The Stream, May 19, 2021: UK Water Watchdog Releases Green Infrastructure Investment Plan

YOUR GLOBAL RUNDOWN

  • The water watchdog in the UK released a multibillion-dollar plan to invest in green infrastructure.
  • Heavy rains in the Amazon flood local communities.
  • A business owner in Flint, Michigan was found guilty of dumping millions of gallons of liquid waste into the city’s sewers.
  • A state of emergency is declared in two communities in northwest Alaska after floods caused power outages last week.

Drought in California is straining already water-scarce farming communities.

“(Pumping groundwater is) going to lead potentially to dry wells for low-income people who can’t afford to dig deeper wells. It will also potentially lead to toxic groundwater plumes spreading through the valley that could affect people with shallow wells and don’t have a community water system to provide safe drinking water.” – Jonathan London, associate professor of human ecology and faculty director of the Center for Regional Change at the University of California, Davis. Inside Climate News reports that drought in California is straining farming communities that already struggle with water supply. California farmers lost about 30 percent of their surface water allocations during the last extreme drought, largely forcing them to pump groundwater. Though California has enacted groundwater rules, an increase in pumping could deplete drinking water supplies in communities that already deal with agricultural pollution.

IN RECENT WATER NEWS

In Case You Missed It:

Green Infrastructure: Cities Around the Great Lakes Plan for a Changing Future – Cities around the Great Lakes basin are increasing turning to green stormwater infrastructure to ease the burden on their wastewater infrastructure and improve water quality. This story was originally published by Great Lakes Now as part of the Great Lakes News Collaborative.

HotSpots H2O: Amid American West Megadrought, Montana’s Reservoirs Are Running Dry – The pain of extreme megadrought in the American West is being felt in Montana, where officials worry that a historically dry spring will shrink the state’s agricultural yield and increase the risk of summer wildfires.

Heavy Rain Floods Amazon Rainforest Communities

Heavy rains have lifted rivers to near-record levels in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, where floods have affected over 400,000 people, Reuters reports.  An ecologist said that climate change is leading to heavier rains in recent years, as well as triggering extremely dry years that can hurt farming.

TODAY’S TOP WATER STORIES, TOLD IN NUMBERS

48 MILLION GALLONS

Robert Massey, the president and owner of Oil Chem Inc. in Flint, Michigan, was sentenced to one year in prison on Friday for illegally dumping almost 48 million gallons of liquid landfill waste into the city’s sewers between 2007 and 2015. The Associated Press reports that the sentence comes after Massey pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act in January.

2.8 BILLION POUNDS ($3.95 BILLION)

Great Britain’s water regulator, Watchdog Ofwat, released a 2.8 billion pound ($3.95 billion) green investment plan this week, Reuters reports. The money will go towards  projects backed by water utilities throughout the UK and future environmental projects to help achieve the country’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

ON THE RADAR

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared a disaster for two cities in the northwest region of the state after an ice jam caused flooding last week, the Associated Press reports. The flooding has left some homes without heat, and a boil-water notice is in place for the cities of Buckland and Native Village of Buckland.

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