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New climate scenarios – implications for water management

On 4–5 June 2014 the Netherlands Hydrological Society (NHV), together with the Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), organized a symposium on the implications of the new climate scenarios for water management. The symposium «New climate scenarios – implications for water management» was set in the framework of global developments regarding future scenarios on climate variability and change, and their impact on hydrology and water resources. It built on the presentation of new scenarios for the climate of the Netherlands for the periods 2036–2065 ('2050') and 2071–2100 ('2085') by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in April 2014. A summary in English lists the main findings, notions and recommendations from the discussions during the symposium.

 
Mike Bonell passed away

We are sorry to have to inform you that Professor Mike Bonell died in Paris last week. Professor Bonell was a valued colleague at the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science and contributed significantly to the Centre in many ways. He was instrumental in obtaining UNESCO Category II status for the Centre in 2005, and his expertise in hydrology and catchment science provided a vital contribution to the Centre’s multidisciplinary focus.

 
Flow regime alteration due to anthropogenic and climatic changes in the Kangsabati River, India

Neha Mittal’s paper, «Flow regime alteration due to anthropogenic and climatic changes in the Kangsabati River, India», has just been published in Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology. The USA Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources has kindly funded the participation costs for this bright PhD student from India, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, in order to present her research at a UNESCO symposium in Łódź, Poland. The «International Symposium Ecohydrology, Biotechnology and Engineering: Towards Harmony between the Biogoeosphere and Society on the basis of Long-Term Ecosystem Research» was held 17–19 September 2013. 

 
United Nations Watercourses Convention enters into force

On 19 May 2014 Viet Nam acceded to the UN Watercourses Convention, making it the 35th country to join this global instrument. The accession by Viet Nam to the United Nations Watercourses Convention triggered its entry into force by bringing the number of Parties to the required total of 35. The 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (United Nations Watercourses Convention) will enter into force on 17 August 2014.

 
Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria

In May 2013, a year ago, Thomas Friedman, writing for the International Herald Tribune and New York Times, was one of the first to acknowledge the importance of drought, the lack of water and possibly climate change in the Syrian revolution. »Kids without books, teachers or classes for a long time — that’s trouble. Big trouble.«, he wrote. And »the drought and unemployment were important in pushing people toward revolution«, a Syrian lady was quoted. Building on this and on other information, Peter Gleick, in his paper «Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria», to be published in July 2014, also concludes that drought, water and agricultural management, and climatic conditions are factors in the Syrian conflict.

 
Living with water scarcity – new book

Do you worry that there is not enough water for people, the economy and environment? Do you wonder if the water in our taps and rivers is safe or polluted? Do you want to know if farmers waste water, utilities charge too much, or bottled water destroys ecosystems? You are not alone in asking questions. The headlines say "drought, pollution, conflict and insecurity," but the stories offer few solutions. Living with Water Scarcity clarifies the connections among personal and social water flows in an accessible style.

 
Nieuwe klimaatscenario’s: implicaties voor het waterbeheer

4–5 juni 2014, Wageningen • Op 4 en 5 juni 2014 organiseert de Nederlandse Hydrologische Vereniging (NHV) samen met STOWA een symposium over de gevolgen voor het waterbeheer van de nieuwe klimaatscenario’s. Eind mei 2014 presenteert het KNMI zijn nieuwe klimaatscenario’s. Nieuwe en vooral meer data, computers met meer rekenkracht en verbeterde klimaatmodellen hebben tot nieuwe inzichten geleid, met een wetenschappelijke vertaling en detaillering voor Nederland. Dit heeft ook gevolgen voor het waterbeheer. Tijdens het symposium in Wageningen zal het KNMI de nieuwe scenario’s toelichten en zullen waterbeheerders, beleidsmakers en onderzoekers vertellen hoe zij met klimaatscenario’s omgaan. De vertaling naar hydrologische modellen, de doorwerking naar beleid en beheer, en omgang met onzekerheden komen ook aan de orde. 

 
Vanishing Water Landscapes in the Middle East

On 11 June 2014 Francesca de Châtel successfully defended her PhD thesis on water in Syria. The Jordan River has been reduced to 2% of its historic size and is heavily polluted. Across Syria, rivers are shrinking, springs have dried up, and the desert is spreading. The water crisis in the Middle East, the most water-scarce region in the world, is rapidly worsening, yet decision-makers appear unwilling to acknowledge its severity and water remains low on the political agenda. How can this gap between the reality of growing scarcity on the ground and the continued illusion of plenty be explained? 

 
Human and climate impacts on global water resources

Over past decades, terrestrial water fluxes have been affected by humans at an unprecedented scale and the fingerprints that humans have left on Earth’s water resources are turning up in a diverse range of records. In his PhD thesis, Yoshihide Wada developed a state-of-the-art global hydrological model (GHM) and global water demand model. These were eventually coupled to quantify and distinguish human and climate impacts on surface freshwater and groundwater resources. Yoshihide Wada’s thesis is composed of three major parts: Part 1. Human and climate impacts on surface freshwater resources; Part 2. Global assessment of groundwater resources; Part 3. Integrated modeling and indicators of global water resources. Yoshihide Wada was promoted cum laude!

 
Improving food security in the Sahel is difficult, but achievable

Africa’s Sahel suffers from degraded soils, erratic rainfall, and an exploding population – all of which hold huge implications for the region’s food security. This year the situation is especially dire. Valerie Amos, the United Nations coordinator for emergency relief, estimated that 20 million people in the Sahel will face hunger this year, requiring $2 billion in food aid. WRI’s Chris Reij writes about it. 

 
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