OOSKAnews International Water Weekly Stories

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"Water Under Fire": Children Might Survive The Bullets, Die From Unsafe Water, Poor Sanitation, Hygiene

NEW YORK NY, United States

In protracted conflicts children younger than 15 are, on average, nearly three times more likely to die from diarrhoeal disease linked to unsafe water and sanitation than violence directly linked to conflict and war, according to a March 2019 UNICEF advocacy alert.

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Israel’s Exploitation Of Palestinian Resources Is "Systematic Violation" Of Human Rights

GENEVA, Switzerland

The leading Unitd Nations entity on human rights has criticized Israel’s exploitation of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNOHCHR), in a special report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, indicated that “Israel’s policy of usurping Palestinian natural resources and disregarding the environment has robbed the Palestinians of vital assets, and means they simply cannot enjoy their right to development…Israeli practices in relation to water, extraction of other resources, and environmental protection, raise serious concerns".

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Corporations Using More Water Despite Rising Water Risk

LONDON, United Kingdom

A new Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) report indicates that 75 Percent of Corporations identify water risk exposure as being “substantive”. Over 75 Percent report exposure related to physical issues such as increasing scarcity and declining quality. These characteristics could eventually disrupt production with possible knock-on consequences on brand integrity and/or loss of operating licenses. 800 publicly listed companies participated in the CDP survey, released March 22.

April 5 Deadline for Tuaspring Takeover Nears, SM Investments Asked Not To Back Off

SINGAPORE, Singapore

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) of Singapore has confirmed that it is willing to buy the desalination plant of the Tuaspring Integrated Water and Power Plant for zero dollars (Singapore SGD) from troubled Hyflux Ltd, and will begin the process of taking the facility over if Hyflux is not able to cure defaults under a Water Purchase Agreement by April 5. As part of the deal, PUB has agreed to waive any compensation it might have claimed from Hyflux under a water purchse agreement.

Wilson Center Releases Animated Video On Water, Conflict and Peacebuilding

WASHINGTON DC

In celebration of World Water Day 2019, the Wilson Center and USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation released a new animated short that celebrates how working together to ensure safe and sufficient water supplies not only increases the resilience of communities, but also helps build peace in war-torn nations.

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Hong Kong Expands Cavern Service Reservoirs Program To Free Up Land

HONG KONG

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is considering to relocate the Diamond Hill Fresh Water and Salt Water Service Reservoirs (DHSRs) to caverns. WSD has appointed Black & Veatch to investigate, design and supervise the construction of the caverns and the new DHSRs.

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Egypt Looks To Spread Culture Of Water Conservation

CAIRO

Egypt’s Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) has launched a campaign to rationalize water consumption across the country. In a statement on Wednesday, chairman of the HCWW Mamdouh Raslan said that the campaign’s theme is “Every Drop Counts”, and will run for a week from 22-28 March in 24 villages across all of Egypt.

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Melting Glaciers Expose Everest Mountaineer Corpses

KATHMANDU

Expedition operators are concerned at the number of climbers' bodies that are becoming exposed on Mount Everest as its glaciers melt. Nearly 300 mountaineers have died on the peak since the first ascent attempt and two-thirds of bodies are thought still to be buried in the snow and ice.

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Johor Expects Water Treatment Plants In Three To Four Years, Reducing Reliance On Singapore

JOHOR BARU

The state hopes to have several new water treatment plants to enable it to better manage its resources and not be reliant on buying water from Singapore. Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said the state government is sharing and providing ideas to the federal government on ways to reduce dependence on treated water from Singapore.

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China On Track To Reach Water Usage Reduction Targets

BEIJING

China is set to achieve its target of keeping national annual water consumption below 670 billion cubic meters by 2020, a senior official said Friday. Annual water consumption has been capped below 610 billion cubic meters since 2016, Wei Shanzhong, vice minister of water resources, said at a press conference.

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More Than 97 Percent Of Gaza's Water Does Not Meet WHO Quality Standards

BETHLEHEM

More than 97% of the water pumped from the coastal aquifer in the besieged Gaza Strip does not meet the water quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), leading to the depletion of groundwater reserves with the groundwater level in the coastal aquifer reaching 19 meters below sea level, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA)

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Dire Consequences For Countries Exporting Virtual Water

LONDON

The production of goods for export is depleting the water supplies of some of the world’s poorest countries, a new report from WaterAid warns. Collaboration between the public and private sectors is crucial to ensuring that economic growth does not threaten equitable access to drinking water.

