Joerg Barandat, Hamburg * Subject: W A T E R I N T A K E *


Wasser für die Wüste Gobi
09. August 2013 Um die Bevölkerung und vor allem den boomenden Bergbau in der Gobi-Region mit Wasser zu versorgen, plant die Mongolei ein riesiges Staudammprojekt. Ein Teil des Wassers aus dem Fluss Orchon soll 900 Kilometer weit umgeleitet werden … Der Fluss ist mit 1.124 Kilometern Länge der längste Strom der Mongolei … Das Orchon-Becken, das sich über 343.000 Quadratkilometer erstreckt, bietet mehr als der Hälfte der rund drei Millionen Einwohner der Mongolei eine Existenzgrundlage. Trotz der Auswirkungen des Klimawandels ist das Flussbecken im Vergleich zum Rest des Landes nach wie vor grün, während fast drei Viertel des zentralasiatischen Landes aus Wüste bestehen … die größte Gefahr für die lokalen Hirten geht zurzeit von einem Staudammprojekt aus. Das Bauwerk soll 35 Kilometer südwestlich der Stadt Bulgan entstehen. Hier soll das Wasser des Orchon angestaut und durch eine 900 Kilometer lange, unterirdische Pipeline in die südliche Gobi-Region gepumpt werden. Den Plänen zufolge wird das Staubecken 700 bis 800 Millionen Kubikmeter Wasser fassen. Außerdem ist ein Kraftwerk mit einer Leistung von 25 bis 30 Megawatt vorgesehen. Vom Staubecken aus soll das Wasser zunächst durch acht Städte und von hier weiter zur Tavan-Tolgoi-Kohlemine und zur Oyu-Tolgoi-Kupfermine geleitet werden … Zur Förderung der Rohstoffe werden riesige Mengen an Wasser benötigt. Die beiden Minen schlucken täglich rund 19o.000 Kubikmeter Wasser, wie die Weltbank in einer 2010 veröffentlichten Untersuchung über die südliche Gobi-Region feststellte. Diese will die Regierung nun mithilfe des Megaprojekts bereitstellen, denn sie erhofft sich vom Rohstoffabbau eine Steigerung des mongolischen Bruttoinlandsproduktes um 30 Prozent … Nach offiziellen Angaben des mongolischen Umweltministeriums soll das Staudammprojekt vor allem den Hirten und übrigen Einwohnern der Gobi-Region zugute kommen … Doch Machbarkeitsstudien zeigen bereits jetzt, dass die Bergbauindustrie 50 Prozent des Wassers verbrauchen wird, während 30 Prozent für die Bewässerung der Felder und lediglich 20 Prozent für die Herden und die Haushalte zur Verfügung stehen werden … Zwar versichern die Projektverantwortlichen, dass lediglich fünf Prozent des Flusswassers umgeleitet werden … Von November bis April ist der Orchon zugefroren. Der Druck auf den Fluss wird also gerade in den warmen Monaten am größten sein, wenn der Wasserstand niedrig ist …

The real threat to our future is peak water
As population rises, overpumping means some nations have reached peak water, which threatens food supply, says Lester Brown [… president of the Earth Policy
Institute and author of Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food
Scarcity …]
6 July 2013 Peak oil has generated headlines in recent years, but the real threat to our future is peak water. There are substitutes for oil, but not for water. We can produce food without oil, but not without water … In looking at water and our future, we face many questions and few answers. Could the world be facing peak water? Or has it already peaked? … Today some 18 countries, containing half the world’s people, are overpumping their aquifers. Among these are the big three grain producers – China, India and the US – and several other populous countries, including Iran, Pakistan and Mexico. During the last couple of decades, several of these countries have overpumped to the point that aquifers are being depleted and wells are going dry. They have passed not only peak water, but also peak grain production. Among the countries whose use of water has peaked and begun to decline are Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. In these countries peak grain has followed peak water. Nowhere are falling water tables and the shrinkage of irrigated agriculture more dramatic than in Saudi Arabia, a country as water-poor as it is oil-rich … Syria, a country of 22 million people riddled by civil war, is also overpumping its underground water. Its grain production peaked in 2001 and during the years since has dropped 32%. It, too, is becoming heavily dependent on imported grain. In neighboring Iraq, grain production has plateaued over the last decade. In 2012 it was dependent on the world market for two-thirds of its consumption. In addition to aquifer depletion, both Syria and Iraq are also suffering from a reduced flow in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as upstream Turkey claims more water for its own use. In Yemen, a nation of 24 million people that shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, the water table is falling by roughly six feet a year as water use outstrips aquifer recharge. With one of the world’s fastest-growing populations and with water tables falling throughout the country, Yemen is fast becoming a hydrological basket case. Grain production has fallen by nearly half over the last 40 years. By 2015, irrigated fields will be a rarity and the country will be importing virtually all of its grain. Living on borrowed water and borrowed time, Yemen could disintegrate into a group of tribal fiefdoms warring over water. Thus in the Arab Middle East the world is seeing the collision between population growth and water supply at the regional level. For the first time in history, grain production is dropping in a geographic region with nothing in sight to arrest the decline. Because of the failure of governments in the region to mesh population and water policies, each day now brings 9,000 more people to feed and less irrigation water with which to feed them. Other countries with much larger populations are also near or beyond peak water. In Iran, a country with 77 million people, grain production dropped 10% between 2007 and 2012 as irrigation wells started to go dry … Pakistan, with a population of 182 million that is growing by 3 million per year, is also mining its underground water. Most of its irrigation water comes from the Indus river system, but in the Pakistani part of the fertile Punjab plain, the drop in water tables appears to be similar to the better-known fall that is occurring in India … In a World Bank study, water expert John Briscoe says: „Pakistan is already one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, a situation which is going to degrade into outright water scarcity due to high population growth.“ He then notes that „the survival of a modern and growing Pakistan is threatened by water“ … Mexico may be near peak water use. Peak grain may be imminent. In addition to these small and midsize countries, aquifer depletion now also threatens harvests in the big three grain producers – China, India and the US – that together produce half of the world’s grain … As India’s water tables fall, larger farmers are using modified oil-drilling technology to reach water, going as deep as 1,000 feet in some locations … At the international level, water conflicts, such as the one in the Nile river basin between Egypt and the upstream countries, make the news. But within countries it is the competition for water between cities and farms that preoccupies political leaders. Indeed, in many countries farmers now face not only a shrinking water supply as aquifers are pumped dry, but also a shrinking share of that shrinking supply … In the competition for water between farmers on the one hand and cities and industries on the other, farmers always lose. The economics do not favour agriculture. In countries such as China, where industrial development and the jobs associated with it are an overriding national economic goal, agriculture is becoming the residual claimant on the water supply. Where virtually all water has been claimed, cities can typically get more water only by taking it from irrigation. Countries then import grain to offset the loss of irrigated grain production. Since it takes 1,000 tonnes of water to produce one tonne of grain, importing grain is the most efficient way to import water. Thus trading in grain futures is, in a sense, trading in water futures. To the extent that there is a world water market, it is embodied in the world grain market … The world has quietly transitioned into a situation where water, not land, has emerged as the principal constraint on expanding food supplies. There is a large area of land that could produce food if water were available … The bottom line is that water constraints – augmented by soil erosion, the loss of cropland to nonfarm uses, a plateauing of yields in major producing areas, and climate change – are making it more difficult to expand world food production …

