|W A T E R I N T A K E
September – Oktober – November
World Toilet Day 19 November
… 19 November, is about taking action to reach the 2.4 billion people living without a toilet. The theme of World Toilet Day 2016 is ‘toilets and jobs’, focusing on how sanitation, or the lack of it, can impact people’s livelihoods …
United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22)
Video from COP22 water event
07.11.2016 … looked at how to bridge the gap between the producers and users of hydro-climate services, between water and climate communities, and between science and policy-makers and negotiators …
Klimakonferenz in Marrakesch: Es geht ums Wasser
14/11/2016 Der Klimawandel hat direkte Auswirkungen auf die natürlichen Ressourcen, die Ökosysteme und Gesellschaften. Der Wasserbereich ist dabei besonders betroffen. Das zeigen alle wissenschaftlichen Studien und Vorhersagen. Ideen, wie die Wasserwirtschaft in Zukunft aussehen könnte, kommen unter anderem vom “Office international de l’eau” aus Frankreich, das sich auch mit der Abfallverwertung und dem generellen Umweltschutz befasst. Der “Wasser-Aktionstag” wurde im Rahmen des Paris-Abkommens ausgerufen. Jetzt fand er zum ersten Mal statt. Mit dem Tag soll die Bedeutung des Wassers unterstrichen und Aufmerksamkeit für das Thema geweckt werden. Außerdem geht es darum, Lösungen und Antworten zu finden. Wasser ist von elementarer Bedeutung für die Lebensmittelsicherheit, die menschliche Gesundheit, die Energieproduktion, die Industrie, die Biodiversität. Der sichere Zugang zur Wasserversorgung bedeutet Sicherheit in all diesen Bereichen … Loïc Fauchon, Ehrenpräsident des Water Councils meinte: “Zum ersten Mal in der Geschichte der Klimakonferenz geht es darum, dass das Wasser einen entscheidenden Platz einnimmt. Wir werden in diesen 15 Tagen viel über die Umsetzung und Pläne sprechen, über konkrete Maßnahmen, um den ärmsten Ländern zu helfen, Lösungen zu finden, die es ihnen erlauben, sich an verschiedene Veränderungen anzupassen” …
MARRAKECH: UN conference spotlights water, the ‘first victim’ of climate change, as part of the solution
9 November 2016 – In a first for United Nations climate change conferences, a special day was devoted to action on water issues, providing stakeholders gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for the so-called ‘COP 22’ an opportunity spotlight water as a way of providing solutions to help implement the Paris Agreement. “Water is one of the most impacted resources, but water also provides solutions to these challenges,” stressed the President of the World Water Council, Benedito Braga, who said today in a news release issued by the meeting, formally known as the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Water is critical for successful climate change mitigation, as many efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions depend on reliable access to water resources. The Action Day for Water is part of the Global Climate Action Agenda, an initiative of France and Morocco to boost cooperation between governments, cities, companies, investors and citizens on climate change …
09 Nov 2016 Marrakech: UN conference spotlights water, the ‘first victim’ of climate change, as part of the solution …
18.11.2016 bis 15.02.2017
Sonderausstellung im Internationalen Maritimen Museum, Hamburg
Water rationing introduced as Bolivia drought worsens
20 November 2016 … Authorities have declared water rationing in La Paz to be a permanent measure as the drought in Bolivia worsens. The three main dams that supply water to the city are almost dry … Across La Paz, residents have seen their taps dry up for 60 hours at a time, followed by 12-hour periods to replenish their supplies. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales … said that he has ordered a group of technicians to come up with solutions to the city’s water shortage. There are plans to install 300m of piping to pump water from the nearby Kairuni River … Riots over water have broken out in Bolivia before. Those which took place in 2004 resulted in the control of water being handed over from private hands to the state … The concern is that the current weak La Nina conditions in the Pacific will trigger a drought in the country. The situation in La Paz is already critical, but could get worse if the rainy season does not start as scheduled at the end of this month.
Trump promised California farmers more water. Can he deliver?
November 19, 2016 More than a year ago, Fresno County farmer Wayne Western Jr. penned a letter to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, pleading for help.
Western said the federal government was mismanaging California’s water supply with unjustified environmental restrictions, and that San Joaquin Valley farms such as his might dry up and go out of business without assistance from Washington. Trump replied with a handwritten note of his own, a pledge: “Got it – crazy. If I win, it will be corrected quickly” … Battles over California’s water supply have been waged for decades. Legal experts say Trump’s vow to redraw the state’s water map won’t be fulfilled quickly or easily, even with Republicans controlling both the White House and Congress. Any efforts to direct more water to San Joaquin Valley agriculture would run up against a wall of California laws and regulations aimed at protecting water rights, the environment and endangered fish species. State agencies have broad authority over the allocation of California’s water … The new political dynamics in Washington make conflict over water policy inevitable … The easiest way that Trump could deliver more water to the valley doesn’t require changing one word of existing law. He simply could order top federal fisheries managers to take a fresh look at the influential assessments known as “biological opinions” that reflect federal scientists’ analyses of how much water is needed in the rivers to sustain imperiled fish populations. Farmers argue an overly broad interpretation of the biological opinions has resulted in vast amounts of water flowing out to sea that could have been diverted to farmland. The Obama administration recently began reviewing the biological opinions with an eye toward directing more water toward fish. Farmers hope Trump will take the science in the other direction … With Trump in office, the board is going “to need to step up and do more … They’re going to need to say, ‘No, we’re not going to let you do that.
