|W A T E R I N T A K E
August / September
|2014 World Water Week – "Energy and Water"
Water: A Map of Conflict & Cooperation
siehe unter WASSERQUELLEN: Adelphi: The Rise of Hydro-Diplomacy … S. 7-8
United Nations Watercourses Convention Enters Into Force
17.08.2014 The first global framework on fresh water and the world’s only global framework for transboundary cooperation, endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, has officially entered into force … Throughout decades of drafts and revisions, international organizations—particularly those focused on conservation—raised awareness, increased understanding and encouraged adoption of the UN Watercourses Convention. In May 2014, Vietnam became the 35th country to ratify, bringing the Convention into force, and several other countries are on the verge of acceding … “Our Board has been promoting the Convention because effective transboundary water management furthers peace and promotes cooperation, and is a fundamental element of sustainable development," said Ms. Uschi Eid, Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation. “It is high time to have it ratified, and I am satisfied it is going into force now, as we enter a new era of international cooperation defined by the post-2015 development agenda” … The Convention will standardize one set of criteria for which all countries with international river basins and transboundary waters abide, ensuring more practical management globally. These criteria include defining the subjects that countries should discuss on their shared waters, facilitating the process of transboundary cooperation and holding governments accountable to their own countries and regions …
Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses
New York, 21 May 1997:
Article 36 Entry into force … on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession …
… ruckzuck … hab‘ ich doch gerade „gestern“ noch am Entwurf mitgeschrieben + verhandelt … und schon in Kraft gesetzt … auch wenn’s ewig gedauert hat, grundsätzlich erst einmal eine gute Nachricht – ABER – bisher ist keiner der Oberanlieger aus den Problemregionen dem Vertrag beigetreten … Grundsatz: ein Vertrag zwischen Zweien bindet vertragsrechtlich keinen Dritten … daran ändert auch die Inkraftsetzung nichts … J.B.
Sorry, aber ich war in den zurückliegenden Wochen – sowohl privat wie beruflich – so stark eingespannt, dass ich das Feld nicht systematisch monitoren konnte … sicher ist mir da Einiges durchs Netz gerutscht … J.B.
California drought lessons: Water wasters attend Water School
08/09/14 — Some overindulged their zucchini patch. Others didn’t bother with that dripping kitchen sink. But now every Monday night in this drought-stricken beach town, dozens of residents who violated their strict rations take a seat at Water School, hoping to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in distressing penalties waived … Nik Martinelli, a Santa Cruz water-conservation specialist who is up before dawn patrolling for overwatered lawns, launched a recent lesson … “We all know why you’re here. You all went over your allotment and got a big penalty” … Margaret Hughes nodded grimly. Her $210 water bill came with a $775 fine last month. She drove from her home four hours north of town to face the scolding, even though she had no idea the toilet in a vacant house she inherited had been leaking … The city cracked down in May, deploying “drought busters,” whom locals call “water cops,” to warn — and then penalize — anyone openly watering between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., washing down pavement or refilling a spa. A logo, “Surf City Saves,” was launched, and a hotline to tattle on water wasters and mandatory household limits, allowing just 249 gallons per day for a family of four, were set. A typical dishwasher load is 20 gallons, a load of laundry can be 25 gallons, a toilet flush can be 3 gallons. It adds up. Nationally, a family of four averages 400 gallons a day … Joel Kauffman has his household of three adults and a toddler using just over 100 gallons a day … has installed low-flow toilets and shower heads. They don’t always flush urine, they water their fruit trees with laundry runoff and a shower bucket gets dumped in the toilet tank or in the garden … In June, the first month of rationing rules, 1,635 Santa Cruz household accounts faced $341,000 in fines. In July, 2,121 accounts had penalties applied, totaling $175,725. So far $202,340 in fines have been suspended for Water School graduates. And there’s a waiting list for weeks to come … Some districts … authorities are imposing statewide rationing with fines of up to $500 a day for residents who waste water on lawns, landscaping and washing cars. Water cops are being hired and fines imposed …
Dispute Over Irrigation Water Compounds Tensions Between Daghestan, Azerbaijan
September 05, 2014 The dispute over water from the Samur River is just one aspect of the long-standing clash of economic, and possibly also geopolitical, interests between Daghestan and Azerbaijan … Daghestan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry alleged earlier this week that Azerbaijan is channeling off far more water than it is entitled to under the terms of the border treaty signed four years ago; the Azerbaijani joint stock company responsible for irrigation and water resources denies this … thousands of residents of Daghestan’s Magerramkent border district are concerned that the reduction in the volume of water in the lower reaches of the river is negatively affecting the region’s fragile ecosystem, thereby posing a direct threat to their livelihood, which depends on the sale of agricultural produce … The use of the river’s water … is codified in the interstate treaty of September 3, 2010, on the border between Azerbaijan and Russia. Under the terms of that treaty, 30.5 percent of the total volume is designated the environmental norm; the remainder is to be shared equally by the two sides. The flow is currently 14.5 cubic meters per second, of which Azerbaijan and Daghestan are each entitled to 5 cubic meters. But according to Daghestan’s First Deputy Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Marat Aliomarov, Azerbaijan is taking an additional 3 cubic meters … Last month, the administrative heads of five Magerramkent villages appealed to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (who as Russian president signed the 2010 border treaty) and Daghestani Prime Minister Abdusamad Gamidov to ensure that the river water is shared equally in order to preclude “a conflict situation.” The dispute over water from the Samur is, furthermore, just one aspect of the long-standing clash of economic, and possibly also geopolitical, interests between Daghestan and Azerbaijan …
Desperately Dry California Tries to Curb Private Drilling for Water
AUG. 31, 2014 — The small prefab office of Arthur & Orum, a well-drilling outfit hidden in the almond trees and grapevines south of Fresno, has become a magnet for scores of California farmers in desperate need of water to sustain their crops. Looking at binders of dozens of orders for yet-to-be-drilled wells, Steve Arthur, a manager, said, “We’ve got more stacked up than we’ll do before the end of the year.” California’s vicious, prolonged drought, which has radically curtailed most natural surface water supplies, is making farmers look deeper and deeper underground to slake their thirst. This means the drought is a short-term bonanza for firms like Arthur & Orum … But in a drought as long and severe as the current one, over-reliance on groundwater means that land sinks, old wells go dry, and saltwater invades coastal aquifers … Yet for a century, farmers believed that the law put control of groundwater in the hands of landowners, who could drill as many wells as deeply as they wanted, and court challenges were few. That just changed. The California Legislature, in its closing hours on Friday, passed new and sweeping groundwater controls. The measures do not eliminate private ownership, but they do establish a framework for managing withdrawals through local agencies … the new legal framework not only empowers local control of groundwater, it sets out another requirement: When localities fail to manage their aquifers sustainably, the state can step in. Water managers in 126 of more than 500 groundwater basins — the ones designated high or medium priority — must develop groundwater-management plans by 2020 or give way to the state …