New Mexico is the driest of the dry
Aug. 6, 2013 … In New Mexico, water levels in the once-mighty Rio Grande are so low that it is often referred to as the „Rio Sand.“ In some parts of the state, officials fear ecosystems are collapsing … Across the West, changes in the climate are taking a toll. Almost 87% of the region is in a drought … Reservoir storage statewide is 17% of normal, lowest in the West. Residents of some towns subsist on trucked-in water, and others are drilling deep wells costing $100,000 or more to sink and still more to operate … The last three years have been the driest and warmest since record-keeping began here in 1895 … With water supplies at the breaking point and no relief in sight, a domino-effect water war has broken out, which might be a harbinger of the West’s future. Texas has filed suit, arguing that groundwater pumping in New Mexico is reducing Texas‘ share of the Rio Grande. Oklahoma has successfully fended off a legal challenge from Texas over water from the Red River … The question many here are grappling with is whether the changes are a permanent result of climate change or part of cyclical weather cycle … Nonetheless, most long-term plans put together by cattle ranchers, farmers and land managers include the probability that the drought is here to stay …

Wasser und Klimawandel
5. August 2013 Entwarnung für Indus und Ganges … Entgegen früheren Warnungen wird den Menschen am Indus und am Ganges bis 2100 das Wasser wohl nicht ausgehen … wenn ein niederländisch-schweizerisches Forschungsteam recht behält … Demnach dürfte die gesamte Wassermenge entgegen früherer Warnungen noch bis 2100 ansteigen … Allerdings verschieben sich dabei die relativen Anteile von Regenwasser, vor allem im Monsun, und Schmelzwasser aus dem Himalaja auf komplizierte Weise gegeneinander. Daher enthalten die Zahlen … auch eine bittere Komponente … Sie benutzen Projektionen von Klimamodellen, die einen massiven Rückgang der Gletscher in den Regionen Baltoro und Langtang zeigen; aus diesen Gebieten beziehen Indus und Ganges große Mengen Schmelzwasser. Darum steigt dessen Anteil zunächst an, aber nur bis 2044 oder 2065, je nachdem, welche Anreicherung von Treibhausgasen in der Atmosphäre die Forscher zugrunde gelegt haben. Danach sind die Gletscher so stark geschädigt, dass auch bei deutlich erhöhten Temperaturen immer weniger Schmelzwasser von der Bergen rinnt. Ausgleichen kann das dann nur der Niederschlag, der im wärmeren Klima zunehmen soll. Niederschlag lässt sich aber in Klimamodellen nicht so gut vorausberechnen wie Temperaturen, daher sind die Zahlen unsicher; manche der Simulationen sehen auch stagnierende oder gar abnehmende Niederschläge voraus.

Where Two Big Thirsts Collide: The Nexus of Energy and Water
August 5, 2013 … In short, Texas needs more water and more power, and the two are highly dependent on each other. Where those thirsts for more power and water collide is referred to as the ‘Energy-Water Nexus … “Energy uses a lot of water, and water uses a lot of energy, and this fact is surprising for a lot of people, just how much they use of both” … For instance, energy needs water to grow biofuels, drill and produce oil and gas, cool power plants and power hydroelectic dams … And water needs energy to be heated, treated, cleaned and moved. Getting water cleaned up and into our homes makes up over 12 percent of our nation’s energy use … These days in Texas, it seems like we’re worried about the grid being on edge. We’re worried about drought, and these things sort of play into each other’s hands in a bad way. As we have more drought, we have less water available for our dams to make electricity, we also have less water available for cooling our power plants. And as that water gets hot from heat waves, water is less effective as a coolant, and so the power plants perform with lower efficiency. So a water strain or water constraint becomes an energy constraint, so it’s true also that if you have an energy constraint – if you have a power outage or a rolling blackout, your water infrastructure might be hindered as well. So the energy-water nexus means they rely on each other, and that means — bad news — they inherit each other’s vulnerabilities. A constraint in one becomes a constraint in the other … That’s one of the good news bits about the energy-water nexus: saving water saves energy, saving energy saves water. In fact, the irony is if you want to save water, saving energy is a cheaper, faster, way to do it, and if you want to save energy, saving water is a cheaper, faster, way to do it …

Water only once in 3 days from Aug 15
Aug 5, 2013 … the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) will roll out an Independence Day ‚gift‘ to residents of the city – water once in three days … „Though there has been good rainfall across the state and major reservoirs received enough water, the city’s drinking water sources are empty. Based on the availability of water levels in the twin reservoirs Osmansagar and Himayatsagar, we prepared an action plan regarding supplies last week. As per the feedback given by general managers of various operations and divisions, we have decided to supply water only once in three days“ … The Water Board would implement the decision from August 15 onwards. It has also decided to cut the quantity of the supply by 10 million gallons per day (MGD) from both the reservoirs … „We will supply water once in three days to 4.5 lakh water connections which covers nearly half the city. For others, there will be no change in schedule,“ the official said.

