possible to release any water before November. The Hindu

In context: Chennai’s Security Tied to Cleaning Up Its Water

Science, Studies, and Reports

Researchers found that severe amounts of plastic in the River Thames is threatening wildlife and human health. Scientists at the University of London said an estimated 94,000 microplastics flow down the river per second in some areas and that crabs and other organisms in the river ingest the plastic. The problem, the researchers said, could get worse due to the large amounts of single use plastic being used during the pandemic. The Independent

On the Radar

Monsoon rains continue to pound South Asia, killing more than 250 people so far. In Bangladesh, officials have warned of a prolonged disaster, saying the rain could last for another 10 days. Monsoon rains are critical for replenishing water supplies in an otherwise dry region, but annually wreaks havoc on its citizens, causing widespread death and damage. Al Jazeera

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

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