Ground water recharge can check Surat’s salinity
May 5, 2013 At least 50 per cent area of Surat city faces the problem of salinity and reduction in ground water level. The ground water level has gone down by at least 10-15 feet … „The quality of ground water is also deteriorating due to seawater intrusion. At present, we don’t realize the criticality of the problem as we get ample fresh water from river Tapi,“ professor and head of civil engineering department of Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT) Dr J N Patel said. Patel had done a study in 2005. It showed the water level was going down every year and its quality too was deteriorating due to abstraction for industrial and other purposes …
05.05.13 ARD Mediathek / Weltspiegel: Südafrika – Wem gehört das Wasser, Viele Menschen in Afrika haben noch immer keinen Zugang zu sauberem Wasser …
How much water in that snowpack? Scientists seek a better gauge.
May 4, 2013 More accurate, more frequent measurements of mountain snowpacks will allow water managers to mete out reservoirs with greater confidence. Two watersheds in the western US are testing grounds for a new aerial approach. The aim is to measure the snow’s water content more accurately and more frequently, so that water managers can mete out water stored in reservoirs more effectively. The data also are expected to improve snowmelt forecasts as a melt season progresses … The federal government maintains a network of snow gauges throughout the US, and forecasters augment that information with measurements taken from aircraft. The data are used to build maps of snow cover and the snow’s water content, as well as to feed forecast and other weather and climate-related models. For much of the country the system works well, says Andrew Rost, director of the National Weather Service’s National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center in Chanhassen, Minn. … There is plenty of room for improvement. Citing California’s American River as an example, Painter says the forecasts for total run-off expected between April and July, when the melt season typically ends, are off by at least 20 percent more than half the time. Twenty-five percent of the time, the forecasts are off by as much as 40 percent. That’s where Painter’s project comes in. It uses NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory to gather key information about the snowpack over a wider area and in more detail than current approaches can deliver. The aircraft, which fly at altitudes of between 17,000 and 19,000 feet, use a radar-like device called lidar, which sends rapid pulses of light, rather than radio waves, and receives the pulses reflected off the snow to measure snow depth … Another instrument measures how much light the snow’s surface reflects …
Water Conservation Becomes a Higher Priority in U.A.E.
May 2, 2013 Running a farm is not easy in the Middle East, part of a region, along with North Africa, defined by the World Bank as the most water-scarce in the world. Farmers in Abu Dhabi are now working with the government on ambitious new plans to cut agricultural water use in half by 2014 to conserve water and ensure sustainability … Experts estimate that more than 70 percent of all water used in the emirate goes into irrigation for agriculture and urban parkland …“Our task now is to refocus farmers on the fact that agriculture uses a lot of water, which is in short and declining supply,” said Ray Moule, technical director of the center. “We have to be efficient in using resources and applying water to crops to make farming sustainable and get the best economic returns.” Saving water is a unique challenge in the United Arab Emirates, not least for farmers trying to produce economically viable crops under innately hostile natural conditions of searing heat, low rainfall and barren desert soil … “Currently, Abu Dhabi relies on groundwater for the majority of agriculture and its contribution to food security, making the protection and conservation of groundwater vital,” said Mohamed Yousef al-Madfaei, executive director of the Integrated Environment Policy and Planning Sector of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency. However, he noted, “groundwater supplies could be exhausted very soon, and its conservation is a strategic government priority.” … Beside the challenges of a hostile climate, local farmers also face huge competition from imports, with as much as 90 percent of produce consumed in the emirate currently imported from abroad, according to Mr. Moule. “There are too many suppliers of similar products in the area who can produce cheaply, so the market is actually well-supplied most of the year,” he said. “So we have to deal with a market that is oversupplied anyway with products from neighboring markets which, although of lower quality, and are cheaper than our products.” Still, the government is prioritizing the development of Abu Dhabi’s nascent farming industry in a bid to improve food security without overstraining increasingly scarce water resources even as the population grows and global climate change advances … The control authority focuses much attention on reducing the use of water in irrigation through high-technology irrigation techniques and water metering … Rising water salinity in the Gulf, as a result of decades of salt dumping by desalination plants producing freshwater for human consumption, adds to the complexity of the challenge. As a result, the idea of reusing treated sewage water is gaining ground. Metito, a water treatment and management company with global headquarters in Dubai, specializes in this area. In the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, “we have the highest usage of water in the world and the lowest amount of renewable water in the world,” said Fady Juez, managing director of Metito. “There aren’t any rivers, and the groundwater is for the most part not renewable, so the region is forced to focus on unconventional ways to supply requirements.” The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the emirates’ renewable water resources have decreased 42 percent in the past 15 years, with more declines projected in the near future … Agricultural water supply “is an issue that will just continue to get worse; water quantity and quality is of concern for just everybody now,” Mr. Moule of the Farmers Services Center said. “Our approach is to conserve on wastage or overuse of water, stop leakages, and educate farmers to use irrigation more efficiently, before it’s too late.”