Water mafia cashing in on water scarcity
Aug 5, 2013 The prevailing water shortage in Kodaikanal hills has come as a blessing in disguise for the water mafia in the region, which is exploiting the situation by making a quick buck. Water tankers attached with motor sets at their rear are frequently spotted in the towns, busy transporting water to hotels and resorts. As bore wells have gone dry, the mafia has started stealing water from the Kodaikanal Lake, which is then smuggled through water tankers and sold at a higher price. The price of 9,000 litres of water load is sold between Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,000 at present against the usual rates that ranged between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 a couple of months ago. The water is mainly used for washing and cleaning purposes in hotels and resorts. A large quantity of water is also bought for construction purposes in the hills …

Ghana Water Company faces crisis affecting growth
August 4, 2013 Mr Kwaku Godwin Dovlo, Acting Managing Director (MD) of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) … “The GWCL is facing institutional, administrative, managerial, operational and financial crises…it is taking place at a very crucial period when widespread concerns have been raised about urban water supply operation…” … inadequate funding for maintenance and rehabilitation of facilities, huge water supply shortfalls, poor water flow and high operational cost as factors affecting positive growth of the company … the company had been hit with low cost recovery rate, low billing and low revenue collection, high non revenue water, slow response to faults or leakages and illegal connections … The MD observed that Water Ladies had a great role to play in salvaging the company from further doldrums, by helping to mobilise their members to embark on periodic revenue mobilization exercise. Women could play key role in times of crisis to monitor outside opinion and convey this intelligence to management for redress … Water Ladies could at this point undertake outreach programmes to win the goodwill, support and understanding of workers and the general public for the merger … http://www.ghanabusinessnews.com/2013/08/04/ghana-water-company-faces-crisis-affecting-growth-md/

Single permanent tribunal on water disputes gets govt push
August 04, 2013 … After years of dithering, the government has finally initiated a move to replace all existing inter-state water dispute tribunals with a permanent body to settle such matters. The Water Resources Ministry has moved a Cabinet note to amend the Inter-state River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to scrap the five inter-state water dispute resolution tribunals and replace them with a single permanent tribunal to resolve matters … The Draft National Water Policy 2012 also suggests a permanent tribunal. „A permanent Water Disputes Tribunal at the Centre should be established to resolve the disputes expeditiously in an equitable manner. Apart from using the ‚good offices‘ of the Union or the State Governments, as the case may be, the paths of Arbitration and Mediation may also to be tried in dispute resolution“ …

‚Save it‘ plea as water usage hits record levels in Saudi Arabia
Aug 01 2013 Per capita consumption of drinking water in Saudi Arabia has now reached 265 liters, which is double the amount of water used by an individual in a European country … total water consumption in the Kingdom crossed eight million cubic meters for the first time. „This is equal to nearly 800,000 10-ton water tank trucks“ … about 60 percent of the Kingdom’s water supply comes from desalination plants on its Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts while the rest comes from underground water wells … Jeddah’s consumption is more than 1.2 million cubic meters per day, which translates to per capita use of more than 300 liters per day … ministry has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce water consumption by 30 percent …

Water Recycling: The Wave of the Future
July 31, 2013 Do you remember the good old days, when “recycling” meant loading your car trunk with newspapers – only newspapers – and driving to a special collection bin? We’ve come a long way since then. Now, it’s common for cities to pick up paper, plastic, metal, cardboard, and glass. But what about our most precious resource: water? Every day, millions of gallons of water are drawn from lakes in the north Texas area, purified in water treatment plants, piped into our homes and businesses…then washed or flushed down drains and sewers. The water that goes down the drain is captured and treated enough to release into creeks and rivers. But what if we could return that water to our reservoirs and re-use this valuable resource? Is it possible to recycle water? The answer is YES! Recycling water is not only possible – it’s a great idea! The future of wise water planning for Texas calls not only for smarter water use through conservation, but also for water recycling. There are two major ways to recycle water … The future of wise water use in north central Texas is happening now. The policies and infrastructure we install today will be the foundation on which the lifestyle and economy of our growing communities is built in the future. Let’s be sure that that foundation is a strong one by re-capturing, re-using, and recycling our resources – starting with water …

Wasser in Shanghai um 30 Prozent teurer
2013-07-31 Die Bürger von Shanghai müssen ab morgen für ihr Wasser tiefer in die Tasche greifen, denn die Stadt hat die Wassergebühren stark angehoben … hat ein neues, progressives Tarifsystem eingeführt, das sich an dem der Energieversorger orientiert und zum Wassersparen animieren soll. Für die ersten 220 Kubikmeter, die in einem Jahr verwendet werden, zahlen die Bewohner 3,45 Yuan pro Kubikmeter. Dieses Volumen deckt nach Angaben der Shanghaier Kommission für Entwicklung und Reform ungefähr 85 Prozent der städtischen Haushalte ab. Momentan zahlen die Bürger von Shanghai 2,8 Yuan pro Kubikmeter in einem Einzelpreissystem. Der ursprüngliche Tarifplan schlug 3,5 Yuan pro Kubikmeter für die ersten 240 Kubikmeter vor. Doch nach einer öffentlichen Anhörung im letzten Monat sagten viele Teilnehmer, das Basisvolumen sei nicht ausreichend, während andere wiederum vorschlugen, dass die Regierung den vorgeschlagenen Wassertarif für das Basisvolumen senken solle. Am Ende wurde ein Kompromiss gefunden … Bei den neuen Tarifen wird der Preis auf 4,83 Yuan beim Verbrauch von über 220 Kubikmetern steigen. Nach 300 Kubikmetern steigt der Preis auf 5,83 Yuan, wobei beide Raten höher sind als ursprünglich vorgeschlagen. Haushalte mit fünf oder mehreren Personen werden eine Extraquote für 100 Kubikmeter bei ihrem Grundverbrauch bekommen … Die Stadt versucht, Wasserverschwendung einzudämmen und investiert daher in Verbesserungen bei der Versorgung und Qualität …

