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Climate change hits hard in Zambia: an African success story

Lake Kariba, Zambia — Even as drought and the effects of climate change grew visible across this land, the Kariba Dam was always a steady, and seemingly limitless, source of something rare in Africa: electricity so cheap and plentiful that Zambia could export some to its neighbors. The power generated from the Kariba – one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams, in one of the world’s largest artificial lakes – contributed to Zambia’s political stability and helped turn its economy into one of the fastest growing on the continent. But today, as a severe drought magnified by climate change has cut water levels to record lows, the Kariba is generating so little juice that blackouts have crippled the nation’s already hurting businesses.

Time Series Analysis in water management – a report

The Netherlands Hydrological Society (NHV) has several working groups. One of them works on Time Series Analysis and caters for several public meetings throughout the year. On 28 January 2016, hosted by TNO in Utrecht, almost 100 experts gathered to discuss the latest findings and developments in time series analysis, bridging statistical expertise with practical applications. Presentations from business practitioners alternated with presentations from scientific experts. Michael van der Valk reports.

Transboundary Water Cooperation and the Sustainable Development Goals

The establishment of the post-2015 development agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly points towards an integrated plan to tackle global challenges. A new paper by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) advocates for an indicator on transboundary water cooperation that should be broad enough to reward also cooperative frameworks aimed at developing a sound system of exchange of information, and not only fully fledged IWRM systems.

Africa Water Atlas

The Africa Water Atlas is a visual account of Africa’s endowment and use of water resources, revealed through 224 maps and 104 satellite images as well as some 500 graphics and hundreds of compelling photos. However the Atlas is more than a collection of static maps and images accompanied by informative facts and figures: its visual elements vividly illustrate a succinct narrative describing and analyzing Africa’s water issues and exemplifying them through the judicious use of case studies. It gathers information about water in Africa and its role in the economy and development, health, food security, transboundary cooperation, capacity building and environmental change into one comprehensive and accessible volume.

Swiss Re Foundation launches "ReSource Award 2017"

The ReSource Award focuses on social entrepreneurial approaches that implement the principles of sustainability in water management. The prize builds on more than ten years of experience in supporting outstanding partners heading for sustainable watershed management. An international jury awards USD 150,000 to new social entrepreneurial initiatives driving sustainable water management practices. The prize combines financial and non-financial contributions (coaching and expert advice).

Collective action on South Asia’s ‘wicked problems’

The problems of water, energy, climate change, and urbanisation, are all intertwined; they are, also, all ‘wicked’. There is little consensus on how to effectively navigate these problems, let alone, how to solve them. Of these, water is key: the threat of climatic changes is primarily manifested in water, its dwindling supply, and the conflicts that may potentially arise. It also encompasses so-called ‘toad's eye’ concerns of the grassroots, often informal economy, as well as the ‘eagle’s eye’ perspectives of national and global managers. In South Asia, regional cooperation in managing water has not been successful for various reasons.

Groundwater flow cooling the Earth’s crust

Groundwater that flows through the outer shell of the Earth as part of the hydrologic cycle influences the distribution of heat and, thereby, the temperature field in the Earth’s crust. Downward groundwater flow in recharge areas lowers crustal temperatures down to great depths, whereas upward flow in discharge areas tends to raise temperatures relative to a purely conductive geothermal regime. Henk Kooi presents numerical simulations of generalized topography-driven groundwater flow.

Participatory Planning for Climate Compatible Development in Maputo, Mozambique

Right now, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are keenly feeling the impacts of climate change. They are being hit hard by increased droughts, floods and extreme weather. And they will be hit even harder in the future. Because of its coastal location, Mozambique is exposed to severe climate risks, such as flooding, cyclones and sea-level rise. Enabling developing countries like Mozambique to adapt to the effects of climate change and protect its most vulnerable citizens, while growing its economy in a sustainable way, is a critically important challenge.

Nature Geoscience: focus on groundwater

A vast store of freshwater that circulates beneath the land surface is increasingly tapped to serve the water needs of human communities. Groundwater represents the largest component of the active hydrological cycle and its movement through the subsurface affects many aspects of the Earth system. In a new groundwater focus, Nature Geoscience presents a collection of research papers and opinion pieces that discuss the influence of groundwater on hydrological, environmental and geological processes.

Water & Heritage: Material, conceptual and spiritual connections

Initiated by ICOMOS Netherlands, a new book on the heritage of water management has been published, just before the World Water Forum: Water and Heritage. It contains 26 articles from ICOMOS members worldwide and prominent international scholars. The book contains a foreword by Ms Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO. Edited by Willem Willems and Henk van Schaik, the book will be presented on 13 April 2015 during the World Water Forum in Korea. Free to read on the website of publisher Sidestone.

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