63 trillion gallons of groundwater lost in drought
August 21, 2014 The ongoing drought in the western United States has caused so much loss of groundwater that the Earth, on average, has lifted up about 0.16 inches over the last 18 months, according to a new study. The situation was even worse in the snow-starved mountains of California, where the Earth rose up to 0.6 inches … Researchers from UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the groundwater loss from the start of 2013 to be 63 trillion gallons — the equivalent of flooding four inches of water across the United States west of the Rocky Mountains … “We found that it’s most severe in California, particularly in the Sierras,” said coauthor Duncan Agnew, professor of geophysics at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “It’s predominantly in the Coast Ranges and the Sierras showing the most uplift, and hence, that’s where we believe is the largest water loss” … Scientists came to this conclusion by studying data collected from hundreds of GPS sensors across the western United States, installed primarily to detect small changes in the ground due to earthquakes. But the GPS data can also be used to show very small changes in elevation. Groundwater is very heavy, and its weight depresses the Earth’s upper crust. Remove the weight, and the crust springs upward — and GPS sensors can detect how much higher the land has risen as a result of loss of groundwater. The highest uplift of the Earth occurred in California’s mountains because there is so much water underneath them … The uplift was less in Nevada and the Great Basin …
August 21, 2014 Western drought causes Earth’s surface to rise as water levels drop
… auch die sehr “schöne” Fotoreihe: einst-jetzt …
California’s drought: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like
14 August 28 A new study says that California’s drought is so severe it’s causing the ground to rise. Angela Fritz of The Washington Post reported scientists estimate 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost in the past 18 months. What happens when 63 trillion gallons of water disappear? …
Danke für diesen Hinweis nach Berlin + ebenso ins Lechfeld. J.B.
L.A’s water ruler, DWP chief Marcie Edwards, on keeping the city hydrated
August 19, 2014 The Department of Water and Power began 107 years ago, after Los Angeles bought back the civic water system from a group of privateers … Despite an epochal drought, and an aging water system, Edwards insists the DWP performs better than most utilities when it comes to policy and services. The agency, and its customers, she says, can do what’s necessary to keep the city hydrated … “I drive my husband crazy because he’s brushing his teeth and I’m turning off the water” … I can’t stand here running a water company and watch you run water while you brush your teeth. He doesn’t anymore! … I’ve looked at privatization analyses. The advantage of [a public utility] is that we have requirements that our money is spent solely in the interest of ratepayers. Water is a lifeline commodity — this isn’t something to make money on. Our rates are required to be cost-of-service. We can only charge what it takes to buy, maintain and hold adequate cash reserves … Many environmentalists will tell you that the problem with water is that it’s so cheap it doesn’t spur people to action … Price is always a determining factor on conservation-related behavior. Los Angeles has taken a leadership role in conservation. We already have one of the lowest per-capita consumptions around but there’s more to do. One project may not change the world but hundreds absolutely will … DWP has four Drought Busters — excuse me, a four-person Water Conservation Response Unit — for the whole city. They’ve given out more than 800 warnings … [Water wasters] get educational material, then a warning, then a citation. Most people stop after one [visit] …
If You Think the Water Crisis Can’t Get Worse, Wait Until the Aquifers Are Drained
August 19, 2014 Aquifers provide us freshwater that makes up for surface water lost from drought-depleted lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. We are drawing down these hidden, mostly nonrenewable groundwater supplies at unsustainable rates in the western United States and in several dry regions globally, threatening our future … Groundwater comes from aquifers—spongelike gravel and sand-filled underground reservoirs—and we see this water only when it flows from springs and wells. In the United States we rely on this hidden—and shrinking—water supply to meet half our needs, and as drought shrinks surface water in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, we rely on groundwater from aquifers even more. Some shallow aquifers recharge from surface water, but deeper aquifers contain ancient water locked in the earth by changes in geology thousands or millions of years ago. These aquifers typically cannot recharge, and once this "fossil" water is gone, it is gone forever—potentially changing how and where we can live and grow food, among other things. California’s Central Valley has seen a dramatic rise in well-drilling this year to compensate for surface water lost from the drought … Californians know little about their groundwater supply because well-drilling records are kept secret from public view, and there is no statewide policy limiting groundwater use. State legislators are contemplating a measure that would regulate and limit groundwater use, but even if it passes, compliance plans wouldn’t be required until 2020, and full restrictions wouldn’t kick in until 2040. California property owners now can pump as much water as they want from under the ground they own. California’s Central Valley isn’t the only place in the U.S. where groundwater supplies are declining. Aquifers in the Colorado River Basin and the southern Great Plains also suffer severe depletion. Studies show that about half the groundwater depletion nationwide is from irrigation. Agriculture is the leading use of water in the U.S. and around the world, and globally irrigated farming takes more than 60 percent of the available freshwater. The Colorado River Basin, which supplies water to 40 million people in seven states, is losing water at dramatic rates, and most of the losses are groundwater … Farther east, the Ogallala Aquifer under the High Plains is also shrinking because of too much demand … A 2013 study of 40 aquifers across the United States by the U.S. Geological Survey reports that the rate of groundwater depletion has increased dramatically since 2000, with almost 25 cubic kilometers (six cubic miles) of water per year being pumped from the ground. This compares to about 9.2 cubic kilometers (1.48 cubic miles) average withdrawal per year from 1900 to 2008 … As drought worsens groundwater depletion, water supplies for people and farming shrink, and this scarcity can set the table for social unrest. Saudi Arabia, which a few decades ago began pumping deep underground aquifers to grow wheat in the desert, has since abandoned the plan, in order to conserve what groundwater supplies remain, relying instead on imported wheat to feed the people of this arid land. Managing and conserving groundwater supplies becomes an urgent challenge as drought depletes our surface supplies. Because groundwater is a common resource—available to anyone with well—drilling equipment-cooperation and collaboration will be crucial as we try to protect this shrinking line of defense against a future of water scarcity …