Wasser ist wertvoller als Gold
31.07.2013 In Kolumbien schreibt eine kleine Gemeinde Bergbaugeschichte. Zum ersten Mal fand eine Volksbefragung über Minenprojekte und ihre Folgen statt. Mit 2971 Nein-Stimmen bei gerade mal 24 Ja-Stimmen sprachen sich die Einwohner von Piedras in der zen-tralwestlichen Provinz Tolima gegen jegliche Bergbauaktivitäten auf ihrem Territorium aus … Die Frage, die zur Abstimmung stand, war ein 110 Worte umfassender Satz, in dem ausführlich nach dem Einverständnis zum Bergbau im großen Stil, zum Einsatz von Zyankali, zum Wasserverbrauch und den Auswirkungen auf die Trinkwasserversorgung gefragt wurde … In der wasserarmen Andenregion holen vor allem nordamerikanische und chinesische Firmen im Tagebau in gigantischen Minen Erze aus dem Berggestein. Dazu werden ganze Gebirgsteile herausgesprengt, zermahlen und die Metalle unter enormem Verbrauch von Wasser herausgelöst. Beim Goldwaschen wird dem Wasser Zyankali beigemischt … Vor allem die älteren Bewohner von Piedras stimmten am Sonntag gegen das Vorhaben: »Wenn sie uns den Fluss abgraben, wovon soll das Dorf dann leben?« …

What can Madagascar teach us about rice and water?
30 July 2013 To meet the food needs of growing population, managing water resources used in rice farming has become a central focus … Irrigated rice is normally covered with water… uses enormous quantities of water and increases methane emissions when plant matter decomposes in flooded fields … Twenty-five years ago small holder farms in Madagascar began growing rice using a methodology that doesn’t flood rice paddies continuously. With aerated soil, rather than flooded fields, farmers plant single, young seedlings directly into rows along with nutrients. The rice produces deeper roots and since the field isn’t flooded, the roots of the plants don’t suffocate. The result is stronger root and larger plants that produce heavier grain. And, in addition to using less water, the method requires less land preparation and fertiliser, although more weeding is required … Now, a California-based company, Lotus Foods, is promoting this agriculture method, called the system of rice intensification (SRI) by providing farmers access to a global marketplace … the rice is better for the planet because it uses 50% less water and 90% less seed, yet results in up to three times conventional yields. The SRI method improves root growth and enriches soil … According to the International Water Management Institute, one-quarter of the world’s irrigated rice lowlands, which supply three-fourths of the world’s irrigated rice, will experience water scarcity under climate change …

Water Stress Threatens Future Energy
Posted by Sandra Postel [… director
of the Global Water Policy Project …]
July 18, 2013 When we flip on a light, we rarely think about water. But electricity generation is the biggest user of water in the United States. Thermoelectric power plants alone use more than 200 billion gallons of water a day – about 49 percent of the nation’s total water withdrawals. Large quantities of water are needed as well for the production, refining and transport of the fuels that light and heat our homes and buildings, and run our buses and cars. Every gallon of gasoline at the pump takes about 13 gallons of water to make. And of course hydroelectric energy requires water to drive the turbines that generate the power … In short, energy production is deeply dependent on the availability of water. And, as a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) makes clear, as climate change brings hotter temperatures, more widespread and severe droughts, and lower river and lake levels, the nation’s energy supply is becoming more vulnerable … On balance the study’s findings make a strong case for a more rapid shift to renewable energy sources to shore up the nation’s energy security in the face of climate change. If there’s a call to action in the DOE assessment, it’s this: If, by 2050, the United States could get 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources – with nearly half coming from water-thrifty wind and solar photovoltaic generation – then total water consumption in the U.S. power sector would decline by about half …

Water more valuable than natural gas
July 14, 2013 If governments managed the Delaware River like an industry, they would note that the economic value of water and forests dwarfs the value of natural gas drilling in the Upper Delaware River Basin … the upper Delaware River Basin above the Delaware Water Gap is worth nearly $8 billion per year for renewable resources, including drinking water at $2.8 billion; value of forests, $4.2 billion; and river recreation, $940 million. Drilling for Marcellus shale gas, a nonrenewable resource, would endanger those renewable resources and would be worth only $400 million … scientist at the University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration … presented the results at the „Natural Economies“ conference … Given the economic value of water and forests there … targeting the area for disruptive gas extraction seems questionable …

