The Stream, June 23, 2021: Jordan Cancels Canal Plans With Israel and Palestinian Authority


  • Jordan cancels plans with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to build a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
  • An oil refinery on the U.S. Virgin Islands closes its doors after contaminating the local water supply.
  • A new report finds no lasting effects from fluoride contamination in a Utah city’s water supply.
  • Environmentalists begin cataloguing wildlife in an attempt to preserve wetlands outside of Romania’s capital.

A letter between U.K. officials finds lack of funding to the Environment Agency is impeding important conservation and adaptation projects.

“Over the last few years the drop in grant has forced us to reduce or stop work it used to fund, with real-world impacts (eg on our ability to protect water quality) for which we and the government are now facing mounting criticism.” – Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the U.K. Environment Agency, in a letter to environment secretary George Eustice. The Guardian reports that the letter said that underfunding is causing cutbacks or complete halts to pollution prevention and flood defense projects. The documents were obtained by the advocacy group River Action.


In Case You Missed It:

Hotspots H2O: Longstanding Drought in Iran Begets Farmer Protests, Power Outages, and Widespread Water Rationing – A decades-long drought in one of the warming world’s most arid regions, heightened by what many consider to be governmental mismanagement, has set the state for a severe, dangerously dry 2021.

What’s Up With Water – June 21, 2021 – This week’s episode covers steps taken by leaders of Arab countries on a controversial dam project in the Nile basin, a new study that is sounding the alarm on groundwater depletion in Iran, and drinking water supplies for more than 500,000 Iowa residents are at risk from drought and toxic algal blooms.

Jordan Cancels Plans For Canal With Israel and Palestinian Authority

After years of stagnation, Jordan cancelled a joint project with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to create a canal linking the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. The canal was meant to help maintain stability in Jordan, one of the most water-starved countries in the world. The Times of Israel reports that Jordan officials said instead the country will prioritize a project to pump water from the Red Sea to a desalination plant in Aqaba.



The Limetree Bay refinery on the island of St. Croix will shut down indefinitely due to financial problems, Reuters reports. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the facility to shut down for at least 60 days after nearby neighborhoods were sprayed with a petroleum mist that residents say caused breathing problems and caused water contamination. The plant had only been operational since February after being idle for a decade, producing 210,000 barrels of oil per day.


KUTV reports that there are no negative lasting effects on the water supply in Sandy, Utah, two years after the supply was contaminated with fluoride, according to a report from city officials. The city’s public utility director Tom Ward said fluoride pumps are now disconnected from inactive wells, and city employees are monitoring the wells around the clock.


Environmentalists are trying to preserve wetlands outside of Romania’s capital, Reuters reports. A team of biologists is cataloguing birds, mammals, and plants as part of a project to create a nationwide network of urban wildlife areas in an attempt to safeguard biodiversity and combat climate change.

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