The QANAT April 11 to April 18

CHINA & SE ASIA DROUGHT

“The situation has worsened with the severe drought plaguing northern Vietnam, which has driven many farmers to seek work in China, said Fan Qi, head of Fangchenggang City’s border police.” Illegal immigration from Vietnam surges, China Daily, April 12

“More than 250,000 people are short of drinking water in the sparsely populated Chifeng City of north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.” Drought affects 250,000 people in N China’s Chieng, China Daily, April 12

“…no bathing or tooth brushing for weeks; clouds of flies crawling on the bed sheets, along the edges of bowls, and over the latrines; green vegetables a rarity in their diet. These are the realities of daily life for more than 24,000 students and teachers.” Drought takes heavy toll on boarding schools, China Daily, April 15

The snowstorm on Monday and Tuesday hitting many parts of Heilongjiang Province, damaged more than 90,000 seedlings in the province. Direct economic losses were estimated at almost 600 million yuan…” China agriculture hammered by spring extreme weather, China Daily, April 14

“A peasant plows his farmland after welcome rains in Huangping county in drought-plagued Guizhou province on April 13.” Rainfall quenches thirsty land in SW China, China Daily, April 14

DESALINATION

“Systems using carbon-free energy are also being trialled: nuclear desalination in the United Arab Emirates, solar power in Australia, and biodiesel from plants — with cooking fats also slated as a future possibility — at a desalination plant built by Thames Water in London.” Global water crisis sparks surge in desalination, Mail & Guardian Online, March 31

“There is ample scientific evidence that the impact of the effluents from the desalination plants on the seawater environment increase the seawater temperature, salinity, water current and turbidity…” S.Africa looks to sea to meet growing water demand, Reuters, April 16

DAMS & INFRASTRUCTURE

“In coming years there will be extreme scarcity of water in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and the construction of new dams in the region is imperative to overcome this looming danger..” Water scarcity looms large: Construction of Dadocha Dam in doldrums, Daily Times, April 12

“The diversion won’t resolve the water supply problem of the most-at-need people in the sertao, because they are geographically so spread out,” argues Joao Suassuna, a long-time critic. Brazil’s huge river diversion program divides opinion, BBC News, April 12

“”The future of one of the world’s last great rainforests is at stake. The outcome of this fight could determine much beyond Borneo’s borders too, as environmental scientists become increasingly alarmed at the effect deforestation taking place here is having on the world’s weather.” Spears versus bulldozers in Borneo, Al Jazeerah, April 16

INDIAN MONSOON & FOOD

“…the dip in the Kharif output of rice might trigger an upward spiral of foodgrain prices and conveyed the Centre’s action plan to counter a rise in rates.” 246 districts in 10 states drought-hit: Peshawar, Times of India, April 18

“Monsoon forecasts for India are keenly watched by traders and analysts as the south Asian nation, one of the world’s top producers and consumers of sugar, wheat, rice and edible oils, depends on rains to irrigate 60 percent of its farms.…” Western forecasts signal good monsoon in India,
Reuters, April 14

POST-DISASTER RESPONSE

“The first of 50,000 earthquake victims that officials fear are most threatened by Haiti’s looming rainy season were relocated Saturday as nonprofit groups scrambled to receive them.”Haitians relocated to new camps as rains loom, AP, April 12

“…conclusion was made based on water sample tests from three underground water levels in Gyegu Town after the earthquake by a group of environmental experts from the China Environmental Monitoring Station.” Underground water in China’s quake zone safe; emergency wells to be drilled, http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/6954746.html People’s Daily, April 18

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The QANAT: March 22-28

The QANAT

World Water Day: Why business needs to worry “…industrial use of water will almost double by 2030. It currently accounts for 16% of total usage – more than half of it for energy production – and this will grow to a projected 22% by 2030 with China alone accounting for 40% of the additional demand.” BBC News, March 22

Delhi water table falling by 2m/yr “Delhi will soon push up the demand for water even further. That may lead to an unprecedented crisis, with no relief of surplus availability,” said NCRPB member secretary Noor Mohammad. ” Times of India, March 22

Polluted Water Killing, Sickening Millions “…3.7 percent of all deaths are attributed to water-related diseases, translating into millions of deaths. More than half of the world’s hospital beds are filled by people suffering from water-related illnesses, it said.” NY Times, March 22, 2010

Besieged Gaza denied water “The head of Gaza’s water authority says he has plans and the means to import water from other countries until self-dependency is reached, but Israel’s blockade is the only thing in the way.” Al Jazeera, March 22