China’s Smog May Be Letting Up But Water Is Worsening
November 18, 2016 … China is making progress in battling the damaging smog that can shroud its big cities, but in many areas – from parts of the giant Yangtze river to the coalfields of Inner Mongolia – its water pollution is getting worse. Despite commitments to crack down on polluters, the quality of water in rivers, lakes and reservoirs in several regions has deteriorated significantly, according to inspection teams reporting back to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) … inspectors found that a fifth of the water in the Yangtze’s feeder rivers in one province was unusable, and thousands of tonnes of raw sewage were being deposited into one river in northeastern Ningxia each day … China has long been worried about a water supply bottleneck that could jeopardize future economic development. Per capita supplies are less than a third of the global average. A survey published by the MEP last year showed that nearly two thirds of underground water and a third of surface water was unsuitable for human contact, with much of it contaminated by fertilizer run-offs, heavy metals and untreated sewage … In an action plan published last year, the government vowed to improve water quality nationwide by 2030 … While improvements have been made in the past five years, China’s growing demand for water has put increasing pressure on its limited resources, and sources of pollution have not been put under adequate control …
Drought, floods and water stress cost companies $14bn
15 November 2016 A survey of 600 global companies released at the Marrakech climate change conference shows they are still not doing enough to mitigate water risks … Droughts, water scarcity and stricter environmental regulations cost businesses a reported $14bn (£11bn) this year, up from $2.6bn in 2015. Yet companies still aren’t doing enough to protect themselves from water risks … More than a quarter of the companies said water-related issues, including floods and pollution, had affected their bottom line, typically due to higher operating costs and a disruption in production … “Every business in every sector needs water in some form or another,” said Morgan Gillespy, head of water at CDP [https://www.cdp.net/de]. “Addressing water risks is vital for business continuity, protecting the bottom-line and to enable an effective response to climate change.” Many businesses rely on water for their operations, but water supplies are at risk in many parts of the world due to pressure on resources, likely to be exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Although more companies than ever are making climate change a priority in their sustainability efforts, they still aren’t moving quickly enough to tackle water risks …
BEZUGSDOKUMENT: CDP Report November 2016
Thirsty business: Why water is vital to climate action
2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure … Written on behalf of 643 investors with US$67 trillion in assets …
15.11.2016 Wenn Wasser zum Kostenrisiko wird …
INDIEN + regionales Umfeld
Afghanistan’s Water-Sharing Puzzle
November 21, 2016 Pakistan and Iran have always had historical claims over the water resources of Afghanistan. These claims have always been rejected by Afghanistan. The chaotic politics of water between Afghanistan and its neighbours has a long history, due to the lack of water-sharing agreements between them. Despite sharing 90% of its water resources with neighbours, Afghanistan has only one bilateral water treaty, with Iran. Signed in 1973, according to the agreement, Iran should receive 850 million cubic metres of water annually from the Helmand River basin. However, Afghan officials believe the treaty has been not fully implemented from the Iranian side. Iran has been receiving 70% more than the amount of water initially agreed upon in 1973. Furthermore, without consulting Afghanistan, Iran has built infrastructure on the water flowing from Afghanistan. As for Pakistan, several attempts at an agreement have come up short … the intervention of the World Bank did not result in an optimal outcome for both sides, and conflict continued. In 2011, the Ministry of Water and Power of Pakistan once again asked for the intervention of the United States and World Bank in achieving a water treaty with Kabul to avoid disputes on water-sharing issues. Once again, the negotiations failed and water-sharing has become a potential troublemaker between the two neighbours. President Ashraf Ghani initiated talks on “water-related issues” during his visit to Iran in 2015 … stated that the government of Afghanistan always considered river basin management to be the best instrument for dealing with water issues … it is estimated that Afghanistan’s usage will increase to 30 BCM in the future … is currently beginning the second phase of the development on the Kajaki dam, the largest dam in Afghanistan, along with developing the Sorobi dam and accelerating the procurement processes of five major reservoirs and dams. Pakistan and Iran are both dependent on water flowing out of Afghanistan to irrigate their territories and fuel their development … Thus, Kabul needs to assure Pakistan and Iran that recent development and infrastructure-building on the Helmand and Kabul Rivers is both a legitimate right and immediate domestic need of Afghanistan. Afghanistan must convince its neighbours that these projects will not threaten their downstream communities, but will rather lead to peace-building in the region. To do that Kabul needs to build its capacity in water diplomacy … Both Pakistan and Iran have a history of sabotaging Afghan efforts to use its water resources, in addition to diplomatic meddling to hijack investment of donor countries in Afghanistan’s hydro projects. Clearly, these neighbours do not want Afghanistan to become a hydro-hegemon. These issues could be solved properly if all actors would commit themselves to regional cooperation and collective action. Any further dispute and disagreement over water sharing between Kabul and the neighbouring countries will lead to further tangled ties in the region. And future socioeconomic, environmental, and hydrologic challenges will threaten all … It is time for the leaders of these countries to agree on the common cause of development in the region and build their relationships. They must act like statesmen and work for the next generation. The only option the region has for survival is consensus and agreement on pressing issues such as security, economic progress, and water sharing.
