The Stream, June 26, 2020: Colorado Governor Implements Drought Plan for 40 Counties

The Global Rundown

Colorado Governor Jared Polis initiates a drought plan for 40 Colorado counties. The Brazilian Senate approves a new sanitation bill intended to jumpstart privatization of water and sewage companies. A Michigan judge calls for a temporary shutdown of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. Environmentalists claim that illegal logging played a role in recent flooding in Ukraine. A new report finds that water conservation has worsened in Houston, Texas over the past four years. Afghanistan employs thousands of workers to help rejuvenate Kabul’s groundwater supply.  

“This is a tough job, but I have to do it to earn enough for food, and I have pride that I take part in the reconstruction of my country, this is good for the future of our country.” –Zaker Hussain Zaheri, a resident of Kabul, Afghanistan, who is currently employed by the government to dig rainwater catchments outside of the city. More than 40,000 workers who were laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic are now working to rehabilitate the city’s groundwater supplies as part of a new “green stimulus” project. Reuters

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By The Numbers

40 Counties in Colorado, out of  64, that are being affected by severe drought. Governor Jared Polis is introducing a task force to survey damages and recommend mitigation measures in the afflicted counties. The Denver Post 

200+ Towns and villages in western Ukraine that have been deluged by rains.The flooding left three people dead, breached dams and inundated roadways. Environmentalists claim that the flood was exacerbated by illegal logging in the Carpathian Mountains, which limited moisture absorption on surrounding slopes. The New York Times

Science, Studies, and Reports

The most recent Texas Water Conservation Scorecard, produced by the Texas Living Water Project and grades utilities on the state’s water conservation, showed minimal improvements in conservation since 2016. In Houston, conservation actually worsened, largely due to increased water loss from its distribution system. Houston Public Media 

On the Radar

The controversial Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline, which runs through the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, has been ordered to temporarily shut down following a ruling on Thursday by Circuit Court Judge James Jamo. An anchor support for the pipeline sustained “significant damage” last week, according to  Enbridge Energy. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who requested the temporary shutdown, is also involved in separate lawsuits calling for the permanent closure of the Line 5 pipeline. Bridge 

The Brazilian Senate approved a new sanitation bill on Wednesday, which is intended to usher in the privatization of water and sewage companies across the country. The bill also envisions universalizing  the country’s sanitation services by 2033. President Jair Bolsonaro still needs to sign off on the bill for it to become law. Reuters

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