GLOBAL DAILY WATER NEWS
- Hurricane Iota hits Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm.
- A plan to build a pipeline to the Colorado River from San Diego receives opposition from San Diego Water Authority members agencies.
- Over a dozen villages in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa are without running water.
- The mayor in Louisville, Kentucky proposes a multi-million-dollar initiative to assist residents with their utility bills.
Mexico’s president chooses to flood a rural, Indigenous community to spare an urban city.
“We had to choose the lesser of two evils, and not flood Villahermosa.” – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. López Obrador defended his decision to open strategic floodgates in poor, sparsely populated Indigenous areas this week, the Associated Press reports. He claimed his decision helped avoid a major flood in Villahermosa, a city home to over 350,000 people where heavy rains have affected about 161,000. When a dam in Tabasco, the Gulf coast state that house’s Villahermosa, reached capacity, López Obrador chose to release the water into the rural township of Nacajuca, whose population is about 83,000.
IN RECENT WATER NEWS
HotSpots H2O: In a Year of Unrelenting Floods, Yet Another Storm Hits Central Vietnam – Tropical storm Etau passed through central Vietnam last week as Typhoon Vamco, which struck the Philippines the same week, arrived Sunday. After months of intense storms and flooding, Etau is the twelfth to hit the country this year and the eighth in the past month.
What’s Up With Water – November 16, 2020 – This week’s episode covers the approval of an application to inject millions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater into a Wyoming freshwater aquifer, lawsuits filed against three big companies over ‘forever chemicals’ found in drinking water in New Jersey and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who reached a decision in one of the state’s most scrutinized environmental disputes.
Hurricane Iota Hits Hard In Nicaragua
Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua Monday night as a Category 4 storm, CBS News reports. At 155 mph (249 kph), the storm’s maximum sustained winds were just two miles per hour short of making it a Category 5 hurricane. Iota made landfall just 15 miles south of where Hurricane Eta struck earlier this month and forecasters warned the storm surge could reach up to 20 feet (6m) above normal tides. Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said the government has so far evacuated thousands of residents and that the country of Taiwan donated 800 tons of rice to help those affected by the storms.
TODAY’S TOP WATER STORIES, TOLD IN NUMBERS
The Arctic sea ice extent is currently the lowest it has been in at least a thousand years at this time of year, scientists have said. The Independent reports that although refreezing has now begun, current ice coverage is now roughly the same as it was during the height of the summer. Experts say the biggest area of concern is in the Laptev Sea, north of Siberia. Ice formed in this area typically carries nutrients westward which feed Arctic plankton and support fish and marine mammals further up the food chain. Sea ice is crucial in controlling the earth’s climate. A loss of ice could accelerate global heating further and alter the global food web.
R254 million ($16.5 million)
Several villages in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa are still without running water, despite R254 million ($16.5 million) being allocated for two water projects in 17 villages. One of the projects set out to install water for nine villages in 2010 has only successfully brought water to one village. GroundUp reports that residents in several villages said they travel long distances for water, which many times isn’t even clean. Others reported water projects in their villages have been abandoned or neglected.
ON THE RADAR
The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky has proposed a $10 million initiative to relieve residents of utility debt spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic, Spectrum News 1 reports. Mayor Greg Fischer said that the funds will become available to customers of several local utility companies, including Louisville Water Co., in mid-January. An original moratorium on utility bills across the state of Kentucky was lifted in October, yet thousands of customers still couldn’t pay their bills. As of October 29, 18,000 residents in Jefferson county were behind on their water bills.
- Millions of Americans Are In Water Debt
- Water Shutoffs Are Suspended, But the Bills Will Still Be Due
Jane is a Communications Associate for Circle of Blue. She writes The Stream and has covered domestic and international water issues for Circle of Blue. 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 Grand Rapids, Michigan, Jane enjoys listening to music, reading and spending time outdoors.