Water Security is National Security

Water resources and how they are managed impact almost all aspects of society and the economy, in particular health, food production and security, domestic water supply and sanitation, energy, industry, and the functioning of ecosystems. Under present climate variability, water stress is already high, particularly in many developing countries, and climate change adds even more urgency for action. Without improved water resources management, the progress towards poverty reduction targets, the Millennium Development Goals, and sustainable development in all its economic, social and environ- mental dimensions, will be jeopardized. UN Water.Org

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sustainable development of water security a must

The Nile at Cairo

CAIRO - July 07, 2017: Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, highlighted the UAE’s support for Arab cooperation on the sustainable development of water security.

He made this statement while chairing the 9th session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Water, at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States in Cairo.

He stated that the Ministry of Energy has produced a draft water strategy for 2036, in cooperation with relevant UAE authorities, to guarantee the provision of sufficient quantities of water, according to international standards, during both regular periods and emergency shortages that affect the country.

He stressed that this strategy will cover the country’s entire water supply chain, with an emphasis on the strategic production of water resources, storage, transport networks and the supply network linking the nation’s various emirates.

The council discussed a range of important issues and reviewed the implementation of a strategic executive plan for water security in the Arab region, as well as ways of cooperating to address the challenges and future requirements of sustainable development.

It also discussed the implementation of its sustainable development plan for 2030, regarding water, and addressed ways of cooperating on a regional initiative to link the energy, water and food sectors. More

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Vanishing Nile: A Great River Faces a Multitude of Threats

The Nile River is under assault on two fronts – a massive dam under construction upstream in Ethiopia and rising sea levels leading to saltwater intrusion downstream. These dual threats now jeopardize the future of a river that is the lifeblood for millions

Though politicians and the press tend to downplay the idea, environmental degradation is often an underlying cause of international crises — from the deforestation, erosion, and reduced agricultural production that set the stage for the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s to the prolonged drought that pushed rural populations into the cities at the start of the current Syrian civil war. Egypt could become the latest example, its 95 million people the likely victims of a slow motion catastrophe brought on by grand-scale environmental mismanagement.

It’s happening now in the Nile River delta, a low-lying region fanning out from Cairo roughly a hundred miles to the sea. About 45 or 50 million people live in the delta, which represents just 2.5 percent of Egypt’s land area. The rest live in the Nile River valley itself, a ribbon of green winding through hundreds of miles of desert sand, representing another 1 percent of the nation’s total land area. Though the delta and the river together were long the source of Egypt’s wealth and greatness, they now face relentless assault from both land and sea.

The latest threat is a massive dam scheduled to be completed this year on the headwaters of the Blue Nile, which supplies 59 percent of Egypt’s water. Ethiopia’s national government has largely self-financed the $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), with the promise that it will generate 6,000 megawatts of power. That’s a big deal for Ethiopians, three-quarters of whom now lack access to electricity. The sale of excess electricity to other countries in the region could also bring in $1 billion a year in badly needed foreign exchange revenue.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Egypt's water security is red line: Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson

Ahmed Abu Zeid

The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry official spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid asserted on Thursday that Egypt’s water security is non-negotiable, saying that it is considered a red line that no one can approach.

Abu Zeid’s statements came synchronously with the visit of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Uganda, after receiving an invitation from his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to attend the summit of the Nile Basin countries.

He further added through his twitter account that Egypt faced harsh negotiations to turn the summit into a success, stressing the importance of the summit in launching a serious dialogue on the topics of the Nile water that would hopefully bring the views of the Nile Basin countries closer together.

The negotiations that are currently taking place in Uganda between Nile basin countries are aiming to decrease the negative impact of the Ethiopian Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam ‘GERD’ on the water security of countries such as Egypt and Sudan.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rivers and streams in parts of UK'under threat of drying up', says WWF

A report by the World Wide Fund for Nature warns over half of chalk streams and a quarter of rivers are under threat if action isn't taken.

At the River Chess in Buckinghamshire there's no water flowing.

The riverbed is dry, with cracked mud and weeds where the stream once ran.

Chairman of the River Chess Association Paul Jennings said: "This would be knee-depth crystal clear water that's come out of the chalk aquifer, with lovely fronds of weed. You have ducks and swans and all sorts of livestock in here plus fish. But we don't have that now."

It's been dried up since October, and it's not uncommon here.

"Over the last six years we've had four drying events, where there's been absolutely no water at all in this section," Mr Jennings said.

The problem is, when rivers dry up, the wildlife leaves. The River Chess is home to kingfishers, rare water voles and several species of fish.

The WWF warns 550 bodies of water in England and Wales are at risk of drying out.

Its report says over-abstraction and poor management are to blame.

Put simply, consumers and agriculture are taking out too much water from our rivers. More

Monday, June 19, 2017

Water Security and U.S. Foreign Policy in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines

In 2012, the U.S. National Intelligence Council judged that within the next 10 years, water problems would be a major contributor to instability in “many” countries that are of interest to the United States. South and Southeast Asia, with its many transboundary river basins, large populations, and geopolitical flashpoints, is one among a number of hotspots where such instability could occur.

To help policymakers understand the implications of water problems for national security, World Wildlife Fund-U.S. is working with global experts to produce a book highlighting water conflicts and U.S. strategic interests. Four experts spoke at the Wilson Center on May 9 about the dynamics at play in India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

The World Economic Forum’s 2016 risk survey ranked water crisis as the top risk globally in the next decade. Among experts, there is growing concern about water issues and state fragility. “When government fails to provide basic water services, when they fail to protect the people against drought and flood, fail to preserve water resources captured by the elites, there is a potential loss of legitimacy and an opportunity for other parties to exploit those failures and deepen the instabilities,” said Claudia Sadoff, the World Bank’s global lead for water security and integrated resource management.

It is essential and urgent to “design and prioritize water programs that will lead to stability, development, and prosperity,” she said.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Monk, the Engineer and the Artificial Glacier

This is an updated version of the short film 'The Monk, The Engineer and The Artificial Glacier'.

It has upadates about the work on the pilot project carried out in Jan- Feb 201 5, appended to the original film.
Through the Ice Stupa Artificial Glacier Project, Ladakh attempts to solve its water crisis caused by melting glaciers/climate change.

To support this project go to www.icestupa.org
Category Nonprofits & Activism
License Standard YouTube License

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Relentless March of Drought – That ‘Horseman of the Apocalypse’

ROME, Jun 7 2017 (IPS) - By 2025 –that’s in less than 8 years from today– 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. Now it is feared that advancing drought and deserts, growing water scarcity and decreasing food security may provoke a huge ‘tsunami” of climate refugees and migrants.
No wonder then that a major United Nations Convention calls drought ‘one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.’ See what the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) says in this regard.

By 2050, the demand for water is expected to increase by 50 per cent. As populations increase, especially in dry-land areas, more and more people are becoming dependent on fresh water supplies in land that are becoming degraded, the Bonn-based Convention secretariat warns.

“The world’s drought-prone and water scarce regions are often the main sources of refugees.” Monique Barbut.
Water scarcity is one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century, it underlines, adding that drought and water scarcity are considered to be the most far-reaching of all natural disasters, causing short and long-term economic and ecological losses as well as significant secondary and tertiary impacts.

To mitigate these impacts, drought preparedness that responds to human needs, while preserving environmental quality and ecosystems, requires involvement of all stakeholders including water users and water providers to achieve solutions for drought, explains UNCCD. More