World Water Wars: In The West Bank, Water Is Just Another Conflict Issue For Israelis And Palestinians
July 12 2013 … military restrictions have made life so difficult that many farmers and herders left the village; now, only nine families remain. Electricity comes from a gasoline-powered generator subsidized by the nearby municipality of As Samu’a. There are no water pipes in the village. Instead, water must be bought from the Israeli national water company, Mekorot, and trucked from a filling station to the village. According to a report published by the World Bank in 2009, this is the everyday reality for about 10 percent of the more than 2 million people living in the West Bank … Saqer said he spends at least 10 percent of his monthly income on water, and up to 50 percent when things are bad. “Of course we would need more water, and cheaper water, to expand the crops or to set up greenhouses. Unfortunately in summer the municipalities of As Samu’a, Yatta, Dura and Hebron get a bigger share of the water supplied by the Palestinian authorities. So, often I have to buy water from a filling point that is farther away and that costs more, 50 shekels instead of 5 per cubic meter …The main reasons for our situation are the Israeli occupation and the poor management of the existing resources by the Palestinian authorities” … Water in the West Bank comes from the so-called Mountain Aquifer, which includes two basins shared with Israel proper, the Northern and the Western, and one entirely included in the West Bank, the Eastern basin. According to the 1995 Oslo II agreement, Palestinians would have the right to draw 118 million cubic meters (mcm) of water from the estimated 679 mcm of water that flow annually into those aquifers. Article 40 of the agreement also established an additional 28.6 mcm to be supplied every year by Israel to the West Bank and Gaza. It quantified as well the “future needs” of Palestinians at 70 to 80 mcm per year, to cope with population growth. The agreement did not include other water sources the Palestinians would have been entitled to as downstream users, like the Coastal Aquifer or the Jordan River, to which they have no access today. And according to the World Bank, Palestinians in the West Bank have drawn between 117 to 138 mcm from 1995 to 2007, less than the water allocated to them by the Oslo agreements. As for the Gaza Strip, the emergency has already entered a critical stage, with only 5 percent to 10 percent of the local aquifer now yielding drinking-quality water. Things are not so bad in the West Bank, at least on paper … Israel’s control over water resources is even greater in Area C … Every project in Area C … must obtain a final permit from the Israeli Civil Administration … According to Ewash, a group of 30 organizations working on water and sanitation in the Palestinian Territories, 59 water structures have been demolished in the West Bank since January 2009, due to a lack of building permits … As a result, more than 50 percent of water used in the West Bank by Palestinians is purchased from Mekorot at great cost. Even so, Palestinians enjoy, on average, one-quarter of the water consumed by Jewish settlers and pumped from the same Western Aquifer that should be shared under the Oslo II Agreement … it seems everybody in the West Bank knew that this crisis might be coming, as a consequence of the Oslo peace accords. When faced with the risk of losing any political agreement with Israel because of the disagreement on water, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat decided to give up on water. He hoped to be able to successfully renegotiate the Oslo accords after five years, as agreed with Israel. It never happened. And almost 20 years later, Palestinians are left with little water and even fewer prospects for peace.
siehe auch:
Video RT (Russia Today): Water Shortage: Israeli policy leave Palestinian taps dry
07.07.2013 A lack of water could literally be a reason why it’s been so hard to dampen fiery relations between Israel and Palestine. Taps in the homes of Arab villagers in the West Bank run dry most of the time, as they complain Israel doesn’t satisfy even their minimum water needs …

Water historians plan archive for Bengal
Jul 10, 2013 … Academics and water management experts … have now decided to build a water history archive of Bengal encompassing both West Bengal and Bangladesh that throws lights on rivers impacted history in this part of the world. „Till now, Indian history has been dominated by land. We have always viewed history from the perspective of land, not water … Bengal has the largest riverine network in the world. It is a life giving force and its network is extensively used for communication. It has also been a destructive force as well. There have been several devastating floods. The archive will not only trace Bengal’s riverine trade routes and how settlements grew along the river banks and shifted as rivers changed course, it will also attempt to record floods over time and outbreak of diseases like malaria as rivers shifted course … There are also two massive riverine shifts that have happened in Bengal. Between the 13th and 15th century, rivers shifted from east to west. Gour, the former capital of Bengal has two cities on either side of Ganga. Archeological evidence shows that the first city was abandoned when the river changed course. The second major shift happened between the 16th and 18th century. This time, the rivers shifted eastward towards Bangladesh. This shift was much more violent and led to the Meghna-Padma system linking Ganga to Brahmaputra and forming six new river basins: Bhairav, Matha-bhanga, Garai-Madhumati, Arial-khan and present day Padma-Meghna system …

Water compact under threat
Jul 10, 2013 New Mexico, already being sued by Texas over Rio Grande water, will have an increasingly difficult time in coming decades meeting its legal obligation to deliver water to its downstream neighbors, according to a new federal study. Higher temperatures are bringing a double whammy, reducing water supplies through evaporation from reservoirs and rivers while increasing water consumption by gardens, farms and the Rio Grande’s riverside forests, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Sandia National Laboratories … “The supplies are going down, and the demands are going up,” said Sandia’s Jesse Roach, one of the study’s authors. The scientists found that if New Mexico water use patterns are not changed, the state will run an increasing deficit in its legal obligation under the Rio Grande Compact to deliver water to Texas. The study comes as Texas is in court, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a dispute over whether current New Mexico water practices are illegally depleting the Rio Grande’s flow before it reaches the New Mexico-Texas state line…

Water worries: Climate change in the desert Southwest
July 9, 2013 … Today, the 56 million Americans in the fast-growing desert Southwest — including those in the megacities of Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego — are faced with a challenge beyond the region’s natural dryness: coping with an uncertain future of man-made climate change and how it will impact their life-sustaining supply of water … climate change isn’t just a worry for the future: Several direct effects of climate change are already impacting the water supply in the Southwest, according to a report released this year as part of the draft of the third federal National Climate Assessment … „recent flows in the four major drainage basins of the Southwest have been lower than their 20th-century average“ … Water flow in the Colorado River — which supplies water to more than 30 million people in the Southwest including Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas — is declining, along with the spring snowpack in the mountains that feed the river due to increased warmth … Other future impacts of water use in the Southwest due to climate change include: decreases in average precipitation and in late-season snowpack, and declines in river flow and soil moisture. Droughts are expected to become hotter, more severe, and more frequent, the federal assessment reports … water management agencies in Arizona say they believe they have been very progressive in how they manage their future water supply: Any new development must prove that there will be enough water for the residents for 100 years …

