The Stream, October 7, 2020: Hurricane Delta Upgrades to Category 4 Storm Prior to Hitting Mexico

The Global Rundown

Forecasters predict Hurricane Delta will affect Mexican and U.S. coasts this week. An environmental coalition in Wales is urging lawmakers to halt approvals for largescale poultry farms amid intense river pollution. A new fish bypass system in Nevada could increase migration for a threatened trout species for the first time in over a century. The World Wildlife Fund released new global water risk scenarios for the next 30 years. Teachers in Zimbabwe refuse to return to school amid sanitation concerns.

“Government is not serious. There is no sanitation, there are not enough toilets and sanitizers. Each school in urban areas was given 20 liters of sanitizers and this is expected to cover 800 schoolchildren.” – Raymond Majongwe, president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ). A lack of clean water and sanitizer in school’s is causing teachers in Zimbabwe to strike, citing the government’s inability to contain possible coronavirus outbreaks. According to PTUZ, 98 percent of teachers across the country did not work last week. Before returning to class, teachers are calling for regular testing, personal protective equipment and risk allowances. Education ministry officials have acknowledged the lack of clean water in schools and are working to reduce overcrowding in schools. The Guardian

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By The Numbers

134 The number of intensive poultry farms (IPUs) the Powys Planning Authority in Wales has approved since 2015. The Wales Environmental Link (Wel), a network of 30 environmental and countryside organizations, are now calling for a halt to those approvals as pollution from the largescale poultry farms continues to contaminate rivers. James Byrne from Wildlife Trust Wales compared algal blooms in the Wys River to “pea soup,” and blamed the pollution on manure from livestock operations. The Welsh government said they will have a draft of new agricultural pollution regulations by spring of next year but are waiting for a review of nutrient levels in Wales’ rivers before they consider a moratorium. The Guardian

$34 million The cost of a fish bypass system at Derby Dam in Nevada. The system is a major step towards allowing the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout to one day make a 100-mile trip upstream from a desert lake to Lake Tahoe, a trek the species hasn’t made in more than 100 years. The dam was first commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 as part of the first major irrigation system in the West. In recent years, however, Lahontan cutthroats haven’t been able to get past the dam. Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said the project wouldn’t have been completed without the partnership of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, who helped “recover the fish that they hold sacred.” AP

Science, Studies, and Reports

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a new set of Water Risk Filter scenarios to help companies and investors assess how water risks could impact their operations, supply chains and investments. The scenarios, which are broken down between “optimistic,” “current trend” and “pessimistic,” represent the consequences of climate and socio-economic changes on water resources in 2030 and 2050. The WWF report also included recommendations for using the scenarios, including understanding the assumptions of the scenarios, understanding the drivers of risk change and creating Nature-based Solutions that focus on collective action. World Wildlife Fund

On the Radar

Hurricane Delta became a Category 4 storm on Tuesday, sustaining winds up to 140 mph (225 kph). As of Tuesday, Delta was 260 miles (418 kilometers) east-southwest of Cozumel, Mexico and poses an immediate threat to the Yucatan Peninsula, where resort hot-spots like Cozumel and Tulum are located. The hurricane is projected to hit the coast of Mexico by Wednesday. Although cooler offshore waters, among other conditions, could weaken Delta before it potentially hits U.S. land later this week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Louisianans to “prepare accordingly.” NPR

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