Spread of Hydrofracking Could Strain Water Resources in West, Study Finds
May 2, 2013 “Given projected sharp increases” in the production of oil and gas by the technique commonly known as fracking, the report from the group Ceres said, “and the intense nature of local water demands, competition and conflicts over water should be a growing concern for companies, policy makers and investors.” The overall amount of water used for fracking, even in states like Colorado and Texas that have been through severe droughts in recent years, is still small: in many cases 1 percent or even as little as a tenth of 1 percent of overall consumption, far less than agricultural or municipal uses. But those figures mask more significant local effects, the report’s author, Monika Freyman, said in an interview. “You have to look at a county-by-county scale to capture the intense and short-term impact on water supplies,” she said. “The whole drilling and fracking process is a well-orchestrated, moment-by-moment process” requiring that one million to five million gallons of water are available for a brief period, she added. “They need an intense amount of water for a few days, and that’s it” … it is Colorado that faces the most widespread potential conflicts between fracking and other water uses, according to Ceres’s new report … http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/02/science/earth/hydrofracking-could-strain-western-water-resources-study-finds.html
Siehe auch CSIS:
Realizing the Potential of U.S. Unconventional Natural Gas
Apr 30, 2013 The ability to access and economically develop vast amounts of America’s unconventional natural gas resources, especially large shale gas formations, has altered our national view on energy and has subsequently changed the discourse at the federal, state, and local levels. Since 2008, when the economic viability of shale gas resources first became widely recognized, policymakers and industry leaders have worked to better understand the nature of this resource; the risks and opportunities associated with its production, transport, and use; and the potential strategic implications of the United States’ new energy reality. The paradox of the U.S. unconventional gas story is that the technologies and industry practices that made it possible have been decades in the making; the public policy and commercial landscape is vastly different from just a few years ago; and the story of this remarkable resource development is still in its infancy. In an attempt to capture the current state of play with respect to resource development, operational practices, risk identification and mitigation, impacts assessment and identify strategies that allow this valuable resource to be prudently developed, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program undertook this Unconventional Gas Initiative. Over the course of the past year, the authors were able—in concert with industry and nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporters—to work with a wide array of regulators, policymakers, environmental, industry and financial groups, academics and community stakeholders to capture the latest understanding of the unconventional gas development picture and develop themes and findings in the hope of facilitating an informed discussion on a path forward.