Rivlin’s Visit to India: Envisaging Expectations
November 11, 2016 … forthcoming visit of President Reuven Rivlin to India from November 14-21 … to engage Israel as a strategic partner in developmental projects as well as in the security sphere … While no official explanation was given for Mr. Singh not visiting Ramallah, avoiding a Palestinian visit may have been a culmination of choices based somewhere between pragmatic rationality and time constraints … Coming to the present visit, reports note that a large delegation comprising of government officials and business representatives from fields as varied as agriculture, cyber security, education, energy, and water technologies would accompany President Rivlin … While India-Israel trade reached a peak of USD 6.5 billion in 2011-2012, it has remained steady at USD 4.5 billion since then. This of course does not include defense and security deals which have been kept under close wraps. Conservative estimates though indicate that their value is 2 to 3 times the amount of civilian trade … Israel is a leader in cyber security technologies … Israeli firm Cyber Spark is said to be in talks … for setting up startup incubators for cyber technology … India is known to be vulnerable in terms of cyber attacks and in line with the growing threats, Indian IT officials have held discussions with their Israeli counterparts to set up cyber security initiatives that may get reaffirmation during the Presidential visit … The recent attacks in India from across the border and the subsequent retaliation by India as witnessed in the form of surgical strikes, has again brought to attention the need to seal the difficult border areas. India would be interested in procuring Israeli laser fencing and monitoring systems in areas where physical fences cannot be placed. There is a possibility that Israel may enhance homeland security cooperation with India … India has also been keenly seeking cooperation on areas like food processing, storage and transport from Israel in the recent past … Due to acute water scarcity, there is scope for establishing more number of desalination projects involving public-private partnerships. IDE, a leading Israeli company in desalination, has several plants operating in India including in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Another Israeli company, Mekorot, has plants in Mumbai, West Bengal, and is setting up a waste water recycling plant along with a research center for water technologies in Rajasthan. In the renewable energy sector, there is considerable scope for research and development between India and Israel …
Pakistan’s Water shortage
November 06, 2016 … the expected increase in population in the country will put tremendous pressure on water supply for households, industry and agriculture. The federal minister for water and power has said that a combination of global climate change, waste and mismanagement have led to an alarmingly rapid depletion of Pakistan’s water supply. Also, the Asian Development Bank has reported that Pakistan was next to being classified ‘water scarce’ country. The country is currently beset with a clear and present danger – the desertification of its agricultural land along with a drought. This situation is a result of climate change … it is the need of the hour that a water emergency be declared in the country and the ministries of planning and development, and water and power plan and implement a fast track water policy primarily focusing on storage reservoirs and the conservative use of water for agriculture and other uses.
China’s Dam Building Spree in Tibet: Strategic Implications and India’s Options
October 21, 2016 … Dams over the Yarlung Zangpo, even if these are ‘run of river’ projects, provide China the ability to control the flow of water in the Brahmaputra. An accidental or emergent outflow from these dams could prove catastrophic. Cases in point in this regard are: the sudden rise of water in the Siang in 2000, which resulted in the death of 26 people; and, the Pareechu episode in 2005, which led to flash floods in the Sutlej causing extensive damage. In case China pursues the option of diverting the waters of the Brahmaputra, the consequences could be wide ranging. It could seriously affect the navigability of National Waterway-2 – the 890 km stretch from Sadiya to Dhubri – given the requirement of maintaining a minimum depth of 1.5 metres from Sadiya to Dibrugarh and 2 metres beyond that. Even ‘run of river’ projects are not benign. When water held back in pondage is released for the turbines to operate, it results in diurnal variation in the downstream flow. That, in turn, is likely to seriously impact India’s efforts to exploit the hydro potential of the region. Moreover, any disturbance in the existing ecological environment will have an adverse effect on the densely populated Brahmaputra Valley. To counter the Chinese grand design of ‘stealing the rivers’, India has planned to construct 76 dams with an estimated capacity of 36,900 MW, taking advantage of the ‘UN advisory on the river water dispute’, whereby a downstream riparian state can ensure ‘first user right’ on the international rivers by building dams …
As India mulls scrapping of Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, China blocks tributary of Brahmaputra in Tibet to build dam
Oct 1, 2016 China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet. It is not clear yet what impact the blockade will have on India and Bangladesh China has, however, dismissed apprehensions of restricting the flow of water … Last year, China had operationalised the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra river, which has raised concerns in India. But China has been maintaining that it has taken into consideration India’s concerns and allays apprehensions of restricting the flow of water, saying its dams are not designed to hold water. The outline of China’s 12th Five Year Plan indicates that three more hydropower projects on the mainstream of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet Autonomous Region have been approved for implementation. In March, Union minister of state for water resources Sanwar Lal Jat said in a statement that India had expressed its concerns to China about the likely impact of the dams. While there is no water treaty between the countries, India and China established an Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) on trans-border rivers and in October 2013 the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding on strengthening cooperation on trans-border rivers under which Beijing provides data to India on the water flows. The blockade of the Brahmaputra river tributary comes at a time when India’s reported decision to suspend talks with Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty as part of its efforts to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack …
After 16 months, Krishna water set to quench Chennai’s thirst
October 13, 2016 … After nearly 16 months, Chennai will soon receive Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh, just in time to save the city from a looming drinking water crisis. Water from the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh was released into the Kandaleru Poondi (KP) canal … after sustained efforts of the Tamil Nadu government that sought water to augment Chennai’s water supply … Following the recent directive of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, about 200 cubic feet per second of water is being discharged into the 152-km-long KP canal, which carries water from the Kandaleru reservoir to the inter-State limit in Uthukottai, Tiruvallur district …