Western US States Agree Drought Plan For Sharing, Reduction Of Use, Of Troubled Colorado River

DENVER CO, United States

Following about 20 years of drought and shrinkage in available Colorado River water resources, negotiators for seven Western states (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California) and federal authorities agreed March 19 to a new sharing plan including voluntary conservation measures. The “drought contingency” plan adjusts a 1922 law that defines the sharing of the Colorado River for each state.

USEPA Chief Says Americans Should Focus Less on Climate Change Threats, More On Clean Water

WASHINGTON DC, United States

US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, raised eyebrows this week by saying that Americans should focus less on global warming,.suggesting that clean water was a bigger threat than climate change, where the threats are "50 to 75 years out".

River Flow Champion Wins 2019 Stockholm Water Prize

STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Dr Jackie King is named the 2019 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for game-changing contributions to global river management. She has advanced the scientific understanding of water flows, giving decision-makers methods and tools to assess the full range of costs and benefits when managing or developing river systems.

Heineken Issues Water Stewardship Pledge

AMSTERDAM

Dutch brewer Heineken has announced its ‘Every Drop’ initiative dedicated to water protection. The company’s targets for include 2030 maximising water circularity using recovery, reuse and recycling and treating 100% of its wastewater worldwide. The brewer currently treats 96.5% of its wastewater worldwide bringing it back clean to the environment.

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US Events Gather Experts In Water, Peace, Conflict Intersects

WASHINGTON DC, United States

Events in Washington and New York in this week of "World Water Day", bring thought-leaders together to examine the intersection of water, peace and conflict, an area of growing interest and concern in geopolitical circles.

The events follow themes documented in the 2017 report “A Matter of Survival”, produced by the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace.

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“Blue Strikes”: Researchers Document 51 Attacks On Middle East Water Infrastructure Since 2012

MUMBAI, India

Jayantika Kutty, Research Analyst with think-tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) OOSKAnewscast audio interview.

This OOSKAnewscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of SFG’s third Blue Peace Bulletin, “The Middle East Blue Strike List” (THE FULL BULLETIN CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE).
 
Kutty is part of the research team behind “Blue Peace Bulletins”, monthly publications which highlight issues related to water and violence in different geographic regions. She holds an MA in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. SFG is a Mumbai, India-based international think-tank engaged in crafting new policy concepts that enable decision makers to prepare for a future in uncertain times. Kutty describes that from 2013 to 2017, Islamic State (known as ISIS/IS/ISIL or Daesh) carried out a number of attacks which used water either directly or indirectly.
 
Clashes between ISIS and various governmental/ non- governmental forces also led to lakes, rivers and other water bodies being diverted or poisoned, making water a deliberate or incidental weapon in the Syria war. Airstrikes conducted by the United States of America (US)-led international coalition, Russian Forces or Syrian Armed Forces also hit and damaged water infrastructure, water pipes and led to millions of people in Iraq and Syria getting sporadic and limited access to water. The “Blue Strike List” provides details of 51 attacks that have taken place between 2012 and 2018 in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The attacks have been categorized into three types, either “Direct Target”, “Weapon” or “Indirect Target”, based on the kind of attack.
 
Three Categories of “Blue Strikes”

Strategic Foresight Group researchers define “Blue Strikes” as follows:

  • Direct Target - A direct target is a focused attack on water or water-related infrastructure, such as an attack on a dam or a water pipeline. For example, fighting between ISIS and anti-ISIS militias hit a water pipeline that cut off water supplies for 650,000 people in Mosul.
  • Weapon - A weapon is an attack where water is used or there is a threat to use water as a means of violence, such as threatening to cut off a water source or flooding of a region. For example, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) controlled the water resources in the northern part of the Tigris River which provided the water for central and southern Iraq and KRG had threatened to cut off this source of water when it felt the Iraqi government had not followed through on promises to the KRG.
  • Indirect Target - An indirect target is an attack on areas surrounding water infrastructure without the express intention of hitting or damaging the water infrastructure, where water infrastructure is attacked incidentally. For example, the US-led coalition conducted airstrikes against ISIS in order to weaken ISIS’s hold in the region, thereby destroying the main pipeline supplying water to Raqqa.
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"Leaving No One Behind": 2019 United Nations World Water Development Report

GENEVA, Switzerland

The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 (WWDR), launched March 19 with the theme "Leaving No One Behind", argues that fulfilling the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for all can also significantly contribute to the achievement of the broad set of goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: from food and energy security, to economic development and environmental sustainability.

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Brunei Introduces Water Prepayment System To Curb Wastage

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Brunei is expected to introduce prepaid water meters this year to curb the high water usage in the country. "The use of clean water in Brunei is still the highest in Association of Southeast Asian Nations at 380 liters per person a day," saidMinister of Development Hj Suhaimi during Monday's Legislative Council meeting.

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