International Joint Great Lakes Commission wants water levels in Huron, Michigan raised Apr. 30 2013 Canada and the United States should look at building a new structure in the St. Clair River to raise water levels in Lake Huron and Michigan by as much as 25 centimetres, the commission in charge of the Great Lakes says. A recent report from the International Joint Commission, which is responsible for shared U.S. and Canadian water issues, responds to growing frustrations raised by residents and cottagers who own property on Lake Huron and Michigan. Water levels there have declined by an estimated 23 centimetres relative to Lake Erie over the past several decades, damaging wetlands and hurting local businesses. The report concluded that large-scale dams to regulate flow between the lakes would be too expensive and could do further environmental damage. Instead, it suggested that governments look at the feasibility of establishing an engineered structure in the St. Clair River aimed at gradually raising water levels in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron over a 10-year period … Water levels in Huron and Michigan have remained below average for the past 14 years, and hit a record low in January, according to the commission. The economic effects in the area have been significant, with reports that some commercial vessels are carrying less than their capacity when they travel through the Great Lakes, and that marinas have been forced out of business because their customers can no longer reach them by boat … The problem of low water levels is often attributed to historical dredging in the St. Clair River, as well as long-term erosion, and sand and gravel mining. Those changes increased the flow through the river, lowering the overall water level in Michigan and Huron by an estimated seven to 14 centimetres, according to the commission. At the same time, gradual and very long-term changes in the land profile resulted in another drop of four or five centimetres. But the biggest single contributor to declining water levels is changing climate patterns, which researchers estimate took nine to 17 centimetres out of Huron and Michigan between 1963 and 2007, in part because a trend toward shorter winters and hotter, drier summers has contributed to greater evaporation from the lakes …
Study: Climate change could affect Potomac River basin drinking water supplies
April 30, 2013 A new study finds climate change could cut stream flows in the Potomac River basin, a major source of drinking water in the Washington region. The study found by 2040 climate change could cut stream flows 35 percent. And a moderate drought combined with that worst-case scenario could mean mandatory water restrictions assuming changes are not made to the region’s water supply system. The study was conducted for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, which is charged with conserving water resources of the Potomac and its tributaries. The commission notes more than three quarters of the Washington region’s water supply is taken from the Potomac … http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-04-30/local/38912305_1_climate-change-water-supply-system-water-resources
Forschung über Wasser – ETH-Institute befassen sich mit einer zentralen Ressource
29.04. 2013 Die ETH und die Forschungsanstalten dieses Bereichs spielen nicht nur für die Wirtschaft als Quellen von Know-how und Innovation eine zentrale Rolle, sondern befassen sich auch mit Fragen der Umweltsysteme und ihrer Wechselwirkungen mit der Gesellschaft. Der ETH-Rat hat dies an seiner Jahrespressekonferenz mit der Mehrfachressource Wasser illustriert …
Genug Wasser auch bei Gletscherschmelze
Obwohl sich die Gletscher wegen des Klimawandels zurückziehen, droht der Schweiz längerfristig keine Wasserknappheit. Die Rolle der Wasserspeicher übernehmen zunehmend die alpinen Stauseen … Der Gletscherschwund wird in der Schweiz weder die Wasserverfügbarkeit noch die Energieproduktion mit Wasserkraft negativ beeinflussen. Allerdings verwaltet die Schweiz rund sechs Prozent der Süsswasserreserven Europas, die sie mit Hilfe von rund 200 Stauseen reguliert und so auch Überschwemmungen verhindert … «Mit dem Klimawandel nimmt die Rolle der Gletscher als Wasserspeicher und sommerliche Wasserquelle ab», sagte Konrad Steffen, Direktor der Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft (WSL) laut Communiqué. Dies zeigten Simulationen seines Teams, die bis ins Jahr 2099 reichen … Speicherseen müssten somit einen Teil dieser Funktionen übernehmen. Denn die Schweiz als Ganzes werde auch mit dem Klimawandel Wasser im Überfluss haben, sagte Steffen – die Gesamtabflussmenge bleibe gleich. Nur regional und saisonal seien Folgen zu spüren … Gute Perspektiven also für die Wasserkraft, die laut ETH-Rat in der Energiestrategie 2050 eine bedeutende Rolle einnimmt … Die Schweiz könne dank ihrer Speicherkraftwerke eine «Batteriefunktion» übernehmen, erklärte Anton Schleiss, Direktor des Labors für Wasserbau der EPFL. Das Speichervolumen müsse aber vergrössert werden, um die Stromversorgung der Schweiz und ihre Marktposition im europäischen Strommarkt zu sichern …
Drought forces Kerala, TN to agree on water sharing