Der Krieg ums Wasser hat längst begonnen
08.10.2016 Das Klimaschutzabkommen soll verhindern, dass Verteilungskämpfe um Ressourcen entstehen. In Indien sind sie jedoch längst Realität … Brennende Fahrzeuge, Tote und Verletzte: Zwei indische Bundesstaaten streiten sich so heftig wie nie um das Wasser. Und weil der Regen ausbleibt und beide Seiten sich politisch blockieren, wird die Situation immer schlimmer. In Bangalore reichen die Vorräte noch gerade bis Januar. Wegen langer Trockenheit im Frühling und in der Folge schwacher Ernte sprechen Bauern in manchen Gegenden Deutschlands von einem „existenzbedrohenden Jahr“. In anderen Teilen der Welt sind Landwirte noch härter betroffen: Jahrelange Trockenheit hat ihre Böden völlig ausgedörrt. Mit verheerenden Folgen: Konflikte um die knappe Ressource Trinkwasser entbrennen derzeit nicht nur in den Dürregebieten Afrikas, sondern auch in Indien. Zwei Jahre blieb der Monsun auf dem indischen Subkontinent aus. Die Ursache: Der Monsunwind weht wegen der Erwärmung des Weltklimas kürzer als früher. Oder er fällt ganz aus und bringt keinen Regen mehr. Dem „Indian Meteorological Department“ zufolge litt Indien zuletzt unter den ersten direkt aufeinander folgenden Dürren in den vergangenen 30 Jahren. Die Folgen: Missernten, Hungersnot mit zahlreichen Todesfällen, Landflucht. Zwischen den indischen Bundesstaaten Karnataka und Tamil Nadu ist zudem ein politischer Konflikt entbrannt. Dabei geht es um die Frage, welches Gebiet wie viel Wasser des Flusses Kaveri erhalten darf. Millionen Menschen, Landwirtschaft und Industrie in beiden Nachbarstaaten sind dringend auf Wasser aus diesem Strom angewiesen, der in Karnataka entspringt und in Tamil Nadu in den Golf von Bengalen mündet. Die zu verteilenden Wassermengen sind in Verträgen von 1892 und 1924 festgelegt – doch Karnataka fühlt sich historisch benachteiligt und fordert, fortan höhere Wassermengen für sich behalten zu dürfen. Die Regierung von Tamil Nadu pocht derweil auf geltende Verträge und lehnt jede Reform ab … Mit bis zu 350 Millionen Klimaflüchtlingen rechnet die UN bis 2050 weltweit. Menschen verlieren ihre Lebensgrundlage – durch Klimawandel und andere Umwelteinflüsse. Hilfsorganisationen schätzen die aktuelle Zahl der Klimaflüchtlinge weltweit auf mindestens 25 Millionen Menschen. Aufgrund von Naturkatastrophen, Wüstenbildung und Verkarstung fliehen mehr Menschen aus ihrer Heimat als wegen politischer Konflikte … In den vergangenen Wochen eskalierte der Konflikt, als Karnataka nicht die vertraglich vereinbarten Wassermengen an Tamil Nadu abgab und der oberste Gerichtshof Indiens einschritt. Als Reaktion auf das Ignorieren der höchstrichterlichen Beschlüsse erhöhte das Gericht die abzugebende Wassermenge, was zu Demonstrationen, Unruhen und Gewaltausbrüchen führte, bei denen es Dutzende Verletzte und zwei Todesopfer gab. In Bangalore, der größten Stadt Karnatakas, traten daraufhin Notstandsgesetze und zwischenzeitlich sogar Ausgangssperren in Kraft. Öffentlicher Verkehr und Handelsbeziehungen zwischen Karnataka und Tamil Nadu kamen zum Erliegen. Lastwagen, die Sperren umfahren wollten, wurden in Brand gesteckt … Während indische Politiker miteinander streiten, sind sich zumindest die Forscher im Land darin einig, dass die klimatischen Herausforderungen nicht geringer werden. Den Trend zu mehr Trockenheit beobachten sie seit langem mit Sorge: So habe Indien in den vergangenen 20 Jahren mehr Dürren verkraften müssen als in den vorangegangen 80 Jahren, heißt es. Eine Trendumkehr sei nicht in Sicht.
Deaths, Riots Over 130-Year-Old River Feud Highlights India’s Water Risks
October 4, 2016 … The Cauvery’s catchment covers 81,155 square kilometers (50,427 miles) across four states. The dispute over how much water each can access is an issue not just for farmers but for big technology companies in the area such as Google, Infosys Ltd., and International Business Machines Corp. It also presents a challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in trying to get states to resolve protracted, economically-damaging disagreements. “We are from the same country and we can’t use our own water,” said Mandanna. “The Cauvery’s water flowed from Talakaveri nourishing farms through the state.” Now, he said, Tamil Nadu is asking for water not just for their farms but to service the demands of their industrial towns like Hosur as well. The Cauvery dispute — now more than a century old — is just one of six long-running, inter-state water feuds being heard by judicial tribunals. Settling them and establishing an integrated water regulator to resolve future disagreements is something Modi’s government has struggled to make progress on … “There’s a fundamental flaw in the way we manage our rivers,” said Himanshu Thakkar, Delhi-based coordinator for the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People. The lack of a transparent mechanism to resolve disputes combined with gaps in basic information about water flows means “it’s one state’s word against another’s” … Rising urban populations and the hard rock geology of southern India that makes water tough to draw are complicating factors in the feuds, said Shashi Shekhar, the senior-most bureaucrat in India’s water ministry … India has failed to set up an integrated water regulator since independence in 1947, with the federal government playing a limited role beyond funding projects and advising in disputes. India is one of the world’s biggest users of groundwater, and the World Resources Institute estimates more than half of the nation faces high water stress …
Deactivating the Permanent Indus Waters Commission
October 03, 2016 The Indus Waters Treaty (1960) has not been immune to the vicissitudes currently affecting India-Pakistan relations. In the aftermath of the attack by Pakistani terrorists on an Indian Army camp in Uri on 18 September 2016, the Government of India (GOI) has indicated its decision, at the highest level, to comprehensively review the functioning of the Treaty. India has been a scrupulous adherent to the Treaty over the past 56 years despite the periodic conflictual relations it has had with Pakistan. In the past, India has responsibly reacted to issues raised by Pakistan on India`s water usage in the Indus basin and tried to resolve them within the legal ambit of the Treaty … If India were to shut off an institutionalised mechanism for mutual communication like the PIWC, Pakistan will further malign India on the bona fide activities the latter undertakes within the scope of its obligations and legitimate benefits accruable under the Treaty. Furthermore, it is important to mention that even in respect of the eastern rivers of the Indus system (fully allocated to India under the Treaty),there are some stretches where the flows of the eastern rivers may not be totally immune to hydrological interference by Pakistan. For instance, the waters of the tributaries of the Sutlej and Ravi flow in some stretches through Pakistan and merge into portions of the main rivers flowing through India before finally entering Pakistan. All diplomatic demarches and disputes on such matters, should they arise, may become intractable and difficult to resolve, if the first-tier mechanism of PIWC were to be deactivated … The statement of the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on 22 September 2016 indicates that differences have arisen between India and Pakistan on the Treaty, and cooperative arrangements vis-a-vis the Treaty like the PIWC are likely to be affected because of lack of trust. The moot point now is whether India’s overall interest would be served by deactivating or