The Stream, March 13, 2020: Seattle Will Maintain Water, Power Services for Duration of Coronavirus, Mayor Announces

The Global Rundown

Seattle, Washington, announces that it will keep water and power services on for all residents amid the city’s coronavirus outbreak. The UK government plans to review policies related to building homes on flood plains. The U.S. EPA says that $87 million in federal funding set aside for repairs following the Flint water crisis has gone unclaimed. Water shortages continue to affect Zambia despite recent rainfall. Seattle, Washington, announces that it will keep water and power services on for all residents amid the city’s coronavirus outbreak. Water becomes increasingly weaponized in hotspots such as the Indus Valley.

“Up until the 2000s, the Indus water treaty was the one positive thing in the equation between India and Pakistan. But in the last 10 years, that has changed. Water seems to have become part of the armoury for India to respond to Pakistan.” –Gareth Price, a senior research fellow on the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House in London, in reference to the increasing weaponization of water between India and Pakistan. Water shortages in the Indus Valley and beyond are becoming increasingly politicized, and experts warn that water-sharing tensions could verge toward full-blown war as climate change intensifies. Bloomberg

In context: Crucible in Kashmir: India and Pakistan’s Struggle Over Water | PODCAST |

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Building Bigger Walls in San Francisco Bay to Hold Back Rising WatersRising seas and a better understanding of flood risks prompt shoreline communities to build higher levees.

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By The Numbers

11,000 Homes in England that are currently slated to be built in high risk flood zones. After severe deluges struck parts of the English countryside in November and February, lawmakers say they are reconsidering policies related to building in floodplains. The Guardian 

6 meters (20 feet) Amount water levels in Zambia’s Lake Kariba reservoir have fallen in the past three years amid ongoing drought. Recent rainfall has helped alleviate dry conditions in the country, but officials say the precipitation has made a minimal impact on water levels in the massive artificial lake, and that water shortages remain a major concern in Zambia. The Guardian

In context: Zambia Electricity Shortage Highlights Africa’s Hydropower Shortfalls.

Science, Studies, and Reports

More than $87 million in federal funding set aside for repairing infrastructure after the Flint water crisis has gone untouched, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advised in a letter to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy last month. The letter encouraged the city to accelerate work on infrastructure projects before the grant period ends on December 31, 2021. MLive

On the Radar

Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle, Washington, announced that public water and electricity services will remain on for all residential and commercial accounts for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. If customers are unable to pay their bills, they will be eligible for deferred payment plans. The Seattle Times

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