Weekly Water Report Southern & Eastern Asia Stories

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China Authorities Probe Chemical Waste Dumping, Waste Water Discharge

Taiyuan, China

Environment protection authorities in north China's Shanxi Province have sent investigators to probe the illegal dumping of chemical waste exposed by a state television program. CCTV ran a report on Tuesday based on their own investigation into alleged dumping in Hongtong County by the Shanxi Sanwei Group Co., a chemical manufacturer listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.


Research Identifies Moss Capable of Removing Arsenic from Drinking Water


Aquatic moss, Warnstofia fluitans, which grows in northern Sweden, has the ability to quickly absorb and adsorb arsenic from water. The discovery allows for an environmentally friendly way to purify water of arsenic. One possible scenario is to grow the moss in streams and other watercourses with high levels of arsenic.


Nepal: Dry Season Inflicts Water Crisis on Communities


The residents of Dharan in Sunsari are reeling under acute drinking water crisis. The locals face water crisis every year after water sources in Sardukhardu and Tamakham go dry with the beginning of dry season. Nepal Drinking Water Corporation (Dharan) has been distributing water through tankers in localities. Around 14,000,000 litres water is being supplied to locals while the demand is of two crore liters daily.


Pakistan Water Commission Expresses Anger with Karachi Water Authority


Retired Justice Amir Hani Muslim, head of the Supreme Court-mandated water commission, on Monday took the managing director (MD) of the Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB) to task in a tense hearing regarding water shortages in the provincial capital.


UK Water Sector Must Address Corporate Behavior Concerns


Water companies must address concerns around corporate behaviour alongside producing their business plans for the upcoming price review, PR19, Ofwat’s chief executive has warned. Rachel Fletcher has written to the CEOs of all water companies to set out how the regulator will progress with plans to put the sector “back in balance” in the coming months.


New Resource Watch Platform Appraises Reservoir Vulnerability in Morocco, India, Iraq, Spain


The World Resources Institute (WRI) looks beyond Cape Town's "Day Zero" crisis and examines certain indicators to get a sense of other countries' vulnerability to drought. WRI deploys a new "Resource Watch" platform to look at four vulnerable shrinking reservoirs (in Morocco, India, Iraq and Spain) and the political, social and environmental dynamics that surround them.


Pakistan: Water Shortage Drives New Crop Production Targets


The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) on Tuesday set production targets of major Kharif crops including cotton and sugarcane. The crops are threatened by the shortage of irrigation water during June to September period.


IHE Models Hotspots of Pharmaceutical Contamination of Water


Human and veterinary uses of pharmaceuticals lead to high concentration of these compounds in wastewater, which is often not sufficiently collected and treated in wastewater treatment plants, thus pouring into rivers and lakes.


More Details On China’s New Environment Ministry


On Sunday, senior cabinet cadres officially unveiled the nameplate of China’s newly-created Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE). The mega-department, after absorbing functions originally under other ministries, will see its staff increase from around 300 to 500.


Water, Not China Has Ruined Nepal’s Relations With India?


Nepal lacks the capital and technology required to build large dams, which are critical for the poor mountainous country to industrialize and develop. The perceived unfair treatment in its past water agreements and the ever increasing anti-India constituency in the country have pushed Nepal to explore Chinese finance and collaboration to develop its water resources in recent years.


India Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale To Discuss Teesta Deal And Rohingya in Bangladesh


Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale will arrive in Dhaka on Sunday on a two-day visit during which he will meet the top Bangladeshi leadership and discuss various bilateral issues including a summit between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina, progress on the long-standing Teesta water sharing deal and the Rohingya crisis.


Pakistan Needs Agriculture Diversity


Addressing a discussion titled, ‘Driving Pakistan’s Water Policy’, organised by Hisaar Foundation on Friday, former adviser to the finance ministry, Dr Salman Shah, said that Pakistan has surplus water, but manages it poorly. He said that water shortage in the country was primarily caused by the absence of a broad-based water management policy.


27 Percent of India's Tribal Population Do Not Have Access to Safe Drinking Water


The government on Thursday informed Parliament that according to 2011 census, close to 27 per cent tribal population do not have access to safe source of drinking water and 75 per cent tribal households do not have toilets.


Philippines Closes Top Vacation Destination to Tourists For 6 Months For Water and Environmental Rehab. Duterte Had Described Boracay Island As “A Cesspool”

MANILA, Philippines

Philippines will close the island of Boracay, the country’s top holiday destination to tourism, for 6 months commencing April 26 to allow environmental and water rehabilitation. The move, a “total closure” to tourists, was announced after an April 4 cabinet meeting. In February the country’s president Rodrigo Duterte had complained about the island’s environmental degradation, notably describing Boracay, 300 kilometers south of Manila, as “a cesspool”.

Signatory To Ramsar Convention

Unregulated tourism development over several years has led to environmental degradation of famously pristine beaches and important wetland areas. A Philippine senate hearing heard in March that hotels and other establishments have encroached on 5 of Boracay’s 9 wetlands.

Philippines has been a signatory of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands since 1994, committing the country to “conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.


Praise For New Mekong River Commission Declaration


In the face of the dire predicted consequences of planned development on the Mekong River basin, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the leaders of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand jointly agreed to consider comprehensive scientific findings in their future decision-making on Thursday.


Philippines Shuts Boracay Island Tourism for Six Month Environmental and Water Rehabilitation Program


The D'Mall commercial center and Ayala Corp's water unit in Boracay face closure, as the government prepares to solve the island's pollution problem, an official who is helping plan the cleanup said Wednesday. The government is preparing to shut down Boracay from tourists for months to give way to rehabilitation after President Rodrigo Duterte called the island a "cesspool."