downgrading a key operative instrument of the Treaty when it is in its interest to continue to adhere to the Treaty provisions and try to obtain maximum benefit legitimately obtainable by subscribing to it … From the point of view of India`s overall interests and factoring in the power sector development and agricultural and allied sectoral needs of Jammu & Kashmir, it may be appropriate to plan more efficacious water usage arrangements under the Treaty and, thereafter, adhere to our stand determinedly in defence of the consequent measures taken. For instance, projects like Tulbul (in Baramula district near Sopore) have been in cold storage since 1987 owing to Pakistan`s protestations. This, despite India’s rightful stand, that the regulation of the depletion of naturally stored water for non-consumptive use is permissible under the Treaty. It is of the essence to reckon that any project of water regulation and usage in a state like Jammu & Kashmir requires at least a ten-year time-span to be successfully operationalised. It may be worthwhile to work with such a focus towards the realization of the water usage potential assigned to India under the Treaty, rather than retracting from some provision of this international legal instrument which is internationally acclaimed as a successful water-sharing arrangement between unfriendly neighbours.
Why the India-Pakistan War Over Water Is So Dangerous
September 30, 2016 As New Delhi and Islamabad trade nuclear threats and deadly attacks, a brewing war over shared water resources threatens to turn up the violence … according to India’s Defense Ministry and military, Indian forces staged a “surgical strike” in Pakistan-administered Kashmir that targeted seven terrorist camps and killed multiple militants. Pakistan angrily denied that the daring raid took place … Amid all the shrill rhetoric and saber rattling emanating from India and Pakistan in recent days – including India’s home minister branding Pakistan a “terrorist state” and Pakistan’s defense minister threatening to wage nuclear war on India – one subtle threat issued by India may have sounded relatively innocuous to the casual listener … On Sept. 22, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman suggested, cryptically, that New Delhi could revoke the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). “For any such treaty to work,” warned Vikas Swarup, when asked if India would cancel the agreement, “it is important for mutual trust and cooperation. It cannot be a one-sided affair.” … After David Lilienthal, a former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, visited the region in 1951, he was prompted to write an article in Collier’s magazine, in which he argued that a transboundary water accord between India and Pakistan would help ease some of the hostility from the partition — particularly because the rivers of the Indus Basin flow through Kashmir. His idea gained traction and also the support of the World Bank. The bank mediated several years of difficult bilateral negotiations before the parties concluded a deal in 1960. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower described it as a “bright spot” in a “very depressing world picture.” The IWT has survived, with few challenges, to the present day … On Sept. 26, India’s government met to review the treaty but reportedly decided that it would not revoke the agreement — for now. New Delhi left open the possibility of revisiting the issue at a later date. Ominously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told top officials present at the treaty review meeting that “blood and water cannot flow together.” Additionally, the government suspended, with immediate effect, meetings between the Indus commissioners of both countries — high-level sessions that ordinarily take place twice a year to manage the IWT and to address any disagreements that may arise from it. These developments have spooked Pakistan severely. Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said revoking the IWT could be perceived as an “act of war,” and he hinted that Pakistan might seek assistance from the United Nations or International Court of Justice … The IWT is a very good deal for Pakistan. Although its provisions allocate three rivers each to Pakistan and India, Pakistan is given control of the Indus Basin’s three large western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab — which account for 80 percent of the water in the entire basin. Since water from the Indus Basin flows downstream from India to Pakistan, revoking the IWT would allow India to take control of and — if it created enough storage space through the construction of large dams — stop altogether the flow of those three rivers into Pakistan. To be sure, India would need several years to build the requisite dams, reservoirs, and other infrastructure to generate enough storage to prevent water from flowing downstream to Pakistan. But pulling out of the IWT is the first step in giving India carte blanche to start pursuing that objective. Pakistan is deeply dependent on those three western rivers and particularly the Indus … If Pakistan’s access to water from the Indus Basin were cut off or merely reduced, the implications for the country’s water security could be catastrophic. For this reason, using water as a weapon could inflict more damage on Pakistan than some forms of warfare … Pakistan’s economy is the most water-intensive in the world, and yet it has dangerously low levels of water to work with. As if that’s not troubling enough, consider as well that Pakistan’s groundwater tables are plummeting precipitously. NASA satellite data released in 2015 revealed that the underwater aquifer in the Indus Basin is the second-most stressed in the world …What this all means is that India’s cancellation of the IWT would not produce New Delhi’s hoped-for result: Pakistani crackdowns on anti-India terrorists. On the contrary, Pakistan might tighten its embrace of such groups. The mere act of canceling the IWT — even if India declines to take steps to reduce water flows to Pakistan — would be treated in Islamabad as a major provocation, with fears that water cutoffs could follow, and thereby spawn retaliations … To be sure, India has good reason to be unhappy about the IWT. The treaty allocates to India only 20 percent of the entire Indus River Basin’s water flows, and New Delhi knows it’s gotten the short end of the stick. Additionally, the IWT’s provisions limit India’s ability to build hydro-projects in Kashmir. These are significant matters in a nation with its own severe water stress. According to an estimate by the New Yorker, India boasts 20 percent of the world’s population but only 4 percent of its water. Not surprisingly, more than 300 million people in India face water shortages. Severe droughts have contributed to an alarming farmer suicide campaign that has claimed a staggering 300,000 lives over the last 20 years. And in an ominous indication of what the future may hold, India is consuming more groundwater than any other country in the world. All this is to say that India has a strong case for requesting a renegotiation of the treaty. That would be a more prudent strategy than unilaterally revoking it. India should preserve its decision to keep the IWT in place. Rescinding it could have disastrous consequences for Pakistan — and especially for ordinary Pakistanis — and also damaging results for India. With India-Pakistan relations nearly on a war footing, threatening a course of action that risks humanitarian devastation could bring the subcontinental powder keg one dangerous step closer to exploding.
