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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

FoDP to mull Pakistan water sector investment in Dec

ISLAMABAD: The Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) will consider investing in the country’s water sector after reviewing the recommendations

of its task force in December this year, official sources said on Saturday.

The task force on water sector has been funded by ADB with $225,000 under technical assistance special fund. It will take into account all aspects of water resources and its critical relevance to agriculture, development and disaster prevention.

According to the sources, the FoDP task force on water will guide the Ministry of Water and Power to address water security concerns, but it would not ensure multibillion dollar investment the sector requires.

The FoDP, a group of 17 states and multilateral donors, since April 2009, has released $1.5 billion of the initially pledged $6.2 billion, which was to be given by June, 2011.

Besides the financial assistance of $1.5 billion, the FoDP - with the cooperation of ADB - has released a draft report on energy, which says that strengthening energy sector governance and regulation, rationalising prices and energy subsidies will eliminate the load shedding in the country over the next three years. More >>>

Location: Islamabad

Saturday, May 28, 2011

China drought affects more than 34 million people

BEIJING — A debilitating drought along China's Yangtze river has affected more than 34 million people, leaving farmers and livestock without

water and parching a major grain belt, the government said Saturday.

More than 4.23 million people are having difficulty finding adequate drinking supplies, while more than five million are in need of assistance to overcome the drought, the Civil Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
"The special characteristics of this drought disaster is that it has persisted a long time," the ministry said.
"Secondly the losses to the agricultural and breeding industries have been severe... while drinking water for people and livestock have been seriously impacted."
Rainfall levels from January to April in the drainage basin of the Yangtze, China's longest and most economically important river, have been up to 60 percent lower than average levels of the past 50 years, it said. More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Water conflict and water cooperation in the Mideast

An ultra-upbeat view of water issues in the Mideast, from the Peninsula (Qatar):

Water could be a source of conflict but could also be a source of cooperation, speakers at the 11th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development

and Free Trade said during a session on ‘Water Security in the Middle East’ yesterday at Doha Sheraton.

A major report on water security, ‘The Blue Peace: Rethinking Middle East Water’, which was prepared with input from almost 100 leaders, ministers, senior officials and experts from Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories was discussed during the session. More >>>

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Water Shortages Threaten Food Future in the Arab Middle East

May 3 2011 - Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid  population growth, spreading water shortages, and ever growing food insecurity.

In some countries, grain production is now falling as aquifers are depleted. After the Arab oil-export embargo of the 1970s, the Saudis realized that since they were heavily dependent on imported grain, they were vulnerable to a grain counter-embargo. Using oil-drilling technology, they tapped into an aquifer far below the desert to produce irrigated wheat. In a matter of years, Saudi Arabia was self-sufficient in wheat, its principal food staple.

But after more than 20 years of wheat self-sufficiency, the Saudis announced in January 2008 that this aquifer was largely depleted and they would be phasing out wheat production. Between 2007 and 2010, the wheat harvest of nearly 3 million tons dropped by more than two thirds. At this rate the Saudis likely will harvest their last wheat crop in 2012 and then be totally dependent on imported grain to feed their Canada-sized population of nearly 30 million people. More >>>