Water News & a Word on Middle-East Water Rights

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

This is my last Water News diary for the year and I’d like to take the opportunity to remind the fighting I/P posters that the Middle East, where a few great waterways are the major source of water for a large area of dry lands spanning a number of national borders, the scarcity of water has played a central role in defining the political relationships in the region for thousands of years. Its ideological, religious, and geographical disputes go hand in hand with water-related tensions and it is becoming abundantly clear that the incoming administration of Barack Obama will have to deal swiftly with the powers of the region as the water crisis is not limited to the Jordan basin, but extends throughout the Middle East, encompassing also the watersheds of the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates. Because of water’s preeminent role in survival (Israel depends on fresh water resources originating in the occupied territories for about one-third of its total supply) the parched and volatile Middle East must be dealt with because the fact is that the region is running out of water. The people who have built their lives on what was once a reliable source of fresh water are now seeing a shortage of this vital resource impinge on all aspects of their increasingly fragile relations.

Cross-posted on La Vida Locavore and DKos.

Disastrous news: Tennessee Ash Flood Larger Than Initial Estimate:

Tennessee –  A huge spill of coal ash from The Kingston Fossil power plant near the Emory River in Harriman, Roane County, Tennessee deposited traces of thallium, lead, and other toxic substances in the river. Source

Ancient Water Source Vital For Australia:

SYDNEY – An ancient underground water basin the size of Libya holds the key to Australia avoiding a water crisis as climate change bites the drought-hit nation. Australia’s Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the world, covering 1.7 million sq kms (656,370 sq miles) and lying beneath one-fifth of Australia. Source

All sewage in Beijing to be reused within three years:

China – The Beijing Sewage Association said that all wastewater processed in the Chinese capital’s sewage treatment plants will meet the requirements for re-use within the next three years. Source

Cool news! River Torrens stormwater harvesting to green parks:

AUSTRALIA – Conservation Minister Jay Weatherill of the Australian state of South Australia announced a $3.5 million plan to harvest rainwater and recycle it in a bid to ease the strain on aquifers along the Torrens River. Source

Crazy news: Lake drinks a lot of water

CALIFORNIA – The city of San Diego in California’s San Diego County, despite being so short of potable water that it’s close to mandatory water conservation, spends at least $140,000 annually to pump about 53 million gallons of drinking water into Chollas Lake for fishing. Just fishing. Source

African Ministers Say Share Water To Combat Hunger:

Libya – African states lack the resources to deal with climate change alone and must share water better to feed growing populations, said government ministers said at a water conference in Sirte, Libya. Source

An African Development Bank loan of 40.55 million dinars:

Tunisia – The African Development Bank approved a loan of 40.55 million dinars (roughly $30 million) to help support Phase 2 of Tunisia’s Water Investment Project from 2009-14. Source: in French

Troubled Three gorges Dam in China:

China – Rising water levels in China’s giant Three Gorges Dam have triggered dozens of landslides in recent months, damaging houses, land and infrastructure worth millions of dollars, state media said on Thursday. Source: in French


Scientists: act now on Gulf of Mexico’s Dead Zone:

United States – U.S. scientists have issued a report urging immediate government action to reduce urban and Midwest farm runoff blamed for feeding an 8000-square-mile “dead zone” that has grown alarmingly off the mouth of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico. Source

And some good news: UA student hopes to grow his career, and lettuce, hydroponically:

ARIZONA – Josh Scott, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Arizona’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, is staking his future on hydroponics, a method of growing crops in a water solution containing nutrients. Source

1 comment

    • AAF on December 30, 2008 at 11:56 pm

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