28 September 2016 Why India’s water dispute with Pakistan matters
… International disputes are less amenable to resolution and, as climate change alters weather patterns, meteorologists say water shortages will become more common. There is already a host of other flashpoints around the world. Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan wrangle over access to the rivers that feed the Nile, Turkey and Iraq over dams on the Tigris, and Israel and its Arab neighbours over access to waters of the Jordan. The fear is that, by imperilling one of the few treaties that has successfully governed how water is shared between any nations, Mr Modi may have opened the floodgates to a new and potent source of conflict between India and its greatest enemy, and in so doing, have set a bad example for the rest of the world.
Sept. 27, 2016 India and Pakistan Risk Going to War Over Water
… Pakistan’s ally, China, could be drawn into the dispute. Pakistani media is reporting China could respond to India’s action by blocking the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers, which these sources argue could choke 36 percent of India’s supply of river water.
Water as weapon: Risks in cutting off Indus waters to Pakistan
Sep 26, 2016 The logic of cutting off Pakistan’s supply of Indus waters seems compelling, but the dangers in it for India are clear. The diplomatic offensive is having some success, especially because the strategic manipulation of the subcontinent (whether for good or bad objectives) is being challenged by terror strikes in America and Europe and the real threat of IS going global. But diplomacy takes time, and may not be seen as an effective way to address Indian anger at Uri. Surgical strikes must calculate the incalculable: Pakistan’s shaky nuclear finger and its suicidal malevolence. Let us therefore ignore the fact that the Indus Treaty has worked better than some of our domestic interstate ones, and through wars at that; put aside ethical considerations, since it is indeed true that the Treaty is premised on mutual goodwill; and ignore the fact that cutting off water would be a crime against humanity no less deplorable than terrorism. If all’s fair in war, that still leaves interconnected practical and strategic considerations … Blood and water can’t flow together, says Modi at meeting on Indus treaty … Abrogating treaties and weaponising water also have implications both domestically and perhaps vis-à-vis Bangladesh. Indirectly, they strengthen the idea that circumstances may compel Karnataka to defy the Supreme Court’s orders, and are likely to lead to a replacement of Bangladesh’s nascent goodwill by reawakening that country’s fears over the Ganga, especially given the Inter-Linking of Rivers gaining impetus. Are these pusillanimous fears or bogeys? I think not. If we are thinking strategically, we must do so in all contexts. The Indian people and our gallant armed forces have shown tremendous restraint and dealt with great frustration in the face of a barbaric enemy. But a wise general strikes wisely, not in anger.
Water crisis in Bangladesh
September 27, 2016 Overpumping in Dhaka may threaten regional groundwater resources outside the city … With a population of over 15 million people, Dhaka — the capital of Bangladesh — is considered a mega-city and shares many of the water management problems common to other major cities … While efforts are made to sustain water quantity and quality in city water supplies, Dhaka pumping has caused groundwater levels to drop more than 200 feet over the last 50 years and these levels continue to decline at a rate of up to 9 feet per year. An often-overlooked consequence of these actions in mega-cities is the associated effect on the water quality and supply to surrounding peri-urban or rural communities, where water resources are stressed and surface pollution from toxic metals, organic materials and other pollutants, is widespread … “It is an environmental justice problem because the people who benefit from the city water supply are not the people whose wells are at-risk of contamination – arsenic contamination only exists outside of the city. There, if a community’s well becomes contaminated because of what’s happening in Dhaka, they may not have another source of safe water” …
Megacity pumping and preferential flow threaten groundwater quality
Stop water release, face issue legally
September 17, 2016 … State president of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Kodihalli Chandrashekar has urged the State government to stop the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and face the issue legally … said that the Prime Minister will intervene only when a constitutional crisis arises … the farmers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu can solve the issue without the interference of political parties. But parties are politicising the issue to gain mileage …
Wastewater systems and energy saving in urban India …
June 2016… analyses the interdependency of water and energy in India’s wastewater sector. Wastewater treatment plants consume a great deal of energy. Energy-efficient technologies are available, but are only spreading slowly in developing countries. In India, only 10% of all wastewater generated is treated, while energy demand is soaring. The case for investments in energy-efficient solutions thus seems clear. This case study analyses under which conditions and with which instruments integrated approaches to the water, energy and food (land) sectors (WEF-Nexus) are useful in various different wastewater systems across the country. It focuses on the identification of existing drivers of and barriers to the diffusion of energy-efficient technologies in India’s urban wastewater sector, uncovering how investments in resource- and lifecycle-oriented solutions could be enhanced. Key findings are that India’s urban wastewater sector is still largely in a situation of lock-in although first innovative initiatives that focus on more resource-footprint, lifecycle-oriented approaches exist in some niches … The main barriers against technology diffusion and a shift of the sector towards integrated approaches are a lack of cost recovery; vested interests in the status quo; a lack of operation and maintenance skills; and complicated processes, with many agencies and bureaucratic layers involved. Land and water scarcity are found to be catalytic to a change in planning, depending on local conditions.
