About four billion people, or two-thirds of the world’s population, face severe water shortages during at least one month every year, far more than was previously thought, according to Arjen Y. Hoekstra, a professor of water management at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
In a paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances, Dr. Hoekstra and his colleague Mesfin M. Mekonnen designed a computer model to create what they say is a more accurate picture of water scarcity around the world. Severe water scarcity can lead to crop failure and low crop yields, which could cause food price increases as well as famine and widespread starvation. Continue reading Two-Thirds of the World Faces Severe Water Shortages→
Global scarcity of key life source far worse than thought, new study finds
Andrea Germanos, staff writer
A new analysis reveals that global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people—two-thirds of the world’s population—and will be “one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century.”
Grassroots action has backed down the city’s aggressive water shutoffs. Larry Gabriel
This article appears in Cities Are Now, the Winter 2015 issue of YES! Magazine.
The Detroit water-rights movement really got into gear when Charity Hicks was taken to jail while trying to stop shut-offs on her block. “It started a windstorm of people rising up and speaking out, knowing what was happening regarding the water,” says Detroit poet and activist Tawana Petty. “She was always instrumental in the water struggle but her personal experience brought it home to everyone.”
Technicians from Peru’s national water authority, ANA, inspecting a polluted stretch of river in the department of Huancavelica in south-central Peru. Credit: Milagros Salazar/IPS
LIMA, Jun 10 2014 ([ http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/06/peru-needs-to-know-more-about-its-water-in-order-to-supply-more-people-with-the-valuable-resource/ ]IPS) – Peru urgently needs a national plan for the management of water over the next two decades, one that will take into account the effects of climate change and the social and environmental conflicts triggered by problems over water. In his office surrounded by papers, maps and graphics, Humberto Cruz, an engineer with the national water authority, ANA, told IPS that the country desperately needs a plan to improve the unequal distribution of water and its inefficient use in this South American country.
Drought, Water and Agricultural Management, and Climatic Conditions are Factors in the Syrian Conflict
May 28, 2014, Oakland, CA: A new research paper evaluates the role of regional drought, unsustainable water management policies, and climatic conditions in contributing to the severe conflict in Syria in the past few years. The paper (“Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria,” by Dr. Peter H. Gleick), coming out in the July issue of the American Meteorological Society journal Weather, Climate, and Society, concludes that the many factors influencing the severe violence in Syria include long-standing political, religious, and social ideological disputes; economic dislocations from both global and regional factors; and the consequences of water shortages influenced by drought, ineffective watershed management, and the growing influence of climate variability and change. Improvements in water-use efficiency and productivity in agriculture, better management and monitoring of groundwater resources, and comprehensive international agreements on managing and sharing the rivers that cross political borders are key to mitigating these risks.
Starting in 2006 and lasting through 2011, Syria suffered the worst long-term drought and the most severe set of crop failures in recorded history. The decrease in water availability, water mismanagement, agricultural failures, and related economic deterioration contributed to population dislocations and the migration of rural communities to nearby cities. These factors further contributed to urban unemployment, economic dislocations, food insecurity for more than a million people, and subsequent social unrest. Continue reading Water and Conflict in Syria→
‘Great political clout’ of energy industry trumps those in need of drinking water
– Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
“There is an increasing potential for serious conflict between power generation, other water users and environmental considerations,” says the World Water Development Report 2014: Water and Energy (pdf), published on the eve of World Water Day.
The energy sector, which has “great political clout,” the report states, is set to consume an unfair share of this limited resource, “despite ongoing progress in the development of renewable.” The report continues: