From: Joerg Barandat
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:45 PM


Ajit Pawar diverted irrigation water to industry

Apr 10, 2013 … Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar might have apologised for his callous „urinating-in-the-dam“ statement that belittled the tragedy of Maharashtra’s farmers facing the worst drought in decades. But his apathy for them predates the blunder by years. Between 2003 and 2011, as the water resources minister and then finance minister, Pawar chaired or partook in a high-powered committee that diverted almost 2,000 million cubic metre (mcm) of water meant for irrigation to industries … „This is not a debate on industries versus agriculture. It is about how water meant for farmers was diverted without public consultation,“ said a Prayas member. The NGO will release its report on water diversion later this month. In a paper last year, Prayas said Maharashtra’s 2003 water policy, for the first time in any Indian state, assigned „higher priority“ in water allocation to industrial use as compared to irrigation …


Water management must for India

Apr 09, 2013 President Pranab Mukherjee …said efficient water management is crucial to keep pace with population growth and economic development. „Available water must be managed judiciously to meet the twin burden of population growth and economic development. Conservation, balanced distribution and reclamation of used water are essential cogs in the wheel of water management,“ Mukherjee said while inaugurating the India Water Week 2013 with the theme ‚Efficient Water Management: Challenges and Opportunities‘ organised here by the Ministry of Water Resources. He added that India is home to 17 per cent of the world’s population but has only four per cent of its renewable water resource … „The increasing occurrence of droughts and floods in India has underlined the need to find solutions to improve the management of water resources“ … The president said adverse impact of climate change on the hydrologic cycle was leading to variations in rain cycles. „This has often resulted in occurrence of floods in some areas and drought in others. Climate change also has the potential to affect ground water by reducing its table and quality“ … Mukherjee said the government must contain decreasing ground water levels through improved technology and better management and rain water harvesting should be popularised … „The strategy of ‚reduce, recycle and reuse‘ must find application in our farmlands. Our irrigation system should encourage judicious use of water. Micro-irrigation techniques like drip and sprinkler, and adoption of cropping pattern suited to natural resource endowments should mark our approach to water-saving in agriculture,“ he said … „Many of our rural areas are bereft of basic water infrastructure, requiring women to spend a considerable amount of time and energy in collection of water, thereby depriving them from pursuing income generating activities“ …


Mexico releases water into Rio Grande; more wanted

April 6, 2013 Mexico has agreed to release more water into the Rio Grande for use by agriculture and other interests on the Texas side of the river, according to the international commission that arbitrates water-rights disputes between the two neighbors … in response to the commission’s request „to increase deliveries from Mexican tributaries, the Mexican government initiated releases from a reservoir on the San Rodrigo River,“ U.S. Commissioner Edward Drusina said … Once the water reaches the Rio Grande, in accordance with a 1944 treaty between the United States and Mexico, one-third of the volume will be allotted to the United States … Although pleased by the increased deliveries during rainy periods, „more is needed to address the existing water deficit and the immediate water needs of South Texas,“ the letter states …


No end to Nevada’s quest for water

Apr 06 2013 During the blitzkrieg bombing of London in World War II, Winston Churchill rallied the British to stand up against tyranny and „never surrender,“ a defining moment in history. In refusing to surrender to the Las Vegas water grab, Gov. Gary Herbert summoned his inner Churchill, opening the door Wednesday for a defining moment in Utah history. While the aerial battle over London was a great victory, World War II was far from won. So it is with the Las Vegas water grab. The governor’s decision is a great victory and we applaud him for it, but much work remains to be done by all Utah residents …


Abu Dhabi’s War on Water Abuse

27 Mar 2013 Plans to conserve the emirate’s groundwater are close to being finalised by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) … “If we continue extracting water at the current situation, groundwater will be depleted,” warned Dr Mohammed Al Madfaei, executive director of the EAD’s Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector. “An action plan to preserve groundwater is almost in the phase of being implemented” … Presently, Abu Dhabi consumes 15 times more groundwater than it is sustaining and, from the three sources of water available — ground, desalinated and treated water — groundwater makes for the majority of water consumption. “In Abu Dhabi, groundwater is a non-renewable resource, and accounts for about 63.6 per cent of consumption, while desalinated water accounts for about 29.2 per cent, with treated sewage water representing about 7.2 per cent of the total water resources used,” said Dr Mohammed Dawood, water resources senior expert at the EAD … The more water taken from the underground, the more the salinity, as the balance between the sweet water reserves stored underground for thousands of years and the infiltrated seawater is lost in favour of the latter … much of the problem for the water abuse in irrigation lays with the lack of education of the labour force in the local farms, mostly South Asian expatriates. “These labourers don’t have water shortage in their countries. On the contrary, they have plenty of water, even floods and when they come here, they use water for irrigation like they would use at home. We need to educate them, to change their culture and way of thinking, to make them responsible; after all, they deal with our most precious commodity,” stressed Al Marzouqi …


siehe auch: March 27, 2013 EAD leads several initiatives to address groundwater problem …



Impacts of Shale Gas Development on Rivers and Streams – Water pollutants linked to upstream activity …

March 11, 2013 Shale gas development can adversely affect surface water quality by increasing the downstream concentrations of two pollutants, chloride and total suspended solids (TSS), according to a study by scholars at Resources for the Future. The results were published online … in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences … upstream treatment and release of shale gas wastewater by treatment plants raised downstream chloride concentrations in surface water, but not TSS concentrations … “While much of the public concern and controversy around shale gas development has focused on its impacts on groundwater, our findings indicate that there are risks to rivers and streams,” said lead author, Sheila M. Olmstead. The results are also consistent with a recent survey of experts carried out by scholars at RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP). “We found a high level of agreement among the experts we surveyed that surface water impacts should be a high priority for risk mitigation,” said CEEP Director and survey lead author Alan Krupnick. “This study supports that perspective” …





Resources for the Future (RFF)

… improves environmental and natural resource policymaking worldwide through objective social science research … nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research – rooted primarily in economics and other social sciences – on environmental, energy, natural resource and environmental health issues … headquartered in Washington, D.C. … founded in 1952 … staff encompasses some 40 researchers working within five defined Focus Areas: Energy and Climate, Regulating Risks, Transporation and Urban Land, The Natural World, Health and Environment …