With War And Neglect, Afghans Face Water Shortage “Only 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land were irrigated in 2002 and an additional 300,000 hectares rehabilitated since — less than half the area irrigated in 1979, when the war began — said the East West Institute think tank in a report last year.” March 24, 2010

Hillary douses Pak’s ire on water; says it’s a bilateral issue “We’re well aware that there is a 50-year-old agreement between Pakistan and India concerning water,” Clinton told a Pakistani interviewer” Times of India, March 24

CHINESE DROUGHT
Although global media has been rather light on the drought in China, the China Daily news website has consistently had excellent coverage. Here is a list of headlines & links:

March 24
Drought paralyzes power supply

Flowers fail to bloom as drought worsens

18M emergency loans for drough-hit Yunnan

March 25
Safe water project fails to quench countryside thirst

Drought affects China’s largest waterfall

Villagers pleading for road to water

China drills more wells, seeds clouds amid drought

Drought challenges grain harvest: Premier

March 26
Yunan’s flower industry wilting

Livelihoods suffer without water

Drought causes severe forest losses in China

Drought-stricken southwest China moves to curb food hikes

HK offers aid to drought victims in mainland

Armed forces help with drought relief in SW China

Climate change threatens Qinghai-Tibet plateau

Artificial rain to ease drought in SW China

China drought to test policymakers on inflation management

March 27
Drought may force villagers to leave homes

Living life by the bucketful

China starts building canal to replenish Yangtze River tributary

The QANAT: March 8-14, 2010

The QANAT

WHAT? A Weekly digest of news and information related to water security

WHY? Because not everyone is on twitter!  Also, this is focused specifically on watersheds where water security issues are “off the radar”, at least in terms of a Western context.  Specifically, I’ll be collecting information from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

NAME? Its an ancient Persian water supply system, comprised of a series of vertical shafts that drain into a long horizontal tunnel, connecting an aquifer to a community, field, or livestock pond.  Check the wikipedia page for an excellent overview.

The Qanat:  Weekly digest of international Water Security related news

“We are also currently looking at ways of streamlining in the way we regulate hydropower…schemes typically need up to four licenses from the Environment Agency at the moment, which is quite complex from a developers point of view.” UK considering building 26,000 hydropower turbines to power British homes. The Telegraph

UN Water has produced ten short “messages” for businesses based on the findings of the 3rd World Water Development Report. Each message addresses a particular influential group of decision-makers. World Water Development report UN Water

“China’s arable land totaled 1.83 billion mu (122 million hectares) in 2009, close to the bottom line set at 1.8 billion mu, Vice Minister of Agriculture Wei Chaoan…”
China Vows to protect arable land from urban development China Daily

Pupils line up for their daily drinking water, which is of a low quality, at a primary school in Huoshipeng village, Dongshan town in Xuanwei, Southwest China’s Yunnan province on March 5, 2010. [Photo/Xinhua]” Photos: Water shortages in Yunnan Province, China China Daily

“A Chinese air force plane takes off for a mission to bomb the floating ice that jams a section of the Yellow River, the second longest in China”  Warplane bombs Yellow River ice jam China Daily

“Zhang Min, a villager in Puding County, Guizhou, said he has not seen a drop of water from the water faucet at his home since the end of January.” More on severe drought in Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces, China China Daily

“Loktak Lake is the largest fresh water lake in Northeast India. It has an area of 300sq km… siltation, pollution, agriculture and adverse effect from Loktak Hydropower Project are some of the main problems which had led to an alarming destruction of the lake.” Campaign to save Loktak Lake, India India Waterportal

“Almost 6 million people and 3.6 million head of livestock are facing drinking water shortages in Yunnan.” 7.5 million in SW China face water scarcity China Daily

“China had 1,527 sewage treatment plants by February 2009, treating 68.8 million cubic meters of sewage every day.” Chinese Politician advocates increased recycled water use Xinhua News

“…two clans have been fighting over land and water in recent weeks in Mudug and the latest clash was about 110 km northeast of Dhusamareb, provincial capital of Galgadud.” Somali clans clash over access to water Reuters

“China extended invitations this week for Mekong country representatives to visit its Jinghong dam later this month.” When the Mekong Runs Dry Asia Times Online

“China’s Chongqing Water Group Co said on Sunday it plans to raise as much as 3.49 billion yuan ($511 million) after setting an IPO price range.” Chongqing Water Shanghai IPO to raise funds for 9 waste water treatment projects and 6 water supply projects Reuters