Climate change is causing a lot of damage around the planet. In particular, it corrects the rainfall regime by emphasizing extremes: some areas increasingly face downpours while others suffer from a prolonged lack of rain. Drought and scarcity of green gold are particularly evident this summer, with major consequences for society and biodiversity. Release take you around the world.
In Iraq, the national treasure is disappearing
In the south of the country, the Chibayish marsh is one of four wetlands listed by UNESCO in 2016. This summer, a lack of rain and a persistent drought are depleting biodiversity reservoirs. study this. In this delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, with the retreat of the marshes, the sea intrudes more and salinizes the little remaining water. Human health and biodiversity are affected. Massive fish deaths, populations and herds of buffalo raised in this area are massively moving in search of green gold. The country, with an already very hot climate and frequent water crises exacerbated by poor management of dams, is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. More than 50 °C was recorded in the capital Baghdad in June.
In the United States, water shortages are dizzying
The western part of the country is experiencing its worst drought in… 1,200 years. Like neighboring California, Nevada does not see an end to the drought that has raged for several years. Currently, Lake Mead is only a quarter of its capacity, and it is struggling to operate the Hoover Dam, which generates electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes in the US. The project is located in the Colorado Basin, a river that is drying up due to increasing water demand combined with climate change. It’s located near Las Vegas, a redundant city in the middle of the desert. Its fill level, which has lost about 50 meters since 1983, has never been this low. Witness the white demarcation line.
Also powered by the Colorado River, Lake Powell in Utah is also at its lowest. So much so that the Glen Canyon Dam, which depends on its water source, will no longer be able to produce electricity by 2023. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are the largest reservoirs in the United States and provide water for 40 million people.
As Lake Mead shrinks, it reveals the remains of dried fish on its cracked shore. The bass fishing competition, which has been held every year for 50 years in Lake Mead, was moved this year. Other remains, this time human, were also found. That would be two victims, one of them found in a barrel, connected to the mafia that used to operate in Las Vegas.
Also in the United States, in Utah, the Great Salt Lake is turning into a salt desert
It has lost two-thirds of its surface due to drought. As the largest salt lake in the Americas, it is powered by snow and ice water from the mountains upstream. He gave his name to Salt Lake City, a city founded by the Mormons, inhabited by three-quarters of Utah’s population. With the lake drying up, shrimp and insects that once inhabited the area are at risk of disappearing, which will affect the 10 million migratory birds that pass through it each year. “The lucrative extraction of magnesium and other minerals from the lake could be stopped”also warn New York Times. There is still “more alarming” according to the newspaper. “The lake bed contains high levels of arsenic”. When water evaporates, the substance becomes dust. It can be carried by the wind during storms and make the air in Salt Lake City toxic.
In Mexico, the country’s second city is experiencing a shortage of drinking water
Monterrey, Mexico’s industrial capital and home to 5 million people, hasn’t seen any rain in fifteen months! In the north of the country water is scarce. Two of the three dams and reservoirs that provide faucets to its inhabitants have dried up. La Boca is the place hardest hit by the drought: it’s completely empty, as are the terraces of dozens of restaurants on the edge of the old waters. Only the hull and the boat were left stranded in the mud.
In early June, the authorities decided to supply potable water in Monterrey. She is only available for a few hours a day. Few homes have cisterns or cisterns to store water, as is the case with counties in the capital, Mexico City, to cope with water cuts. As soon as tank trucks appeared on the street, families rushed to fill up empty cans. As of Wednesday, the state of emergency because of the drought “serious, extreme or exceptional” licensed in some parts of the country.
UK, considered rain, starts saving water
The Lindley Wood Reservoir, located in the north of England in Yorkshire, is drying up. Since it is a reservoir used to store overflow from other reservoirs, there is currently no impact on the supply of domestic water to households. In the largest county in Great Britain, “Reservoirs are currently only operating at 62% above normal due to below-average rainfall over a long period of time”, the Yorkshire Post noted, however. Excessive heat creates parallel increases in demand for water, increasing pressure on precious resources. As the UK expects a wave “extreme heat” in its latitude from Sunday, with temperatures possibly exceeding 35°C. Water companies have urged Britons to save every drop of water, with sometimes outlandish advice. For example, Yorkshire Water should only boil the exact amount needed for your cup of tea…
Drought is taking a heavy toll on our Italian neighbor
Since May, the country has suffered from particularly early heat and a lack of rain, especially in the agricultural plains of Po, which suffered its worst drought in 70 years. The government has declared a state of emergency in 5 regions (Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont), 4 of which are raised by Po. This river, which flows through the north of the country from east to west, is in places seven meters below its usual level.
The depletion of the peninsula’s largest reservoir could cause a 30% loss of the nation’s agricultural output and threaten half of all farms in the delta, including those devoted to Parma ham. Several river-dependent central cities have announced restrictive measures. For example, Verona, 250,000 residents decided to use drinking water. Hydroelectric power production has also plummeted, while installations are largely in the mountains of northern Italy, producing almost 20% of the country’s energy.
France is far from immunity
Drought in the country could reach historic levels by the end of July according to Météo France. The government is trying to predict“Feasibility difficult drinking water». For two months, an unprecedented drought affected rivers and lakes in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, especially threatening the future of tourist activities in the Verdon Regional Natural Park. In the long term, the risk of shortage. If Verdon continues its journey in the moment, its flow will be less. The EDF has decided this season not to release water upstream of the canyons from hydraulic dams to reserve the meager amount of water available for agricultural irrigation, human and industrial needs. As a result, rafting, one of the river’s iconic activities, is no longer practiced this summer.
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