OOSKAnews International Water Weekly Stories

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First Turbine Goes Onstream At Rogun Dam

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan

In what might be considered a completion of “Phase 1”, the first of six turbines of Tajikistan’s controversial Rogun hydroelectric dam went online on November 16. The $3.9 Billion USD 3600 megawatt project will double the country’s energy production, greatly reducing the current energy deficit, and will enable export of excess power to Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.

Xylem Secures MoU With Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation, and Electricity (MOWIE) and Xylem Inc have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing Xylem to explore how the company's skills and technologies can be used to help Ethiopia address its water challenges.

Xylem is a leading US company in developing and implementing innovative water solutions through smart technology.

ADB Supports Yangtze Agriculture, Environmental Protection

BEIJING, China

The Asian Development Bank announced November 16 approval of a $300 Million USD loan to assist China’s Yangtze River Economic Development Plan (2016-2020). The project specifically promotes sustainable agriculture systems and protection for the ecology of the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River Basin.

EU Resources For WASH In Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon

The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (MADAD) has committed $8 Million USD to a Water Access and Development (WAAD) consortium working in Lebanon to support water and wastewater services across the country which hosts many Syrian Refugees who have fled from conflict in their homeland.

Antofagasta Approves $1.3 Billion USD For Los Pelambres Mine Expansion

LONDON, United Kingdom

The UK board of Antofagasta Mining has approved a $1.3 Billion USD expansion for its Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile which has historically attracted controversy related to water use / stewardship.

Atrazine Detected In Drinking Water Supply To 10 Million Texans

WASHINGTON DC

More than 10 million Texans have consumed drinking water with some level of atrazine – a toxic herbicide – with 472 water utility systems statewide testing positive in at least one detection, according to a new report from an environmental group.

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AIIB Eager To Invest $1Billion USD In Pakistan

BEIJING

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expressed willingness to invest $1 billion for the development of various projects in Pakistan. The spokesperson for the bank said that AIIB, the multilateral development bank, desired to bring countries together to address Asia’s daunting infrastructure funding gap estimated at $ 26 trillion through 2030.

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NamWater To Acquire Areva Desal Plant?

WINDHOEK

The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) is eyeing to acquire the Orano Resources-owned, Orano Desalination Plant from Areva, it emerged this week. The company this week called for bids from companies to submit proposals for financial, technical and legal transaction advisory consultation for the potential acquisition of the Orano Desalination Plant.

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Kenya Looks To Develop Sustainable Water Resources

MOMBASA

Speaking during a media briefing at State House, on November 15 , State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena said that Kenya lays great importance to the sustainable use of her oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and marine resources to spur greater economic prosperity.

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Michigan Waited Years To Heed Warnings On PFAS Dangers, Expert Says

GRAND RAPIDS MI

Robert Delaney says his discovery of widespread PFAS chemicals in Michigan’s environment shook him to the core. Testifying Tuesday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Superfund specialist said he believed federal laws were enough to protect the public health and track thousands of chemicals from the moment manufacturers release them to the public.

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Logging In Melbourne Water Catchments Will Reduce City Water Supply

MELBOURNE

Continued logging in Melbourne's water catchments could reduce the city's water supply by the equivalent of 600,000 people's annual water use every year by 2050, according to new analysis. Around 60% of Melbourne's water is stored in the Thomson Catchment. Since the 1940s, 45% of the catchment's ash forests (including mountain and alpine ash forest) have been logged.

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Researchers Examine Climate Change Responsibility For Australia Droughts, Floods

SYDNEY, Australia

Researchers from Australia's Climate Council describes linkages betwen climate change and severe droughts and floods gripping much of Australia.

Inadequate Financial Resources Threaten Ghana Water Sector Development

ACCRA

The Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission, Mr Ben Y. Ampomah, has said getting sustainable financial resources to ensure water security poses a great challenge to the country’s resolve to make a difference in the water and sanitation sector. He said investments required to help develop adequate infrastructure was minimal, hence the need to have external investments.

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Rebels Damage Colombia's Second Largest Oil Pipeline In Environmental Protest

MEXICO CITY

Illegal armed groups have damaged Colombia's second largest oil pipeline of Cano-Limon Covenas, the Colombian Ecopetrol energy giant said late on Tuesday. As a result, three channels in the northwestern province of Arauca have been polluted, according to the company. The energy giant noted that it has activated the emergency plan of action.

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New Report: Water Takes Deep Dive Into Mariana Trench

ST LOUIS MO

A tectonic plate descending into the Mariana Trench carries sea water deep into Earth’s interior. It seems that much more water enters Earth at this location than was thought — with implications for the global water budget.

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As Terrorists Weaponize Water, A Strategy For A Safer America?

WASHINGTON DC

Water terrorism is a growing threat that won’t be defeated on the battlefield. Access to safe and secure water across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America is important in its own right, of course, but water security across the globe is also key to U.S. national security interests.

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OOSKAnews Talks – Charles Iceland, Director, Global and National Water Initiatives with the World Resources Institute’s Food, Forests, and Water Programs.

WASHINGTON DC, United States

OOSKAnews caught up with Charles Iceland this week to talk about global water risk, threats, conflict, migration and food security.

In conversation with OOSKAnews' David Duncan, Iceland expands upon the “Issue Brief” he co-authored this year, “Water, Security and Conflict”, a paper for professionals in the defense, diplomacy, and development fields.

Where will the next water war erupt? Why are the US and Russia hold-outs over new water-conflict monitoring? Are Central-American refugee families making their way to the US because of water stress? Are we all going to hell in a handbasket?

Here is the full conversation (audio).

The United Nations Security Council has recently turned more attention to the relationship between water risks and conflict within and between countries. At an October 26 meeting organized by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Security Council members and UN member countries convened on the topic of water, peace and security with a goal to explore ways for the UN system to systematically address water scarcity as a root cause of conflict. 

In a recent blog, Charles Iceland described an example of a promising emerging technology from the Water, Peace, and Security Partnership (WPS), which is developing an early warning system for water-related conflicts which will use water risk indicators like drought severity and access to clean water, together with social, political, economic and demographic data to predict which conflicts may arise in the next 12 months.

"The system could help countries identify water and conflict hotspots early so they can take risk-mitigating measures, such as diverting water from farms to cities, or prioritizing storage in reservoirs. It could also help bodies like the UN and others in the development, diplomacy and defense communities to alert countries of coming crises and provide support".

"Better data and early-warning systems can inform smarter water decisions, reduce the risk of conflict, and improve the lives of many. It will require action not only from the UN Security Council, but all branches of the UN system, member states, NGOs and academics. Water needs to be viewed as a human right that underpins almost all development efforts. The UN Security Council can provide a rallying cry for preventive action, and call upon the UN system for coordinated responses, including strengthening the institutions that manage water in vulnerable countries".

"After all, peace is not just the absence of conflict. It is also the ability to handle potential conflict by peaceful means, such as effective risk-reduction strategies for water scarcity".

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Two Thirds Of African Cities Face Extreme Climate Risk

Paris

Rapid population growth and poor infrastructure have put two out of three cities in Africa at “extreme risk” of the threats posed by climate change, according to a new analysis. Study focuses on Bangui in the Central African Republic, Liberia’s capital Monrovia and the Congolese city of Mbuji-Mayi as three most at-risk cities.

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