L.A. dramatically increases ‚water cops‘ staffing as drought worsens
August 18, 2014 Los Angeles officials announced Monday they are beefing up their water-wasting patrols. But just don’t call them "water cops." Until now, the Department of Water and Power has assigned just one inspector to drive around handling complaints of water wasting in a city of 4 million people. The DWP said Monday it now has four water-wasting inspectors, but officials emphasized that their job will be more educational than enforcement. From January through June, the unit received 1,400 reports of violations and handed out 863 warnings letters. But so far, no one has been fined …
Iran: Dried Out
August 21nd, 2014 … The drying out of the river means about 2m people – 40 per cent of the population – in the Zayandeh Roud basin who depend on agriculture have lost their income, says Mostafa Hajjeh-Foroush, head of the agriculture committee of the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce. “If this situation continues they should think of changing jobs” … The water that disappeared – a result largely of mismanagement and overuse rather than drought – is stored at the Zayandeh Roud dam and diverted for domestic and industrial consumption, leaving the city’s 11 river bridges standing as symbols of what is missing … The choking of the river has had a profound effect on a city that was built around the Zayandeh Roud in the same way that London grew up around the Thames and Paris around the Seine. But Isfahan’s plight is just one example of a water crisis in a country gripped by 14 successive years of drought. Iran is hardly alone in facing a water shortage but its problems are acute. A growing population and shrinking economy make the situation difficult, but its position at the centre of a politically unstable region where competition for water is intense makes it dangerously volatile. Thousands of villages rely on water tankers for supplies, according to local media, while businessmen complain shortages are a daily hazard in factories around Tehran. At least a dozen of the country’s 31 provinces will have to be evacuated over the next 20 years unless the problem is addressed, according to a water official who declined to be named. The situation may be even worse than that, says Issa Kalantari, a reform-minded agriculture minister in the 1990s. “Iran, with 7,000 years of history, will not be liveable in 20 years’ time if the rapid and exponential destruction of groundwater resources continues,” he warns, adding that the shortages pose a bigger threat to Iran than its nuclear crisis, Israel or the US … The crisis raises concerns about the risk of conflict in a country surrounded by unstable neighbours – most notably Afghanistan and Iraq – with water shortages of their own … But the reforms require money, and Iran’s economy is struggling under the weight of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme … Iran’s water problems are largely of its own making. Although it only gets about 200mm of rain a year, about a third of the global average, and 75 per cent of it falls on only 25 per cent of its area, it has a notable history of water engineering. It has built impressive dams and invented the ancient system of qanats, vertical shafts connected by gently sloping tunnels that channel water from higher regions with no need for pumps. However, a population that has doubled to 76m in the past 40 years has put that system under pressure, as has a changing climate that has seen rainfall decline by 16 per cent over the same period. The growth of industry in dry regions has added to the strain. But the biggest problem is a system of generous subsidies that has encouraged wasteful use of a resource long taken for granted. The problem is most visible in the agricultural sector, which uses about 90 per cent of Iran’s water and accounts for about 15 per cent of gross domestic product. With little incentive to use systems that conserve supplies, Iran’s farmers have flooded their crops with supplies pumped from underground sources that are often difficult to replace … encouraged farmers in the province to plant water-intensive crops. But as the neighbouring provinces of Yazd and Kashan grew, the Zayandeh Roud was used to supply them with water. Isfahan farmers began to run short. They reacted by mounting protests – some of which turned violent – to highlight the diversion of water that they regarded as theirs. The farmers have vowed to block projects that could channel water toward Isfahan city, Yazd and Kashan … The damage in Isfahan province has been substantial. Analysts say tens of thousands of hectares of farmland have turned to desert. More than 500m trees have died over the past four years and land has subsided – a byproduct of draining groundwater supplies – in some areas by as much as one metre, threatening the city’s historical sites … Analysts and politicians expect conflict to widen and intensify. “Iran faces a hydro-political crisis which means national crises in the future will be rooted in a water shortage,” says Morad Kaviani Rad, a professor at Kharazmi University. Isfahan is by no means the only visible sign of Iran’s water crisis. Urmia Lake in the northwest is on the brink of an ecological catastrophe. About 95 per cent of it has dried up over the past two decades, mainly due to wasteful irrigation practices and drought … Ministers have been ordered to draw up plans for a new water management system, and stop the expansion of farms in arid regions and consider measures to discourage the use of groundwater pumps in stressed areas such as Urmia Lake … The shortages in Iraq have left the Hoor al-Azim wetlands in southwest Iran, which is served by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, depleted. Supplies from the Harirud, a border river in the northeast, have been diverted upstream in Afghanistan to irrigate its farmland, jeopardising the supply to the religious centre of Mashhad, Iran’s second-biggest city, which is facing the biggest drinking water crisis in the country. “Mashhad will soon be a hostage to Afghanistan” … The Hamouns in the southeast – three wetlands covering 5,660 sq km mostly in Iran but also in Afghanistan – which should be fed by the Helmand river have been mostly dry over the past decade. There are unconfirmed reports that villagers around Helmand have started migrating to northern provinces … In recent decades, however, technology and greater demand have turned into the biggest threat to the system. Government authorities have been accused of failing to maintain and extend the qanats system [Qanat – Trink- und Nutzwasserzuführung aus höher gelegenen Regionen mittels Wasserstollen J.B.], which could no longer meet rising demand, and did little to prevent excessive extraction through quicker and easier methods. The 36,000 qanats left in Iran – about half the number of 50 years ago – provide 14 per cent of the water needed for agriculture …
Danke für den Hinweis an Berlin-Mitte J.B.