VIDEOs: Oct 29 2016 Tribal Chairman Demands Rerouting of North Dakota Pipeline, Protesters Gather at Capitol …
November 3, 2016 For Native ‘water protectors,’ Standing Rock protest has become fight for religious freedom, human rights …
Water Protectors at Risk for PTSD
11/14/16 For Water Protectors opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, both in the camps and on the front lines, the atmosphere is not unlike that of a combat zone.
In addition to rubber bullets, pepper spray and aggressive arrest tactics from police, protectors are constantly on edge from the stress of continuous surveillance and the threat that agent provocateurs may be living among them. The sound of helicopters and planes buzzing overhead gives pause to prayer and conversation as people anxiously gaze toward the sky. Heavily armed police line the hills surrounding the camps, watching Water Protectors with binoculars. Even the most mundane tasks of camp life feel dangerous here.
During actions actively opposing the pipeline, the atmosphere is far worse. Some were pepper-sprayed and beaten with batons even as they prayed … Some people are showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, PTSD occurs when someone has experienced so much stress in a situation that they find themselves “stuck” in that moment even when the danger has passed. The nervous system is unable to return to its normal state of balance, keeping people from moving on from the stressful event … “The young people especially seem unable to de-stress after experiencing police violence,” noted Melanie Stoneman of the Sicangu Lakota tribe. Stoneman and her family have been living and volunteering at the Oceti Sakowin camp for several months …
Dakota Access Pipeline By Dave Granlund 11/22/2016
For These Americans, Clean Water Is a Luxury
OCT. 20, 2016 — Most Americans take safe water for granted: Turn the tap, and there it is. But recent protests against the Dakota Access pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota are a reminder that some Americans still worry every day about having enough clean water to survive … Nearly 24,000 Native American and Alaska Native households somehow manage without access to running water or basic sanitation, according to 2015 figures from the Indian Health Service, living in what my organization calls “water poverty.” About 188,000 such households were in need of some form of water and sanitation facilities improvement … Perhaps the worst case is on the sprawling Navajo reservation in the Southwest, home to about 170,000 people … Ending water poverty in the United States will require a concerted effort. Nonprofits can play an important role by working with communities to develop low-tech, low-cost solutions. These programs should be managed with the communities to ensure they are sustainable. Federal and state government should focus on water-supply and sanitation projects with the goal of making these local programs unnecessary someday. With dedication and money, water poverty on the Navajo Nation could be eradicated within a decade. That would be a powerful start.
War Bonnet By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, 9/14/2016
‘Do it for the water‘: Native Americans carry Potomac water on prayerful, 400-mile journey
October 16 It’s noon on a Thursday, and Reyna Davila-Day would ordinarily be sitting in her AP Human Geography class, memorizing the rivers of the globe. Instead she’s stumbling in and out of a gully alongside a busy road, ignoring the cars and trucks that whiz past, walking as fast as her 14-year-old legs can carry her. Instead of memorizing the world’s most important rivers, she’s walking one of them: The mighty Potomac, 405 miles from its source in West Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay. In a 13-day relay, Davila-Day and dozens of fellow participants in a Native American ritual are walking the entire length of the Potomac, praying for its return to unpolluted health. They will speak to the water, sing to the water, and pray for the water. And now, on a Thursday afternoon half a continent away from her Human Geography class, Davila-Day is carrying the water. “It’s us showing that the water needs to be cared for, and that we care about the water,” she says, beads clinking against the copper vessel full of a few precious pints of the river. “At school, they ask why I do it. I tell them that the water has a spirit. They’re like, ‘It does?’” … The Potomac River Water Walk began with a water ceremony – a tradition in the Ojibwe tribe – at Fairfax Stone, the 18th-century marker now located in a West Virginia state park that marks the source of the Potomac River … This walk is no leisurely stroll. Day insists on a fast pace, roughly 15 minutes a mile, so that the group covers almost 30 miles a day. One person walks at a time, while the rest travel in cars and in an RV that constantly scoots ahead, about a mile at a time. At each stop, the RV pulls off the road and the next walker hops out, ready to seamlessly grab the copper vessel from the previous walker and keep rushing down the road …
Dem Iran geht das Wasser aus
05.11.2016 Die Islamische Republik verbraucht weit mehr Wasser, als sie eigentlich zur Verfügung hat. Ganze Gegenden sind bereits ausgedörrt, die Erträge der Landwirte sinken massiv … Bei den Ursachen der Katastrophe kommt vieles zusammen. Experten wie der Botaniker Hossein Akhani nennen vor allem den Boom bei Staudämmen. Existierten am Ende der Schahzeit 1979 nur 18, sind es heute 647 – plus 680 in Bau oder Planung. Jeder Fluss im Iran ist inzwischen etliche Male gestaut. Parks und Alleebäume im grünen Teheran werden aus fünf künstlichen Becken gespeist. „Wir sind ein Land ohne fließende Gewässer“, sagt der Wissenschaftler. Zusätzlich saugen landesweit 780.000 Brunnen die unterirdischen Quellen leer, die Pumpen sind oft illegal. Fließendes Quellwasser und lauschige Gärten gehören zum persischen Selbstbild, genauso wie die nicht versiegenden Wasserhähne zu Hause, obwohl sich der Iran das längst nicht mehr leisten kann. 90 Prozent des Wassers gehen in die Landwirtschaft, zehn Prozent werden zum Trinken und für die Industrie gebraucht. Die meisten Plantagen werden traditionell mit offenen Kanälen versorgt. Nirgends existieren Kläranlagen, die Abwasser wieder zu Trinkwasser aufbereiten könnten …
