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New UN Initiative To Save The Aral Sea

NEW YORK NY, United States

The UN Human Security Unit (HSU), in cooperation with Uzbekistan, Japan, Nigeria and Norway, has launched a "Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund" (MPHSTF) for the Aral Sea Region. The initiative marks a “new chapter for communities in the region,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said November 27.

Increased World Bank Commitment Gives Equal Emphasis To Climate Adaptation, Mitigation

Washington DC, United States

As the world’s governments meet in Katowice, Poland for COP24, The World Bank Group has announced a new set of climate targets for 2021-2025 with a key priority described by the Bank as boosting support for climate adaptation, recognizing that millions of people across the world are already facing the severe consequences of more extreme weather events.

$614 Million USD WIFIA Loan For San Diego Water Purification

WASHINGTON DC, United States

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a $614 Million USD loan to San Diego, California, about one-half the cost of the City of San Diego’s Pure Water Project. The loan was approved under the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a federal loan and guarantee program established in 2014 to accelerate investment in US water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects.

River In The Sky Is Pie In The Sky?

BEIJING, China

The feasibility of the innovative endeavour of two Chinese universities, codenamed “Tianhe Project”, that will utilize sky-based and space technologies to divert water vapor has been criticized by Chinese atmospheric physicists. Tianhe translates as "river in the sky".

Brazil: Mining Giant Will Fight Multi-Billion Dollar Lawsuit Over Samarco Mine Dam Disaster

BRASILIA, Brazil

The world's largest mining company, Anglo-Australian giant BHP, has said that it will fight a multi billion dollar damages lawsuit filed on behalf of 240,000 Brazilians affected by the 2015 tailings dam failure at the Samarco iron ore mine BHP operated in the state of Minas Gerais - Brazil's worst environmental disaster.

Erik Solheim Resigns As UNEP Chief After Travel Expenses Audit; Joyce Myusa Steps Up As Acting Head

NAIROBI, Kenya

The Executive Director of UN Environment (UNEP) has resigned after an audit of official travel by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services criticized the agency for “a culture of scant regard for internal controls and existing rules” on the use of public funds. Tanzanian microbiologist and World Bank alumna Joyce Msuya last week assumed the role of acting head of UNEP.

US Climate Assessment Report Warns Of Water Security Risks; Trump: "I don't believe it"

Washington DC, United States

The United States released its fourth National Climate Assessment Report last week – and it’s not looking good for water security in the North American republic.

The Congressionally mandated Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. More than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the US National Academy of Sciences.

The authors report that the quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.

The administration of Donald Trump has come under fire for attempting to “bury” the report by releasing it November 23, during the US Thanksgiving holiday period. The famously climate-change-denying President subsequently told reporters that he doesn’t believe his own government’s climate change findings. “I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” he said outside the White House November 26. “I don’t believe it".

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"No-Deal Brexit" Could Could Cause UK Clean Water Crisis "Within Days"

London, United Kingdom

A United Kingdom emergency contingency plan has warned that a so-called “no-deal Brexit”, whereby the UK leaves the European Union without an agreed exit deal, could trigger a clean water shortage “within days”.

The Mail on Sunday reported November 25 that this prospect convinced UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove to back the draft “deal” reached with the EU by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, which has divided her cabinet and the country.

Leaked documents are said to show concern that delivery of chemicals, imported from the EU and used in water purification, could get caught up in weeks of border chaos in the event of a no-deal Brexit and that the chemicals cannot be stockpiled and usually arrive “just in time” for use.

The no-deal doomsday plans, codenamed Operation Yellowhammer, and produced by the UK’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat, have been briefed to ministers including Gove,

The plans reportedly indicate that if water plants run out of the chemicals needed they “would probably need to stop the water supply to all their customers”.

Schools and office buildings could be forced to close and householders could face a shortage of drinking water, inability to flush toilets, cook, wash clothes or keep themselves clean, the contingency plans said.

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USAID To Shutter West Bank, Gaza Mission

Washington, United States

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is planning to permanently close its mission in the West Bank and Gaza in early 2019 in a move certain to exacerbate an ongoing water crisis in the region.

China Officials Cheated To Pass Environmental Inspection Of River

WEIFANG, China

A Chinese environmental inspection team has revealed a "cover-up" in Weifang, Shangdong Province, whereby city officials and the Binhai Economic and Technologic Development Zone had attempted to abate a pollution problem by throwing chemicals into the Weitan River in advance of a scheduled government inspection.

EU Flood Risk Audit Calls For Improved Planning And Protection

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg

The European Court of Auditors has completed its assessment of Member State compliance with the EU Flood Directive of 2007, concluding that there has been progress in assessing the risks of floods but that planning and implementation of flood risk management and protection is lagging. In addition, the auditors suggest that there are serious issues with proper allocation of funding.

EIB Loan Supports Nachtigal Hydro Plant In Cameroon

Yaounde, Cameroon

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a $57 Million USD loan to Nachtigal Hydro Power Company of Cameroon to support construction of a $1.4 Billion USD, 420 MW hydropower project on the Sanaga River that includes 50 km power transmission line.

Jordan Requests Increased Water Supply From Israel

AMMAN, Jordan

A delegation from Jordan visited the Sea of Galilee, also known as Lake Kinneret, November 19 to request an increase in the amount of water Israel allocates to Jordan. Drought, and pressure on water resources associated with an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the war in Syria, put increasing stress on Jordan's water. 

Romaine Lettuce Contamination Warning Issued

WASHINGTON, United States

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an unusually broad warning this week about a fresh outbreak of E.coli linked to romaine lettuce, and cautioned people not to eat any romaine lettuce.

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