Interview: "Gaza braucht Frieden für sauberes Wasser"
18.08.14 Tausende von Menschen in Gaza haben zurzeit keinen Zugang zu Wasser. Das Gebiet braucht Ruhe und die Chance, seine Wasservorräte selbst zu managen, sagt Umweltwissenschaftler Amir Dakkak im Gespräch mit der DW … Seit dem 29. Juli hat fast niemand Zugang zu sauberem Wasser. Drei der fünf Kläranlagen wurden direkt getroffen. Das führte dazu, dass Abwässer direkt ins Mittelmeer gelangen, bis zu 90.000 Liter am Tag. Es ist für die Mitarbeiter zu gefährlich geworden, das beschädigte Wassersystem zu reparieren, damit die Bevölkerung wieder sauberes Wasser bekommt. Zudem wurde ein Großteil der Infrastruktur bereits bei früheren Luftangriffen 2008, 2009 und 2012 zerstört. Ein weiterer wichtiger Faktor ist der Energiemangel. Selbst wenn wir funktionierende Entsalzungsanlagen und Klärwerke hätten, würden die viel Strom brauchen. Den hat Gaza nicht – erst recht nicht, nachdem das einzige Kraftwerk vor ein paar Tagen direkt getroffen wurde … Es gibt nur einen unterirdischen Aquifer (Anm. d. Red.: eine wasserführende natürliche Schicht) an der Küste. Das Wasser ist aufgrund der Verschmutzung durch Abwasser, Meereswasser und die Landwirtschaft zu 95 Prozent unbrauchbar. Von dem Wasser, das dort entnommen wird, bekommt Gaza gerade mal 26 Prozent. Israel ist der größte Nutzer mit rund 66 Prozent. Die palästinensische Wasserbehörde kauft Wasser von Israel und anderen – bis zu 56 Millionen Kubikmeter pro Jahr, um das fehlende Wasser auszugleichen. Das reicht nicht aus für uns … Die UN befürchten, dass die Region bis 2016 unbewohnbar werden könnte, weil das vorhandene Wasser vollkommen verschmutzt sein wird … Die einzige Möglichkeit ist, dass man Gaza erlaubt, seine eigenen Wasservorräte zu sichern. Und: Wenn die illegale israelische Blockade aufhören würde, könnte man Materialien hereinbringen, um die Infrastruktur wieder aufzubauen … In dieser Region ist alles eine Frage der Politik. Wenn man Wasser haben will, muss man die Kontrolle über die eigenen Quellen haben. Man muss die Versorgung selbst sicherstellen, die Infrastruktur instand halten und neue Technologien hereinholen können, und man muss Mitarbeiter ausbilden, die damit umgehen können. Wenn man das alles nicht hat, kann man kein Wasser zur Verfügung stellen …
Harter Kampf um den Mosul-Staudamm
18.8.2014 … Peschmerga und irakische Truppen haben eine Offensive zur Rückeroberung des Mosul-Staudamms begonnen. Gleichzeitig haben die Amerikaner die Luftangriffe intensiviert. Der Damm ist von strategischer Bedeutung … Die Extremisten der Terrororganisation Islamischer Staat (IS) hatten den Staudamm vor zehn Tagen in ihre Gewalt gebracht, nachdem die letzten Peschmerga-Einheiten ihren Widerstand aufgegeben hatten … Der am Tigris gelegene Mosul-Damm ist … der grösste irakische Staudamm überhaupt. Mit ihm hätten die Extremisten die Macht über die Strom- und Wasserversorgung in grossen Teilen des Nord- und Zentraliraks. Die Turbinen produzieren mehr als 1000 Megawatt Strom, mit dem auch die Einwohner des Westteils von Bagdad versorgt werden. Mit zwölf Milliarden Kubikmeter Wasser ist der Damm die wichtigste Quelle für die Landwirte in der von Mosul aus verwalteten Provinz Ninive … Der Damm, der in den achtziger Jahren fertig gestellt wurde, ist jedoch an einem geologisch völlig ungeeigneten Gebiet gebaut worden. Der Untergrund droht weggeschwemmt zu werden, so dass er ständig mit Zement stabilisiert werden muss, um ein Brechen zu verhindern. Die Fluten könnten in diesem Fall nicht nur Mosul, sondern auch Bagdad überschwemmen. Das Problem ist nicht neu – die Amerikaner haben 30 Millionen Dollar für seine Stabilisierung investiert. Mehrere westliche Firmen haben sich um den Auftrag für eine dauerhafte Lösung beworben. Doch die irakische Bürokratie kommt seit Jahren nicht voran. Befürchtungen, die Jihadisten könnten den Staudamm beschädigen, haben sich bisher nicht bewahrheitet. Angestellte berichteten vielmehr, die Extremisten hätten sie gebeten ihre Arbeit fortzusetzen und ihnen die Zahlung ihrer Gehälter versprochen. Bisher hatten sie auch die Stromversorgung nicht gekappt.
Für diesen Hinweis ein Dankeschön nach Wuppertal J.B.
