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Poyang, China’s largest freshwater lake, shrinks – a solution faces criticism

久负盛名的鄱阳湖是中国最大的淡水湖,夏日雨季时的面积达到洛杉矶的三倍以上。它是稀有的长江江豚的家园,在冬季,它的滩涂是成千上万鸟儿的首要觅食地,其中包括极度濒危的西伯利亚鹤,它们每年秋天飞向南方,逃离西伯利亚的寒流。现在鄱阳湖本身也处于濒危状态。

 
Images show that California’s reservoirs have shrunk

The ever increasing demand for freshwater has taken its toll, and California’s reservoirs are only at 46.4% of their capacity. Now, by using imagery provided by the Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 satellites, we can also see how the reservoirs have changed during the 21st century.

 
Iraq’s Mosul Dam is failing

The Mosul Dam is Iraq’s largest dam. It is failing. A breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people. If the dam ruptured, it would likely cause a catastrophe of Biblical proportions, loosing a wave as high as a hundred feet that would roll down the Tigris, swallowing everything in its path for more than a hundred miles. Large parts of Mosul would be submerged in less than three hours. Along the riverbanks, towns and cities containing the heart of Iraq’s population would be flooded; in four days, a wave as high as sixteen feet would crash into Baghdad, a city of six million people.

 
2016 Christmas Appeal – INARA helps children when no one else can

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This Christmas, remind refugee families from Syria that there are people out there who care about them. For over five years now, we have watched the horrors of the Syrian War on our screens. We have watched families being torn apart, homes destroyed and left as rubble on the ground, and innocent children being injured and killed. It is very easy for you to watch this and feel as though there is nothing that you can do to help these people. But you can do something.

 
SnowHydro 2018 – International Conference on Snow Hydrology

12–15 February 2018, Heidelberg • SnowHydro 2018 – International Conference on Snow Hydrology. Snow is an important component of the hydrological cycle. The seasonal storage of water in the snowpack may last over months, and its retarded release is a major factor of reliable water supply for ecosystems and human needs during dry periods. Rapid snow melt can however cause destruction through sudden floods, mostly in combination with rainfall. Thus, water demanding downstream regions, settlements and infrastructures are highly vulnerable with regard to the presence or absence of snow in the headwaters. Increasing air temperatures and changing precipitation patterns driven by climate change will modify snow conditions and thus lead to changing water supplies. Snow cover is also a critical factor in global and regional energy balances. The consequences of reduced snow duration and an increasing share of rainfall on precipitation will completely change the land-atmosphere interactions and thus lead to further modifications of the regional climatic conditions.

 

 
UNFCCC COP-22 sees water, the ‘first victim’ of climate change, as part of the solution

For the first time during a UNFCCC Conference of Parties a special day was devoted to action on water issues, as a way of providing solutions to help implement the Paris Agreement. Seven of the ten countries most threatened by climate change are in Africa. Water is the first sector through which the African population suffers from the impact of climate change — this is the case not only in Africa, but all around the world.

 
Parched Iran: nuclear negotiator calls for hydro-politics

Unnerved by the prospect of a parched Iran where internal and external conflicts on water resources would be unavoidable, Abbas Araqchi, who served as top nuclear negotiator with great powers, has called for a more active and creative hydro-politics. The average annual precipitation in Iran is nearly 220 millimeters, and has decreased by 10–15% over the past decade, according to Araqchi. Meager annual rainfalls, coupled with rapid population growth and sprawling cities, have put the geo-politically strategic Middle East country in a precarious situation, where the threat of water conflicts looms large.

 
‘Water is peace, life, dignity': why the UN deputy chief has a thirst for saving lives

For almost a quarter of a century, UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson has been an indefatigable champion of the right to water and sanitation for all. »Politicians lack long-term planning«, he says. »They look at budgetary needs now but don’t see the larger picture. But they must look beyond their mandate periods. Ministers of finance should have responsibility for the long-term effects of public expenditure. [...] Water and sanitation cannot drop off the agenda now. There is such a commitment to it. You have the development community, the World Bank and the big development banks, but also the scientific and health communities along with civil society, and philanthropists all backing it.«

 
Water, migration and how they are interlinked

With continuing growth of population and conflicts, we see also an increase in displacement. Increasingly linkages are made between displacement, migration, refugee flows and climate change, which is often linked to water-related problems. These nowadays almost automatic linkages with climate change do not always have a sound foundation, based on science, monitoring and real-world data. SIWI has just published a very good Working Paper, that is spot-on: »Water, migration and how they are interlinked«.

 
Groundwater Governance Lost in Translation

On Friday 25 November 2016 the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) will be organising a half day event titled »Groundwater Governance Lost in Translation«. Groundwater governance will be discussed from a multidisciplinary perspective (international law, economics, international relations, development and hydrogeology). In addition we will have distinguished speakers providing insights about groundwater governance in California, Scotland, Uruguay and Malawi.

 
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