The Stream, November 19, 2021: Flooding Devastates British Columbia


  • Residents in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe are without water as the city mitigates ongoing power outages.
  • A recent atmospheric river in British Columbia leaves nearly 20,000 people stranded and thousands of animals dead.
  • Britain will launch an investigation into potential illegal sewage discharge by water companies.

Residents in northeast Syria displaced by Turkish military forces say Turkey regularly withholds water supplies from them amid the country’s worst drought in history.

“No water, no water, that’s the reality.” – Najdet, a Kurdish man who earns $30 per month working for the Syrian government-run electricity board in al-Kasakah. Clean water sources are regularly withheld from families in northeast Syria displaced by ongoing conflict with the Turkish military. Turkish water cuts are made even worse by an unrelenting drought across Syria. To make up for the lack of supplies given to them, residents regularly buy water from private sources, which can be expensive and are often unfit to drink.


Speaking of Water: “How Do We Consider Mass Resettlement Of The World Population?” With Parag Khanna

Human civilization is moving and with climate change and shifting water supplies, we face the greatest migration in human history. What’s that mean for nations and communities today? Author Parag Khanna discusses his new book, Move: The Forces Uprooting Us, and four scenarios for the future.

In Case You Missed It:  

Households Still Have Not Received Aid from New Federal Water Bill Assistance Program – A new federal assistance program is slow to launch. At least one state is turning to other pots of money to help residents with overdue water bills.

HotSpots H2O: In Afghanistan, Political Upheaval Aggravates Drought-Fueled Famine – Well before Afghanistan’s political upheaval this summer, drought was pushing the country to the brink of a food crisis. Now, a whirlwind of risk factors are accelerating the country’s decline into an all-out famine.

Zimbabwe’s Second Largest City Loses Access To Water Supplies As Nationwide Power Outages Continue

Nationwide power outages in Zimbabwe have forced officials to limit water supplies in the city of Bulawayo. On Thursday, the city announced residents will have to go without water for three days due to power outages that have left local reservoirs inoperable.


18,000 PEOPLE

A recent atmospheric river has caused massive flooding and landslides across British Columbia in Canada. Officials say around 18,000 people are still stranded as floods have completely blocked off entire towns and cut off access to the country’s largest port in Vancouver, disrupting global supply chains. One fatality has been confirmed from what could end up being the province’s costliest natural disaster, but officials say that number will most likely rise.


Floods across British Columbia have also created a crisis for area farmers, officials say. B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said this week that thousands of livestock animals have been abandoned or will have to be euthanized due to the floods, and hundreds of farms have been affected by the disaster.


Britain is launching an investigation into sewage treatment after several water companies admitted to potentially releasing illegal waste into waterways. The British Environment Agency, along with water regulator Ofwat, said some companies could face prosecution or fines up to 10 percent of annual turnover for civil cases or unlimited in criminal proceedings.

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