Californians Will Have to Get Comfortable With Purified ‚Toilet-to-Tap‘ Water
Aug 7, 2014 … The golden state’s historic drought is forcing once-squeamish Californians to take a new look at “toilet-to-tap” water re-use. Or as they prefer to call it in Fountain Valley, “showers to flowers.” The town in conservative Orange County is home to the largest water recycling plant in the world, and an example during this epic drought of the life-altering changes California will have to make to avoid running out of water. First, residents will need to get over the idea that water is an infinite resource. Or that it pours out of the tap straight from a pristine, underground spring … the state is going to have to do much more to guarantee California a long-term supply of water … why not re-use water? Orange County has been doing it for six years, using highly purified waste water to replenish groundwater reserves. Recycled water goes through three stages of purification. By the time it leaves the plant, it is distilled water. “We consider waste water not a waste but a resource,” Markus said. “If we didn’t have this water, we wouldn’t be able to pump as much out of the basin,” he went on. “The basin would go into a state of overdraft.” The water re-use plant currently produces 70 million gallons a day, turning residential waste water—from dishwashers, showers, washing machines and toilets—into potable water … the cost is significantly lower than importing water from northern California, and about half the cost of desalinating sea water—and the supply is guaranteed … About half of the water is pumped into injection wells to serve as a barrier against seawater intrusion. The rest is pumped 13 miles to underground basins in Anaheim, where it filters through layers of sand and gravel, gradually becoming part of Orange County’s water supply … California law still does not allow the direct re-use of the water leaving the Orange County plant—even though it is purified to a higher standard than groundwater supplies. But the state regulator is looking to draft new rules to allow direct re-use of water by 2016 …
More Crop for the Drop
AUG 7, 2014 The United Nations has called drought the “world’s costliest natural disaster,” both financially, imposing an annual cost of $6-8 billion, and in human terms; since 1900, it has affected two billion people, leading to more than 11 million deaths. That is because so much of the world is vulnerable; currently affected areas include Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, North and South America, and the Middle East. Given that agriculture accounts for 70% of water consumption, on average, worldwide, it seems logical that this sector should be the focus of conservation measures. And, in fact, a proven technology exists that could go a long way toward reducing the impact of drought: genetic engineering (GE). Sometimes called “genetic modification,” GE enables plant breeders to make existing crop plants do new things – such as conserve water. Even with research and development hampered by resistance from activists and excessive government regulation, drought-resistant GE crop varieties are emerging from the development pipeline in many parts of the world … in the long term, the greatest boon of all, for both food security and the environment, will likely be the ability of new crop varieties to tolerate periods of drought and other water-related stresses. Even a small reduction in the amount of water used for irrigation could have huge benefits, especially in drought conditions. To develop such varieties, plant biologists identified genes that regulate water use and transferred them into important crop plants, enabling them to grow with less or lower-quality water, such as water that has been recycled or is high in natural mineral salts. Egyptian researchers have shown that by transferring a single gene from barley to wheat, the plants can tolerate reduced watering for a longer period of time. This new, drought-resistant variety requires only one-eighth as much irrigation as conventional wheat; in some deserts, it can be cultivated with rainfall alone … Molecular genetic engineering technology can conserve water in other ways as well. One-third of irrigated land worldwide is not suitable for growing crops because of the presence of salt – the result of repeated fertilization. To regain the more than 200,000 hectares of irrigated land that is lost to cultivation annually, scientists have enhanced the salt tolerance of crops as diverse as tomatoes and canola. The transformed plants can grow in salty soil and be irrigated with brackish water, conserving fresh water for other uses … Europe, for example, largely prohibits GE crops; India has approved insect-resistant cotton but has failed to sanction any food crops … As water scarcity increases, drought-stricken crops wither, and food prices rise, the need for resilient agriculture will become more obvious – and more urgent. With more rational public policy, we can meet that need now. How much more preventable misery and death must occur before our policymakers see reason?
Jahrelange Dürre in den USA: Braun ist Kaliforniens neues Grün
05.08.2014 Leere Stauseen, brennende Wälder, verdorrte Äcker und ein dramatisch sinkender Grundwasserpegel: In Kalifornien wächst die Verzweiflung über die Folgen der jahrelangen Dürre. Jetzt greifen Sparmaßnahmen und harte Strafen für Wasserverschwender … Auf einer Länge von 700 Kilometern wird dort das meiste Obst und Gemüse in den USA produziert. 80 Prozent aller Mandeln der Welt kommen aus dem Central Valley. Mehr als 40 Milliarden Dollar bringt der Verkauf der Agrarprodukte aus dem "Golden State" jährlich ein. Natürlich nur mit künstlicher Bewässerung. Doch der Goldene Staat trocknet immer weiter aus … Die meisten Bauern in Kalifornien erhalten Wasserzuweisungen von Staat und Bund. Die wurden in diesem Jahr erstmals auf ein Minimum gedrosselt. Wenn das Oberflächenwasser versiegt, greifen die Bauern zur Pumpe. Die Dürre hat einen regelrechten Bohrboom ausgelöst. Grundwasser statt Öl … Kalifornien lebt buchstäblich auf Pump … Auswertung von Satellitendaten für das riesige Becken des Colorado-Flusses wiesen auf einen drastischen Rückgang der Grundwasserreserven in den vergangenen zehn Jahren hin. Spuren der langen Trockenheit im US-Westen sind überall sichtbar. Die Pegelstände von riesigen Stauseen wie dem Lake Mead im US-Staat Nevada sind auf einen Tiefpunkt gesunken. Zurück bleiben weiße, ausgeblichene Ränder, die sich wie Ringe um das Ufer legen … Kalifornien zählt zu den wenigen US-Bundesstaaten, die den Grundwasserverbrauch noch nicht regulieren. Die Landwirte haben freie Hand, auf ihrem Grundstück zu pumpen. "Es ist paradox. Wir stecken mitten in einer Dürre, doch die Mandelbauern rechnen mit einer der besten Ernten aller Zeiten", erklärt der Agrarwissenschaftler Brent Holtz von der Universität in Davis. "Diese Dürre ist ein Weckruf für den Staat", glaubt Holtz. Der Gesetzgeber werde klären müssen, ob die Wasserrechte weiter in privater Hand bleiben. Die