The Stream, April 6, 2022: IPCC Report Warns Against Mitigation Strategies That Will Increase Water Scarcity

A lone Mexican woman skirts a jaguey near San Marcos Tlacoyalco. These man-made, earth-bermed basins collect rainwater for livestock and also supply water for domestic needs. Photos © Brent Stirton / Reportage by Getty Images for Circle of Blue


  • The latest report from the United Nations climate panel urges global leaders to adopt policies to reduce carbon pollution.
  • In Canada, the federal government will fund a multi-million-dollar water reservoir in a rural community plagued by water contamination.
  • Mudslides and flooding wreak havoc in Brazil.
  • Ongoing drought decimates Honduran farmland.

Australian officials dismantle a national advisory board days after some of its members criticized a recent dam proposal.

“Water infrastructure investment decisions are far too important, with far too many consequences, to be used for brazenly political purposes in the lead up to an election.”

– Stuart Khan, an expert member of Australia’s National Water Grid Advisory Body.

Australia’s deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, dissolved a national advisory body set up to scrutinize major water projects days after members of the body criticized a recent damming project proposed by the prime minister and deputy prime minister. In letters to other members of advisory council, Khan said the officials’ decision to move forward with multi-billion-dollar dams in Queensland without consulting the board was “intended to extract political benefit” and did not consider the needs of the state’s water infrastructure.

More News From Australia: As historic flooding continues in New South Wales and Queensland, affected residents say real estate agents should be required to make buyers aware of risks.  

In Recent Water News

What’s Up With Water – April 5, 2022 – This week’s episode of What’s Up With Water covers a controversial dam proposal in Australia, worsening drought in California, and a major spending bill in Michigan.

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Latest IPCC Report Tackles Climate Mitigation

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released earlier this week, focused on ways to reduce carbon pollution. The assessment outlined several mitigation strategies aimed to keep the global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, at which point damage to the earth’s atmosphere will be irreversible. Strategies included urging cities to focus on green infrastructure, which can reduce carbon pollution and protect against flooding and urban heatwaves. The report’s authors, however, warned that some mitigation strategies could threaten water supply and quality if implemented incorrectly. This is the panel’s third report of its sixth assessment cycle. The first two reports focused on current understandings of the physical science of climate change and adaption strategies and vulnerability.

In Context: Removing Carbon from Air, Which Increases Water Use, Is No Simple Climate Fix

This Week’s Top Water Stories, Told In Numbers

$214 MILLION  

The Canadian government will fund a $214 million water reservoir in the northern city of Iqaluit. The federal funding comes after water supplies in the rural community were contaminated by a petroleum leak last year. City officials expect the project to be complete in the next four years.


Reuters reports that rescuers responded to 850 calls in 24 hours after heavy rain caused mudslides and flooding in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro over the weekend. State authorities reported that 144 people were evacuated via rescue operations. At least 14 people had been killed, officials said.

On the Radar

Persistent drought has led to economic crises in Honduras’s farm regions. Farmers in what has become known as Central America’s “Dry Corridor” are struggling to make ends meet after years of meager crop yields. Many have left the country to find work in the United States, although many have either died during the journey or been denied entry at the Mexico-U.S. border. For those that remain in their home countries, governments rarely have resources to properly finance much-needed adaptation plans.

Drought Around the World:

  • Officials in Italy are fining residents for wasting water after one of the country’s driest winters in the last 65 years.
  • The Guardian documents Somalia’s drought crisis in pictures.
  • Farmers in Arizona suffer as water cuts continue.

More Water News

A factory farm in southern Michigan has repeatedly violated environmental laws and is contaminating local waterways, according to a civil action filed by the state’s attorney general.

Chile has filed a lawsuit against Bolivia in the United Nation’s highest court over rights to Silala River water.

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