Water shortages for farmers ‘will make Britain dependent on imported crops’
10 July 2013 Farmers face a severe water shortage that could put a considerable extra strain on the nation’s resources and make Britain increasingly reliant on imported crops, a government committee warns. Global warming is expected to lead to hotter, drier summers that reduce the amount of rainfall available for plant irrigation, at the same time as the increasingly parched soil requires more water, according to a report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Within a decade, farmers could face a water shortfall of 115bn litres a year – almost half of the 240bn litres they currently use – with the south and east of the country, where most crops are grown, likely to be hit particularly hard. This could make it difficult – and more expensive – to grow water-intensive crops such as potatoes, carrots and fruit, the CCC warns … It is unclear how badly yields would be affected by the water shortage, the CCC said. It depends how successfully farmers can mitigate the shortage through additional rainfall storage capacity and more efficient irrigation, and how much extra water they can siphon off from the public tap, already strained by the demands of a growing population. However, at the very least the looming water shortage is likely to increase costs for farmers significantly, as they invest in storage facilities and irrigation equipment at a time when they are already struggling financially …

Indian Business‘ New Crisis:
7/04/2013 … While much has been said about India’s energy crisis, businesses are waking to the realization that an even greater catastrophe is round the corner. “Around the country, industry understands that water will become its biggest constraint, sometimes even bigger than energy,” said Rohini Nilekani, chairperson of the non-profit Arghyam which works on water and sanitation-related issues. The crisis in Chennai is absolutely typical of water conflicts arising everywhere … India has a regulatory vacuum with regard to groundwater, and it is a free-for-all market when it comes to extraction and pricing. Water sector reform is underway, including a framework of federal and state level rules with regard to river and ground water. But as is typical in India, delays and painful negotiations can be expected before any consensus is reached on matters of allocation, extraction and the environment. In an economy shifting from agriculture to industry to services, every allocated drop will be fiercely fought over. In Chennai, a city that boasts of good industrial ‘infrastructure’, companies in the OMR area do not have access to city water supply and cannot mine groundwater. They rely on a network of water truck operators who ferry in water from nearby villages and charge them heftier-than-regular rates. India’s energy crisis necessitated businesses to operate generators and energy plants to meet their own needs. Similarly, an informal market of water supply has risen up to meet the needs of business not just in Chennai but in Bangalore, Gurgaon and elsewhere. According to a 2011 industry survey by lobby group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, 60 % of the respondents said that availability of water is impacting their business. Even more, 87 % said that water constraints will impact their business within the next decade. There is a new sense of urgency with regard to water. “Businesses and industry will have to adjust to the new normal … The business future … is about water wisdom starting with design of plants and offices, water efficiency, water reuse and recycling and the readiness to pay the full and true ecological and other cost of water.

Water scarce Pakistan urgently needs reservoirs
July 06, 2013 Pakistan is wasting 40 million acre-feet of water annually by dumping it back to the sea because of lack of water reservoirs so the situation demands evolving of a comprehensive strategy to tackle the issue of water scarcity, said a speakers at a seminar … titled “Environmental Awareness” … Pakistan has become the water scarce country with 1,000 cubic of water per person and held in the list of red zone in term of per capita water availability. She stressed the need to mobilise the public on the issue by giving them awareness to save the water for the coming generation and avoid the wastage of it …


China’s Water Challenge: Implications for the U.S. Rebalance to Asia
July 24, 2013 In her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Elizabeth C. Economy discusses China’s water scarcity challenge and its potential to destabilize the region … How China manages its water resources over the next five to seven years has profound implications not only for the Chinese people but also for the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Within China, water supplies— already scarce in many parts of the country—are diminishing and contributing to a range of serious economic, health, and social challenges. Spillover effects, such as damming and diverting transnational rivers, a push to acquire arable land abroad, and increasing conflict over regional fishery resources are also being felt well outside the country’s borders. China’s leaders have adopted a number of measures to try to address the country’s growing water crisis, but these have fallen woefully short of the task at hand. In the context of the U.S. rebalance to Asia, China’s water challenge, if not addressed, is a potentially destabilizing force within the region and suggests the need for targeted collaboration with Chinese actors as well as stronger cooperation with regional partners …


Dossier: Geschichte im Fluss. Flüsse als europäische Erinnerungsorte
Europas Grenzen sind bis heute die Grenzen seiner Nationalstaaten. Nicht selten verlaufen diese Grenzen wie an Rhein, Oder, Donau und Memel entlang der großen europäischen Flüsse. Die Elbe bildete einst sogar die innerdeutsche Grenze. Bis heute hält sich deshalb das Bild von Flüssen als „natürlichen“ Grenzen. Diese nationale Zuschreibung ist eine Hinterlassenschaft des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Das Onlinedossier Geschichte im Fluss der Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung wirft einen anderen Blick auf die europäischen Ströme. Immer haben Rhein, Oder, Memel, Elbe, Donau und Weichsel in ihrer Geschichte auch gemeinsame Räume hervorgebracht, haben Kulturlandschaften zu beiden Seiten ihrer Ufer zusammengehalten. Flüsse bilden nicht nur Grenzen, sie überwinden sie auch. Das aber erfordert einen mehr als nur nationalen Blick auf ihre Geschichte und Gegenwart. Gerade die großen Ströme Europas brauchen verschiedene Perspektiven. Als grenzüberschreitende Erinnerungsorte können sie die besten Botschafter Europas sein und ein Gegengift zur Renationalisierung der Erinnerung in Europa …

… was sonst noch so war:

The Snowden Sideshow – If you think U.S.-Russian relations are bad now, think back to 2008 …
AUGUST 8, 2013 … a statement by the president’s press secretary read, „we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September.“ The timing couldn’t have been more symbolic … The usual chorus of reset bashers, led by basher-in-chief Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), will of course seize on Obama’s decision in order to proclaim that they were right all along: The reset was a woefully naïve, pointless exercise in covering up our fundamental differences with a Russian government that is bent on opposing U.S. interests abroad and crushing democracy at home … Russia is not North Korea — or even neighboring Belarus. And despite notable differences over issues like the conflict in Syria, Russia has actually been a crucial partner for achieving U.S. objectives internationally … Russia’s decision to grant him [Snowden j.b.] temporary asylum was just the final nail in the coffin. But the Snowden episode is perhaps more important because it throws into relief the deep-seated pathologies of U.S.-Russia relations … The Snowden affair confirmed that both Moscow and Washington are incapable of genuine partnership on politically charged matters … The irony was that Putin believed he had found a way out — conditioning Snowden’s stay on a pledge not to harm U.S. interests … Finally, Washington’s snickering about the irony of Snowden’s „choice“ of Russia demonstrates the way in which perceptions about Russia’s troubled post-Soviet political transition often hamper bilateral ties. Yes, the Russian government, especially in the last two years, has often cracked down on freedom of expression and imposed limits on civil society. But Russia does not espouse an ideology that is inimical to U.S. civic values in the way that the Soviet Union did. Russian politics and society are still in a state of transformation after 75 years of Soviet communism. The end point remains unknown, and the path has not been linear. But ridicule and finger wagging from Washington are unlikely to nudge it in the right direction … Obama is certainly right that the two countries should be thinking about the future. But there are reasons — rooted in the past, for sure, but real reasons nonetheless — why the U.S. and Russia do not cooperate more effectively. Until and unless both sides make a serious joint effort to address the underlying pathologies in the relationship — something way beyond Obama’s reset — setbacks like the summit cancellation will be inevitable …

Why Putin believes U.S. policies in the Middle East since the Arab Spring have been misguided, unprincipled, and dangerous
August 1, 2013 …Vladimir Putin, now in power for over 13 years, has a history with the United States, his one-time opponent on the global chessboard. He began by mending ties with NATO, broken during the Kosovo conflict, and then actually applying for membership in the alliance that once faced off against the Red Army. In the wake of Sept. 11, Putin not only called George W. Bush, but also gave practical and substantive support to U.S. operations in Afghanistan—and tolerated a large U.S. military presence in former Soviet Central Asia. Putin also chose not to react strongly to the Bush Administration’s decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty that Moscow had for decades called a key pillar of strategic stability, and managed to live with Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the enlargement of NATO—to include, among others, the three Baltic states. The early picture of Putin’s relations with the United States was therefore one of relative harmony. What changed Putin’s largely positive attitude toward the United States were the “color revolutions” in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, which he saw as U.S. actions to displace Russia from its “zones of interests,” at best, or, at worst, as a dress rehearsal for a regime change in Russia itself. Putin then changed tack and left the West’s political orbit to reassert Russia’s role as an independent great power, helped by a decade of high and ever-rising oil prices. He fulminated against U.S. global hegemony in a speech in Munich, but to little avail, as Washington’s support for Ukrainian and Georgian bids to join NATO helped destabilize the situation in Eastern Europe. The whole thing ended in a brief war between Russia and Georgia, which Putin saw as a U.S. client state. Had the crisis also spread to Ukraine, or at least to Crimea, a direct U.S.-Russian collision would have been hard to avoid. The global crisis and the change of presidents at the White House—Putin himself always stayed in control, even when he let his protégé Dmitri Medvedev formally run Russia—allowed for a new beginning in U.S.-Russian relations. Putin took Barack Obama’s “reset” in relations with Moscow as a correction of the flawed policies of the previous administration. He had one substantive face-to-face meeting with Obama when the latter was visiting Russia, and he permitted Medvedev’s closer engagement with the U.S. president. But the results of that engagement, in Putin’s view, were mixed. Obama showed no interest in the post-Soviet space, which was good; he scaled down U.S. missile defense plans, which was good; and he bombed Libya into a regime change, which was plainly bad. By the time Putin formally returned to the Kremlin, he had become incensed over what he believed was blatant U.S. interference in Russia’s domestic politics. He accused the U.S. State Department of actually paying for and running the Russian protest movement that challenged his rule in a series of unprecedented demonstrations … In foreign policy, Moscow stopped merely grumbling over U.S. actions it did not like, as in Kosovo, Iraq, or Libya; it started actively opposing U.S. policies, particularly in Syria … Vladimir Putin … defends the status quo: domestically, because it suits him best; and internationally, because it is often the lesser evil. In his more than a dozen years in power, he has lost his early admiration for the United States and his once-strong empathy for Europe. From Vladimir Putin’s perspective, U.S. policies in the Middle East since the beginning of the Arab Awakening have been misguided, unprincipled, and dangerous, and its record of prognostication and intervention has been abysmal … Using its leverage with the Egyptian military, the United States gambled on bringing Islamists to power, in the hope of domesticating them through the chores and challenges of governance. When they turned out to be incompetent and headstrong, the United States let the first democratically elected president of Egypt be ousted by means of a managed crisis; staged popular riots; and eventually a military coup … Putin himself has been rather skeptical on Egypt … In Libya, Putin watched the U.S. president in 2011 decide on a military intervention in a foreign country against the advice of his own military, in order to be on the safe side in the forthcoming elections at home and to placate his allies in Europe and the Arab world. What was originally billed as a humanitarian operation to save lives in Benghazi was soon expanded to bring about a regime change in Tripoli, the U.N. Security Council resolution that Russia had allowed to pass notwithstanding … the chaos that followed the toppling of Qaddafi released huge arsenals of arms and munitions, as well as thousands of trained radical fighters, into the neighborhood, from North Africa to the Middle East. It is Syria, however, that, for Putin, lays bare the failures of U.S. policy toward the Arab Spring. After Washington had tried, and failed, to sever the ties between Damascus and Tehran, it started looking to bring about regime change in Syria. The U.S. goal was not a Syrian democracy, but robbing Iran of its most important ally in the region; democracy was simply an instrument to achieve that goal. In order to help bring “democracy” to Syria, the United States formed an alliance with some of the most authoritarian countries in the world: Saudi Arabia and Qatar … Washington’s calculus was evidently wrong: The regime, despite Obama’s several proclamations, has not been toppled in the 30-month-long civil war. For Putin, Syria was above all about the principles of national sovereignty and noninterference. He instructed the Russian diplomats at the United Nations to give no quarter to those preparing for another humanitarian crusade. “Remember Libya,” he could be heard warning … For Putin, the armed opposition inside Syria … is dominated by al-Qaida and its extremist friends … to help those forces take over a key Arab country and turn it into a base for terrorist operations in the region and beyond … It is supreme naiveté, in Putin’s eyes, to believe that the Syrian extremists can be tamed or sent away once the mission of toppling an unloved secular leader is accomplished. In Mali, Putin observed, Western forces are fighting against precisely the same groups whom they aid in Syria … Last May, Putin appeared ready to deal with the United States on bringing the war in Syria to a close … The United States looked at Putin’s terms and did not much like them. Putin, for his part, was not buying what the United States had to offer. Not surprisingly, Geneva 2 is not going to happen, at least not soon. Syria is highly illustrative of the present state of U.S.-Russia relations … Putin sees the United States as having lost its way, and the European Union as not having found one. He now views America and Russia as culturally opposite to each other and Russia as more European in terms of its core values than present-day E.U.-land …