kalifornischen Metropolen nehmen sich inzwischen ein Beispiel an Städten wie etwa Las Vegas, wo das Motto schon seit Jahren lautet: Wasser sparen, wo es nur geht, und Verschwendung hart bestrafen. So dürfen in Kalifornien ab sofort keine Bürgersteige und Einfahrten mehr mit dem Gartenschlauch abgespritzt oder Grünflächen so stark bewässert werden, dass überschüssiges Wasser ablaufen kann. Verstöße gegen die neuen Auflagen können 500 Dollar Strafe pro Tag kosten. Mindestens 20 Prozent ihres Wasserverbrauchs sollen die Bürger einsparen. Dollar pro Quadratmeter Rasen, der mit weniger wasserdurstigen Pflanzen oder mit Kies ersetzt wird. Grundstückseigner können bis zu 6000 Dollar für die Umgestaltung bekommen. In der Hauptstadt Sacramento dürfen Hausbesitzer ihre Gärten und Rasenflächen schon seit Beginn der Dürre vor drei Jahren nur an zwei Tagen pro Woche wässern. Nachbarn können Verschwender, die sich nicht an die Vorschriften halten, bei einer Wasser-Hotline denunzieren. "Die Zahl der Anrufe ist drastisch gestiegen", erzählt Terrance Davis von der Wasserbehörde in Sacramento. "Seit Januar gingen mehr als 10.000 Anrufe ein, verglichen mit knapp 1000 im vorigen Jahr". Das Amt muss nun mehr Helfer einstellen, die Verwarnungen oder Strafzettel austeilen. Die Wassersparer in Sacramento haben auch einen neuen Dürre-Slogan parat. "Gold ist das neue Grün", lautet der Schlachtruf. Vertrockneter Rasen sei nicht etwa braun, sondern goldfarben, heißt es auf Hinweistafeln in der Hauptstadt. Die Grasfläche vor dem weißen Capitol, dem Sitz der Regierung, geht mit gutem Beispiel voran. Sie ist schon längst nicht mehr grün.
Qatar’s ‚water security project‘ deal signed
Aug 01 2014 The contracts involve the supply of large-diameter pipes, fittings and valves for five giant water reservoirs to be launched by General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa). "The contracts are part of the ’security mega reservoirs‘ project managed by Kahramaa, which aims at providing the country with a seven-day emergency supply of drinking water," the French multinational company announced … The network will allow water to flow from north to south and vice-versa, so that it may be delivered to any location in eastern Qatar irrespective of water availability. A 200km network of large diameter ring mains will link the reservoirs … Qatar’s per capita water consumption is one of the highest in the world. The country has initiated several measures, the most important being Tarsheed, to create awareness about the need to use water and electricity wisely. The campaign has helped the country reduce consumption substantially in the past one year.
Danke für den Hinweis nach Berlin. J.B.
India: Water resources ministry urged to prepare roadmap for interlinking of rivers
2014 July 27 BJP’s ambitious proposal to link rivers across the country is set to get a push with the Water Resources Ministry being asked to prepare a future roadmap … for interlinking of rivers … many states have become highly water stressed due to fast depleting underground water and so it is necessary to recharge the ground water table for increasing the supply of surface water within the country … The Ministry said it was “deeply concerned” on this issue due to “frequent demands” from some highly water stressed states like Rajasthan and Karnataka and there is a requirement of augmenting water resources by conserving and using more and more surface water as opposed to using the fast depleting underground water. However, the Ministry’s proposal did not go down well with the states like Kerala, which is strongly opposing it … interlinking of rivers should never be allowed unless and until the state concerned gives the permission … “There are 41 rivers in Kerala which are flowing from east to west. The state is God’s own country only because of 41 rivers which are flowing to the Arabian Sea. That is why, it has a fertile land, it has greenery and the eco-system will be disturbed, if it is diverted to Tamil Nadu or if it is diverted to some other basin” …
Middle East Report (MER) 271
Water, Energy and Human Insecurity in the Middle East
Summer 2014 Demand for water in the Middle East and North Africa is rapidly increasing. Projected population growth alone through 2025 will lower per capita water availability by 30-70 percent over the next few decades, assuming that renewable water supplies remain constant, which is unlikely. Demand for energy is also rising quickly across the region. As with water, energy demand is driven not only by population increase but also by energy-intensive industrialization, desalination plants and changing lifestyles … Rather than focusing on resource scarcity, it is more useful to think about vulnerability and risk in relation to the basic uses of energy and water. That is, what factors determine whether individuals and communities have sufficient, decent quality water and energy, in order to meet basic needs, sustain livelihoods and conduct economic activity? When shortages in both occur, as they regularly do in much of the region, why is this the case and what can be done? Water and energy flows depend upon government policies and infrastructure, economic purchasing power and other factors not reducible to physical scarcity. The countries most vulnerable to lack of water and energy often suffer from wars, civil conflict or occupation, all of which render energy and water systems vulnerable to disruption and destruction. At present, water and energy shortages, and water contamination, contribute to human suffering most in Sudan, Iraq, Palestine and Syria. Another set of countries is at risk because they rely on water from a single river or shared aquifer. The yield from these water sources can be subject to appropriation by other states, or to decreased flows from changing rainfall patterns associated with climate change. Egypt, with its dependence on the Nile, and Iraq vis-à-vis the Tigris and Euphrates, face water risk from these factors. Where countries also use river flows for hydropower, water scarcity also means potential energy shortages. These kinds of dependencies and linkages between the provision of water and energy highlight what some have termed the water-energy nexus … Understanding human security and wellbeing through the prism of water and energy becomes all the more important in the Middle East given the effects of human-driven climate change … In the first decade of this century, the eastern Mediterranean and Iraq experienced persistent and severe drought conditions … Swedish hydrologist Malin Falkenmark argued that water availability of less than 1,000 cubic meters per year per person limits economic development and produces adverse effects on human health … In Maplecroft’s ranking of 186 countries, the top five water-stressed states are Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Libya. The next five are Western Sahara, Yemen, Israel, Djibouti and Jordan … A more adequate measure of water risk, especially in terms of human security and wellbeing, is provided by programs like