April 29, 2013 The ministerial-level talks between Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the inter-State Parambikulam-Aliyar river water sharing agreement … succeeded in breaking the impasse on the protracted dispute between the two States. Driven by the worsening drought conditions and acute scarcity of water in Coimbatore and Palakkad, the two sides adopted a conciliatory approach during the discussions. Under the negotiated settlement reached at the day- long talks, the Tamil Nadu delegation led by Minister for Water Resources K.V. Ramalingam agreed to release 100 cusecs of water to the Chittupuzha basin in Palakkad district. In return, Tamil Nadu will draw 40 cusecs from Siruvani reservoir. Briefing the media after the talks, P.J. Joseph, Minister for Water Resources, Kerala, said the precarious condition of the 12 drinking water schemes depending on the Chitturpuzha had forced Kerala to agree to the release of water from Siruvani (to meet the drinking water needs of Coimbatore). Under the settlement, water from Parambikulam would be released through the Manakadavu weir into the Chitturpuzha to provide drinking water to some of the worst drought affected areas in Palakkad. The 100 cusecs from Parambikulam was expected to help the Chittur area tide over the water shortage. The supply would continue till the arrival of monsoon rains. Tamil Nadu has also agreed to convene a meeting of the Joint Water Regulatory Board next week to release another 100 cusecs of water from Sholayar. During the discussions, Tamil Nadu raised the issue of getting water from the Neyyar dam in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala side, however, ruled out the demand on the ground that the water level in Neyyar was exceedingly low. Tamil Nadu pointed out that they had released up to 82 per cent of water share for Kerala. While appreciating the stand adopted by Tamil Nadu at the talks, Mr. Joseph said, “Till March, there has been a deficit of 1.3 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) in the supply to Chitturpuzha. In the case of water from Sholayar, the deficit is 3.6 TMC”. He said Kerala would proceed with the plea filed in the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu. Officials present at the meeting said Tamil Nadu would find it difficult to draw water from the Siruvani dam where the water level was at dead storage level. “They will have to pump the water to wells and take it from there. In the process, they are expected to run up a fuel charge of Rs.1.5 crore. We realize that it is the desperate situation in Coimbatore that is forcing them to do this”. The meeting also agreed to continue the discussions between the two states to review the Parambikulam Aliyar pact.
Cairo Climate Talks: Climate change hits nation’s poor the hardest
18/04/2013 Cairo Climate Talks held its 15th panel discussion … focusing on how Egypt should address the consequences of climate change, particularly in regards to poor urban populations and those living in informal housing … For instance, as climate change has caused sea levels to rise, flooding occurs, particularly in the Delta region, which has already prompted many residents to elevate their houses several feet off of the ground as a quick fix to the problem. The altered water salinity levels that are brought on by climate change, as another example, are detrimental to agriculture and food security in a country where water is already scarce. For these issues, there are as of yet no real solutions, or even any quick fixes … The discussion … comes in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest assessment on global warming, which concludes that most of the MENA region — particularly Egypt — is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change … It was clear throughout the discussion that Egypt’s biggest hurdle right now is finding holistic approaches and big picture solutions, which all panelists admitted is next to impossible to push for right now given the political climate …
The Water Thematic Consultation Report is out for comment until 5 May
The final draft of the Post-2015 Water Thematic Consultation report has been released for a final round of comments until 5 May 2013. The report attempts to synthesize the various components of the consultation including the preparations for the online discussions, the web-based dialogue, face to face meetings as well as a High-Level Forum which endorsed the Thematic Consultation’s main messages.
WATER THEMATIC CONSULTATION REPORT – DRAFT VERSION FOR COMMENTS
Wasser teilen heißt Frieden sichern“
16.04.2013 Ohne Wasser ist kein Leben möglich. Doch in vielen Regionen der Erde wird die Ressource knapp. In Zentralasien haben Klimawandel, Verschwendung und Interessenkonflikte Wasser zu einem kostbaren Gut gemacht. Unter dem Motto „Wasser verbindet“ bietet die Bundesregierung den zentralasiatischen Ländern seit 2008 Unterstützung beim nachhaltigen Umgang mit der Ressource und dem Aufbau einer grenzüberschreitenden Zusammenarbeit an. Dazu gehört auch die Einrichtung von Studiengängen zum Wassermanagement, an dem die Freie Universität Berlin federführend beteiligt ist. Ein Gespräch über Ziele, Erfolge und Probleme des Engagements mit Hinrich Thölken, Leiter des Referates Klima- und Umweltpolitik im Auswärtigen Amt, Tilman Rost, Professor für Physische Geografie an der Freien Universität Berlin, und Lutz Mez, Privatdozent für Politikwissenschaft an der Freien Universität und Koordinator des dortigen Berlin Centre for Caspian Region Studies …
What does „Water Security“ mean?
„The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.“ This is the definition proposed by UN-Water to serve as a starting point for dialogue in the UN system. Discover on this infographic the key elements of water security, and the centrality of water to achieving a larger sense of security, sustainability, development and human well-being. UN-Water hence supports the inclusion of water security on the agenda of the UN Security Council and in the post-2015 development agenda as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.