History-NSA: permission to spy in Germany
29.07.2013 Germany has been under surveillance by the United States for decades, and German leaders have been fully aware of it, says historian Josef Foschepoth. The reason? Secret post-war accords … Josef Foschepoth: … I was surprised instead by the initial reactions, in particular, from the political side. They were as if this had happened for the first time, as if it was something terribly bad and unique. But that is not the case. From my own research, I know that this happened countless times in the 1960s in Germany … such affairs are always very uncomfortable because they bring to light something that had functioned in the shadows. And this function should not be disturbed, so it’s played down. But now, this is no longer the case because it is an instance of severe and intensive surveillance. And moreover: it has been conducted by a friendly state … Let’s be clear that the victorious forces were in Germany to occupy the country … after the victory over Nazi Germany, a further conflict began with the Soviet Union and the Cold War was born. It was a two-fold conflict that required a new strategy from the United States. A policy of double containment ensued: containment of the Soviet Union on the one hand and Germany on the other. And an essential element of this policy was surveillance … Ten years after the end of World War Two, the Germans felt the fundamental urge to be a sovereign state once again. But that was not the case at all because in the treaties from 1955 – it was volumes of treaties – were secret supplemental agreements which guaranteed key rights for the Western allied forces; among them, the right to monitor telephone and postal communications … The Americans exerted massive pressure. They did not want to give up this territory, which was geostrategically important for its surveillance operations. German leaders, of course, wanted to be able to say that we now had a bit more sovereignty; in other words, a few strokes for the reawakening national psyche. Of course, what they didn’t say was we had to accept the same circumstances we had in the past under the occupation in the future as well, due to the international treaties and secret agreements. And these agreements are still valid and binding for every German government, even today … The US had build a little America with its bases, in which the German government could not govern. When then-chancellor Helmut Kohl worked to clinch German reunification, he realized that this issue was a little difficult and controversial, so he said let’s just ignore it, and so, there were no negotiations over America’s special status rights. Therefore, these supplemental agreements are still in effect … The fall from grace happened in 1955 when Konrad Adenauer agreed to the special status rights in negotiations with the allied forces. The recognition of these rights by the chancellor meant that there was no going back to the sanctity and privacy of post and telecommunications, as it is written in the German constitution. That is how the large German-allied intelligence complex arose … In the early years of the Federal Republic that was even more pronounced than it is today. That is why it was kept secret in the first place … Professor Josef Foschepoth is a historian at the University of Freiburg and author of the book „Überwachtes Deutschland. Post- und Telefonüberwachung in der alten Bundesrepublik“ (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2012)

Asia-Pacific: A Strategic Assessment
May 2013 … a thought-provoking analysis of the U.S. strategic shift toward the region and its implications … First, Asia-Pacific, which covers China, Northeast Asia, and Southeast Asia, is a region with complex currents. On the one hand, there is an unabated region-wide drive for economic development that has been pushing Asia-Pacific forward for decades. On the other, this region is troubled with, aside from many other conflicts, unsettled maritime disputes that have the potential to trigger wars between and among Asia-Pacific nations. Second, on top of these mixed currents, China and the United States compete intensely over a wide range of vital interests in this region. For better or for worse, the U.S.-China relationship is becoming a defining factor in the relations among the Asia-Pacific nations. Third, the U.S. strategic shift toward Asia-Pacific is, as President Obama puts it, not a choice but a necessity. Although conflicts elsewhere, especially the ones in the Middle East, continue to draw U.S. attention and consume U.S. foreign policy resources, the United States is turning its focus toward China and Asia-Pacific. Fourth, in the mid-2000s, the United States and China made an unprecedented strategic goodwill exchange and agreed to blaze a new path out of the tragedy that often attends great power transition. Fifth, at this time of U.S. strategic reorientation and military rebalancing toward Asia-Pacific, the most dangerous consideration is that Asia-Pacific nations having disputes with China can misread U.S. strategic intentions and overplay the “U.S. card” to pursue their territorial interests and challenge China. Finally, territorial dispute is becoming an urgent issue in the Asia-Pacific.

… und dann noch ein bisschen was zum Freuen: … siehe Anhänge

Beste Grüße von der Elbe!

Jörg Barandat


Ein Gedanke zu „W A T E R I N T A K E

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