the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), administered by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.TheJMP tries to assess whether households have access to improved water sources and sanitation infrastructure — that is, systems that prevent fecal and other contamination — using household surveys, questionnaires of experts and direct sampling of water sources and sanitation facilities.Treating wastewater is crucial to safeguarding water supplies, as inadequate or no treatment contaminates shallow groundwater aquifers and rivers, thereby exacerbating problems of scarcity. In some countries, such as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and others, wastewater facilities have been overloaded, inadequately maintained and poorly monitored … As of 2006, the JMP estimated that 30 million people remained without access to safe drinking water in the Middle East and North Africa, and 69 million people without adequate sanitation services … Most of the water used in the Middle East and North Africa, as in other regions, does not go to household or industrial uses, but to agriculture. State policies focused, until recently, on augmenting water supplies primarily to supply agricultural constituencies and pursue food cultivation … Over the past two decades, clear evidence has emerged of the over-extraction of groundwater — aquifers are being drawn down faster than they are replenished through percolation from rain and surface flow … The trade in “virtual water” allows countries with limited water resources to feed their populations, provided they can find the hard currency required to purchase food on international markets … Attempts to augment water and energy supplies, however, often obscure the most cost-effective and much-needed strategies: to conserve resources through managing demand, limiting pollution and upgrading infrastructure … A growing concern for Middle Eastern policymakers and citizens is not just water, but energy supplies and how these affect water consumption … The greatest challenge ahead will be generating the political will …
Water Diplomacy AquaPedia Case Study Database
… is a freely accessible database of water case studies with boundary crossing characteristics and competing needs. Please join us to create, edit, or comment on AquaPedia Case Studies. We are currently sponsoring a global initiative to expand and extend case studies in AquaPedia …
Hidden Water Risks hit Germany
27. August 2014 WWF-report warns about “imported water risks“ in times of globalization. Agriculture, cotton and apparels, extractives or chemicals: many products imported into the German economy face high water-related risks in their countries of origin … In comparison to other countries, water resources in Germany are sufficiently available and well governed. However, being the world’s third biggest import nation, Germany is dependent on goods and resources from abroad. Most of these goods inherit so-called water risks, since they originate in locations with water scarcity, deteriorating water quality, weak governance and regulatory challenges, poor infrastructure, vulnerable communities, and fragile ecosystems … Based on a combination of their high water dependence and exposure to water risks, six sectors
were selected and analyzed. For example, textiles & apparel form … agriculture from … chemicals from … To become good water stewards, German companies should identify their risks, impacts, and responsibilities related to water and mitigate their risks by implementing water stewardship strategies. To support companies on their journey to become good water stewards, WWF developed the Water Stewardship concept. This step-by-step approach enables companies to create internal water awareness, understand their own risks and formulate company-specific water stewardship activities that aim to drive companies towards collective action with other water users, public authorities or civil societies in a given river basin …
Water Stewardship: Perspectives on business risk and responses to water challenges
27 August 2013 … As problems of governance, scarcity and pollution have spread and intensified, interest in protecting water has diversified. More than ever before, business leaders realize that their long-term profitability – even viability – depends on the right quantity and quality of water available at the right time and place to meet the needs of people, business and ecosystems … The concept of water stewardship serves to unite a wide set of stakeholders interested in water management. In common usage, it often refers to business action on water challenges … We recognize that business engagement in water management debates, and especially public policy, provokes significant concerns from some NGOs and the public, including fears about business takeover of global resources. At the core of these concerns are two issues. First, water is a highly complex public resource with multiple socially defined functions and values. Its effective management requires the continual reconciliation of trade-offs between private interests and collective well-being, not to mention fulfillment of a fundamental human right. Second, although they must “have regard to” wider social and environmental interests, many companies are legally obliged to prioritize the needs of a set of narrow shareholder interests … To ensure that the profit motive of companies is balanced with social and environmental values, WWF and others must be able to separate water stewardship rhetoric from substantive action, and challenge and measure company participation in ways that benefit more than just the near-term financial bottom line …
Bezugsdokument: THE IMPORTED RISK GERMANY’S WATER RISKS IN TIMES OF GLOBALISATION ..
Danke für den Hinweis auf den WWF-Report nach Barmstedt / Schleswig-Holstein und nach Mülheim an der Ruhr. J.B.
The Rise of Hydro-Diplomacy
14.08.14 … What contribution can diplomats and technical experts make to support transboundary water cooperation? And how can such cooperation be leveraged to facilitate wider-ranging regional integration? To respond to these questions, adelphi convened a group of experts whose discussions have resulted in a report on how to strengthen foreign policy for transboundary waters. This report calls on foreign policy makers to exert stronger political leadership in water diplomacy and to actively accompany and facilitate the efforts of technical and development experts. It shows that encouraging greater cooperation over transboundary waters offers significant prospects for the resolution of political conflicts and greater regional integration. To this end, this report argues that foreign policy makers should ensure stronger agency at the international level, realize potential synergies between political and technical engagement, and build the necessary capacity at the national, basin and global levels. To manage the coming challenges, driven in part by climate change, foreign policy makers must drive an internationally coordinated, cross-sectoral engagement.
