YOUR GLOBAL RUNDOWN
- Landslides and flash floods in Indonesia kill over 40 people and displace thousands.
- River mining in Kashmir is drying up canals that irrigate the region’s apple farms.
- Florida is taking precautions to prevent a 77-acre wastewater pond from collapsing.
- Negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam resume between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt.
Harris County, Texas, residents and officials demand more equitable distribution of flood-control funding after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
“What we’re dealing with is the legacy of a racialized formula where money follows money, power and wealth.” – Robert Bullard, a professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University in Houston and co-chair of the National Black Environmental Justice Network. Residents and some officials in Harris County say they are frustrated over inequitable flood-control funding after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Inside Climate News reports. In 2018, residents of the third largest county in the United States approved $2.5 billion in flood relief bonds. Last month, officials revealed a $1.3 billion shortfall in flood relief funding, along with a proposed project that favors white, middle-class, and upper-middle class neighborhoods. Now, Black and Latino residents and officials are calling on the county to stop a practice known as “redlining,” where poor communities of color are often underfunded compared to white, affluent neighborhoods.
IN RECENT WATER NEWS
In Case You Missed It:
HotSpots H2O: Indigenous Environmental Activist Shot and Killed in Honduras – The environmental activist Carlos Cerros was killed in Honduras, in the town of Nueva Granada, at the end of March, local media reported.
What’s Up With Water – April 5, 2021 – This week’s episode covers a special election in Greenland, international research that sheds light on an overlooked source of pollution in marine waters and a massive coastal restoration project in Louisiana.
Unabated River Mining in Kashmir Hurts Apple Farming Industry As Irrigation Canals Dry Up
Illegal and relentless river mining in Indian-administered Kashmir’s Shopian district is drying up irrigation canals and water channels, hindering the start of the region’s apple season. Al Jazeera reports that India scrapped the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019, bringing in developments that hurt local farms and prompted complaints of water shortages in nearly three dozen Shopian villages.
TODAY’S TOP WATER STORIES, TOLD IN NUMBERS
340 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER
Crews in Florida’s Tampa Bay area are working to prevent the collapse of a large wastewater pond and avoid a “catastrophic flood,” according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Associated Press reports that a breach at a 77-acre phosphate plant reservoir in Manatee County has the potential to gush out 340 million gallons of water in a matter of minutes. So far, authorities have closed off portions of U.S. Highway 41 and ordered the evacuations of 316 area homes and 345 inmates from a local jail.
At least 41 people have been killed in eastern Indonesia as torrential rains caused landslides and flash floods, the Associated Press reports. Indonesia’s disaster relief agency said aid efforts have been hampered by power cuts, blocked roads and the remoteness of areas surrounded by choppy seas and high waves. So far, thousands of people throughout the country have been displaced and dozens are still missing.
ON THE RADAR
Negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have resumed between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. Al Jazeera reports that the new round of discussions is being held in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the current chair of the African Union, which is mediating the negotiations. The three countries have been negotiating an agreement on filling and operating the massive Nile basin dam for nearly a decade.
Jane writes The Stream and covers 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.