YOUR GLOBAL RUNDOWN
- India and Pakistan resume Indus River negotiations for the first time in two years.
- A new study reveals warming subsurface water in Lake Michigan.
- An independent panel in Canada’s Yukon province reviews outdated mining laws that don’t benefit locals and First Nations communities.
- A campaign to stop hydropower development on an Albanian river receives international attention.
An Illinois utility watchdog supports a bill that would give residents a say in water privatization.
“I believe people who are on a public water system, both as taxpayers and water bill payers, deserve an individual voting say before structural change in their local government takes place.” – Illinois state Sen. John Connor. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Citizens Utility Board, an Illinois utility watchdog, favors a bill that would require a local vote before water companies could purchase a municipal system. Although the majority of water systems in Illinois are publicly owned, concerns about water privatization have emerged. Two water companies, Aqua Illinois and Illinois American, have purchased more than 30 water and wastewater systems in the state since 2013, together charging customers hundreds of millions to cover acquisitions.
IN RECENT WATER NEWS
In Case You Missed It:
Michigan’s Rural Water Systems Confront Generations of Inadequate Investment – A critical juncture is reached for providing water to state’s rural communities.
Five Bright Spots in the Mekong – Southeast Asia’s main waterway faces substantial challenges. But five developments could change the river’s course.
New Study Reveals Warming Subsurface Waters in Lake Michigan
A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory found that Lake Michigan is warming deep below the surface. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, used 30 years of data to analyze temperature trends. The study authors wrote that their findings could affect the ecosystems of surface freshwater globally.
TODAY’S TOP WATER STORIES, TOLD IN NUMBERS
As 40 percent of the American West continues to grapple with “exceptional drought,” eight states are now exploring cloud seeding as a way to avoid a worst-case scenario, the Guardian reports. Cloud seeding is the process of adding small particles of silver iodide, which are structured similarly to ice, to clouds to increase the chance of precipitation. Experts are quick to emphasize that cloud seeding is difficult to successfully implement—and doesn’t solve systemic causes of drought. However, the process can provide a short-term solution to states suffering from widespread dry conditions.
A campaign to stop hydropower dam development on the 300-kilometer (186-mile) Vjosa River in Albania has received international attention, EuroNews reports. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and the outdoor brand Patagonia have joined local and regional conservation groups to bring awareness to a proposal to turn the land the river runs through into a national park to avoid exploitation of the river. Political leaders in Albania have supported the park proposal, but activists fear empty promises.
ON THE RADAR
India and Pakistan met for the first time in over two years on Tuesday in an attempt to resolve issues under the Indus Waters Treaty, the Indian Express reports. On the first day of the meetings, which continued on Wednesday, delegates discussed Pakistan’s objections to Indian hydropower projects on the Chenab River. The last meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission was held in 2018. Since then, a series of military attacks between the two countries put negotiations in gridlock.
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.