“… Yet the limited historic evidence for ‘water wars’ should not lead to complacency. Formal war was generally rare during the second half of the twentieth century, and state-to-state interactions do not necessarily reflect conflict at lower levels. Many violent conflicts past and present have been connected to competition over water, particularly in the Middle East and the Sahel. Even if the salience of other (political) issues makes it misleading to identify them primarily as ‘water disputes’, water issues often feed into other conflicts. Moreover, the incentives and opportunities for exploiting water resources in a unilateral manner, and to the (perceived) disadvantage of co-riparians, may be shifting. Many international basins will face a strong increase in demand for water as a result of demographic pressures, industrialisation and urbanisation. Simultaneously, in many cases supply will in recede, due to both earlier mismanagement and the impacts of climate change … There are strong links between water mismanagement, climate change, and social and political instability … Joint water management across borders can further regional cooperation … Even small investments in transboundary institutions can yield considerable ‘peace dividends’ … Currently, there is too little investment into diplomatic efforts … There is no established institutional home for global engagement on transboundary water issues … Train diplomats and water experts to better understand each other …
Water Diplomacy: Harnessing Foreign Policy for Conflict Prevention and Regional Integration
… Panel discussion: During the launching event at the World Water Week, adelphi reflected on the prospects and challenges for global water diplomacy in an interactive session with high-ranking practitioners from the foreign and water policy communities …
Benjamin Pohl talks as one of the authors about his personal conclusions regarding the publication …
Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ 31–32/2014)
28.07.2014 2014 endet die UN-Dekade "Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung". Der Begriff "Nachhaltigkeit" geht zurück auf die Forstwirtschaft Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts und ist inzwischen zu einem vielgenutzten Schlagwort geworden – mittlerweile weit über den umweltpolitischen Diskurs hinaus. Ins Blickfeld der internationalen Gemeinschaft ist nachhaltige Entwicklung, sustainable development, verstärkt seit den 1970er Jahren gerückt; wichtige Marksteine auf diesem Weg waren der Bericht der Brundtland-Kommission "Unsere gemeinsame Zukunft" 1987 sowie die UN-Konferenz über Umwelt und Entwicklung 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. Während sich Nachhaltigkeit als politischer Grundwert also etabliert zu haben scheint, droht der inflationäre Gebrauch des Begriffs seinen Gehalt zu verwässern …
S.35ff Frank Kürschner-Pelkmann: Nachhaltige Wassernutzung
Wasser ist Leben – diese Einsicht wird seit Jahrtausenden von Völkern in aller Welt geteilt … Es scheint mehr als genug für alle zu geben, besonders in regenreichen Ländern wie Deutschland. Trotzdem mahnen Umweltschützer(innen) auch bei uns einen sorgsamen Umgang mit dem kostbaren Nass an. Eine übertriebene Forderung? Viele Menschen in Deutschland sparen bewusst Wasser, etwa mithilfe von Spartasten an Toiletten. Gleichzeitig erleben wir hierzulande aber auch Verschwendung und rücksichtslose Schadstoffeinleitungen. Ein nachhaltiger Umgang mit Wasser wird nicht nur durch fehlende Achtsamkeit und ein kurzfristig ausgerichtetes Nutzungsinteresse behindert, sondern auch durch die Komplexität der Prozesse des „Verbrauchs“ von Wasser …
USA – Center for Naval Analyses
May 2014 National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change
… Military leaders typically look at challenges with imperfect or conflicting information. Despite not having 100 percent certainty, they weigh the consequences of various courses of action—including the consequences of no action—and make informed decisions based on their experience and risk forbearance. It is through this analytical prism that 11 retired Generals and Admirals came together in 2007, under the moniker of CNA’s Military Advisory Board, to examine the security implications of climate change. Their landmark report, National Security and the Threat of Climate Change, was the first time that such an elite body of military leaders expressed their concern over the security implications of climate change. Now, seven years later, the Military Advisory Board has gathered again to re-examine the nexus of projected climate change and national security. This update reflects their decades of experience as risk managers and geopolitical security experts … the report deserves strong attention from not only the security community, but also from the entire government and the American public. The update serves as a bipartisan call to action. It makes a compelling case that climate change is no longer a future threat—it is taking place now. It observes that climate change serves as a catalyst of conflict in vulnerable parts of the world, and that projected changes in global migration patterns will make the challenges even more severe. It identifies threats to elements of National Power here at home, particularly those associated with our infrastructure and our ability to maintain military readiness. The update makes clear that actions to build resilience against the projected impacts of climate change are required today. We no longer have the option to wait and see. We applaud this group of American patriots for this important update. We commend its reading in full and its recommendations to the Administration, to Congress, and to the American people …
April 2007 National Security and the Threat of Climate Change
… report … that articulates the concept of climate change acting as a “threat multiplier” for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world and identifies key challenges that must be planned for now if they are to be met effectively in the future …
VIDEO – interview: Making water flow
April 2014 … What does it take to get clean water to those who need it? … Millions of children die every year from water-related illnesses. Women collectively spend more than 200 million hours a day collecting water. In this interview with McKinsey’s Rik Kirkland, the cofounders of the nonprofit organization Water.org, Matt Damon and Gary White, discuss practical ways to solve the global water and sanitation crisis … Gary White: If you just look at increasing the efficiency of agricultural use of water by only 2 percent, again, that would be enough to give people basic water, all 800 million that lack it right now. So it’s not a matter of, “Is there enough water to go around for the poor,” because the poor are coming to the table with a sipping straw relative to what everybody else is taking out. Matt Damon: It’s not a supply problem; it’s a distribution problem. And I think there’s this sense that, because we’re going to go from 7 billion to 8 billion to 9 billion, and everybody’s agitating about water scarcity and water security, we need to dispel the notion that there’s not going to be enough water for the poor—because it’s simply not true … microfinance … So there is a market there, there’s a real market there. But our challenge now is to look at that 22 to 24 percent and try to drive it down. And we know all of these people who want their money to do good things. There’s got to be a way to marry these two up. And so that’s what our latest idea is—to essentially try to engage those social capital markets … WaterCredit is a remarkable program. It’s been successful beyond anything we could have really hoped. And so, as we keep running these numbers up, and keep proving and reproving the model, that’s really our best argument going forward to engage the social capital markets …
Annual Report 2013
08.09.2014 UN-Water is the United Nations (UN) inter-agency coordination mechanism for freshwater related issues, including sanitation. It was formally established in 2003 building on a long history of collaboration in the UN family … The main purpose of UN-Water is to complement and add value to existing programmes and projects by facilitating synergies and joint efforts, so as to maximize UN system-wide coordinated action and coherence … At the end of 2013, UN-Water had 31 Members and 34 Partners …
… und dann war da noch:
Desert Crawlers, Bill Schorr 8/8/2014
Beste Grüße von der Elbe