increasing challenge. It’s a particular concern in Iran, where a number of problems – not least the stifling effect of years of international sanctions – mean water depletion is now receiving some serious attention …
Der Iran: Ein Land lechzt nach Wasser
07.10.2016 Zehntausende Farmer im Iran bangen um ihre Existenz – und nicht nur dort. Der Wassermangel im Nahen und Mittleren Osten könnte die nächste Welle blutiger Konflikte auslösen … Zehntausende Farmer fürchten um ihre Existenz. In der südlichen Provinz Kerman musste bereits ein Drittel aller Pistazienbetriebe aufgeben. Ganze Regionen des Iran drohen zu verkarsten und unbewohnbar zu werden, denn die Islamische Republik lebt seit langem weit über ihre ökologischen Verhältnisse. Mit den jährlich verfügbaren 100 Milliarden Kubikmetern Wasser wird rücksichtsloser Raubbau getrieben. International empfehlen die Vereinten Nationen, 20 Prozent der erneuerbaren Wassermenge zu nutzen, die ökologisch rote Linie liegt bei 40 Prozent. 60 Prozent Verbrauch bedeutet Wasserstress, 80 Prozent kritische Wasserkrise. Der Iran dagegen entnimmt seinen Reservoirs 110 Prozent, dreimal mehr als das gerade noch verkraftbare Maximum, eine Ausbeutung, für die es in der internationalen Klassifikation gar keine Kategorie mehr gibt … Die Ursachen der Katastrophe sind vielfältig. Experten … nennen vor allem den Boom der Staudämme. Existierten am Ende der Schahzeit 1979 nur 18, sind es mittlerweile 647 – plus weitere 680 in Bau oder in Planung. Jeder Fluss im Iran ist x-mal gestaut. Parks und Alleebäume im „grünen Teheran“ werden aus fünf künstlichen Becken gespeist … Zusätzlich saugen 780 000 Brunnen die unterirdischen Aquifers leer, deren Pumpen zur Hälfte illegal sind … 90 Prozent des Wassers gehen in die Landwirtschaft, 10 Prozent werden zum Trinken und für die Industrie gebraucht. Die Bevölkerung hat sich seit der Islamischen Revolution 1979 von 33 auf 80 Millionen mehr als verdoppelt, die landwirtschaftliche Produktion vervierfacht. Und die Verschwendung ist astronomisch, weil Wasser praktisch nichts kostet. Der Pro-Kopf-Verbrauch ist doppelt so hoch wie im Weltdurchschnitt. Die meisten Plantagen werden traditionell mit offenen Kanälen versorgt. Nirgendwo existieren Kläranlagen, die Abwasser wieder zu Trinkwasser aufbereiten können … Der Iran ist nur ein Beispiel. Alle Staaten im Nahen und Mittleren Osten leiden unter zunehmendem Wassermangel, der die nächste Welle blutiger Konflikte auslösen könnte. Die Nasa, deren Forscher Wachstumsringe von Bäumen in Nordafrika, Libanon, Jordanien, Syrien und der Türkei untersuchten, sprach kürzlich von der schlimmsten Trockenheit in der Region seit 500 Jahren. Entsprechend erbittert ist der Zank auch um die großen Ströme der Region. Um Euphrat und Tigris streiten Türkei, Syrien und der Irak. Der Nil entzweit Äthiopien und Ägypten, der Jordan Israel und Jordanien, der Karoun Irak und Iran … Spektakulärster Fall ist der ruinierte Urumieh-See im Nordwesten … Trotzdem machen die Bauern weiter, als sei nichts geschehen. 20 Kilometer entfernt wird sogar Reis angepflanzt, obwohl das verboten ist. Büsche mit Granatäpfeln stehen bis an die ausgedörrten Ufer, weil ihre Besitzer aus den immer tieferen Brunnen noch die letzten Tropfen herausholen … Seit dem Amtsantritt von Präsident Hassan Rohani 2013 ist der Wassernotstand zum ersten Mal Chefsache. Mit einem Nationalen Wasserplan will die iranische Führung den Verbrauch in den nächsten 20 Jahren auf das UN-Niveau von 60 Prozent, also höchstem Wasserstress, herunterdrücken – viel zu wenig und viel zu langsam, bemängeln die Kritiker …
Iran, FAO Sign Agreement to Save Lake Oroumiyeh
September, 06, 2016 … At the ceremony held at Sharif University of Technology on Tuesday, Mr. Serge Nakouzi, the FAO Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and Dr. Issa Kalantari, Adviser to the Iranian President on Water, Agriculture and Environment, who is also the Secretary of Urmia Lake Restoration Commission (ULRC) signed the agreement in the presence of Japan’s ambassador to Iran, Hiroyasu Kobayashi. “The project will accelerate halting and inverting the lake’s drying-up process by targeting reduction of water consumption within the Urmia Lake basin” the FAO Representative said …
Vielen Dank für diesen Lesehinweis nach Hannover! J.B. … siehe auch:
09/03/16 Japan Donates 3.7 million US dollars to FAO on Saving Urmia Lake in Iran …
Iran links water deal with France, Sweden
Aug. 29 (MNA) – The Iranian Energy Minister Chitchian has reported on signing of new water consumption management contracts with Swedish and French firms … pointed to capacities and potentials of Iran in power and water industries saying “at the present time, the country’s electricity production capacity reaches more than 75,000 megawatts” … while recalling Iran’s earlier close-knit ties with a French firm over water consumption management, referred to poor conditions of water resources resulting from climate change and emphasized “Iran remains as one of the victims of climate change in the world which has exerted its adverse effects in the form of drought” … “Iran has entered into fruitful contracts with France and Sweden on the issue of water consumption management while the possibility exists for further cooperation in several other areas including deep water exploration, restoration and balance of groundwater as well as use of new technologies in the field of desalination,” he underscored.