Scientists of the European Union’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) have used a new machine-learning approach to investigate pre-conditions and factors that are likely to lead to water management issues in shared water bodies.
OOSKAnews Daily Water Briefing Stories
World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US software billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates have launched a new initiative, the “Global Commission on Adaptation” (GCA) in a move to address “risks associated with climate change—from floods and droughts to sea level rise and storms”.
At an October 16 launch in The Hague Georgieva, Ki-moon and Gates all stressed the need to scale up and speed up adaptation, especially in light of last week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report that warned of imminent and unprecedented dangers to humans on a fast-warming planet.
US President Donald Trump signed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act last week, creating a new foreign aid agency to replace the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which was established in 1971 as a lending facility to encourage American companies to invest in developing countries. The new "United States International Development Finance Corporation" (USIDFC) will have double OPIC's overall lending capacity,
Zimbabwe’s capital Harare is to seek a new $280 Million USD loan from Chinese investors for improvement of the city’s water networks in the wake of a cholera outbreak that has killed 54 and caused as many as 9,000 suspected cases across the country. An October 17 statement by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicated that the spread of the cholera outbreak which was declared by authorities September 6 was slowing.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has expanded on his election manifesto pledge to plant 10 billion trees in the country to counter climate change and to “change the weather patterns”.
A recent study by the RAND Corporation reports that water pollution accounts for more than a quarter of illnesses in the Gaza Strip and that more than 12 percent of child deaths up until four years ago was linked to gastrointestinal disorders due to water pollution. Since that time these numbers have continued to grow.
Egypt President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told leaders of states participating in the inaugural Cairo Water Week (CWW) October 14 that water issues should not be politicized. “President Sisi stressed that Egypt strongly believes in cross-border cooperation and calls for not politicizing the water issues, especially amid the growing challenges facing the water sector worldwide,” according to a statement from Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Radi.
Residents of Stanley (pop 400) in Australia’s Victoria State have delivered a petition with more than 125,000 signatures to the Australian HQ of Japanese Asahi-Schweppes Beverages asking the brewing and soft-drinks giant to stop extracting water from the Stanley plateau.
The US Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) Water Council has released a report examining the daunting challenges US cities face with replacing hundreds of thousands of miles of aging and failing pipes, which are the single costliest water and sewer capital investment.
Former Guatemala Vice President Roxana Baldetti was jailed for 15 years this week for her involvement in an $18 Million USD fraudulent state contract with an Israeli water technology company. A Guatemalan court also sentenced Baldetti’s brother Mario to 13 years and businessman Uri Roitman to 11 years in prison for their roles in the scandal which became known as the “Magic Water” case.
South Korea has announced the reopening of water treatment plants to service a new Inter-Korean Joint Liaison Office in Kaesong; tap water will also be provided to North Korean residents in the greater Kaesong region. The Seoul government says the new initiative is not in breach of international sanctions against Pyongyang.
The US Senate passed bipartisan legislation October 10 authorizing billions of dollars in spending for waterway and safe water projects. The spending is directed at improvement of ports, dams and harbors, protection against floods, restoration of shorelines and drinking water safety.
The International Finance Corp (IFC) is to help textile manufacturers in Pakistan improve water use and energy consumption practices to drive productivity and efficiency.
On October 6, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C”. The report to assess the differences between allowing temperatures to rise towards 2 degrees C above pre-industrial times or keeping them nearer to 1.5 C was commissioned at the Paris Convention in 2015.
At 1.5C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2C, it notes. Food scarcity would be less of a problem and hundreds of millions fewer people, particularly in poor countries, would be at risk of climate-related poverty.
Three working groups assessed different aspects of change: the physical scientific basis of climate change; impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and climate change mitigation.
"The next few years are probably the most important in our history," Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group that assessed impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, said in a statement marking the report's release.
Water toxicity tests conducted by environmental groups since September's Hurricane Florence caused severe flooding in states on the US’s Atlantic seaboard show much higher levels of arsenic contamination than those reported by state authorities. Cleanup operations are continuing after about 2,000 cubic yards of coal ash spilled out of ash ponds associated with local power utility Duke Energy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it is assisting Nigerian federal and state authorities with assessment of health threats in the wake of recent severe flooding in the country.
OOSKAnews Voices is a series of guest “opinion columns” written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. In this article, John H. Matthews, co-founder and secretariat coordinator for the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), which is chaired by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the World Bank, observes that cities are the landscapes where most climate adaptation decisions are being negotiated and contested...and that most of those decisions are about water.
Matthews’ work integrates technical and policy knowledge for climate adaptation for practical implementation. John has worked globally on these issues since 2007 and has authored many publications on adaptive management for water infrastructure and ecosystems. He has a PhD in ecology from the University of Texas and is based in the United States.
If national policies are the battleground for greenhouse gases, I would argue that cities are the landscape where most of the climate adaptation decisions are being negotiated and contested. Most of those decisions, of course, are about water.
Last week I landed in Mexico City — known regionally at CDMX (Cuidad de Mexico), which must be in a competition with Cape Town to be the poster child for water scarcity and ongoing system-level crises and “droughts”. I temporize on the term drought, since water scarcity is often a mixture of insufficient supplies, perverse consumption incentives, and (in many places) long-term declines in the amount of water available as a result of climate trends.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners last week announced support for the government of Zimbabwe in launch of an oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaign to protect 1.4 million people at high risk of cholera in the country’s capital, Harare.
Ramon Blecua, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Iraq, canceled a number of meetings in the country last week after becoming ill after drinking contaminated water during a visit to the southern province of Basra, where up to 100,000 residents have been hospitalized after consuming tainted water in recent months.
Ethiopia has appointed Kifle Horo as the new project manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) after the shooting death of predecessor Simegnew Bekele earlier this year. Before joining the GERD project, Kifle served at Ethiopian Electric Power as power sector consultant and advisor for project management.