Weekly Water Report Southern & Eastern Asia Stories

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Potential Shared Water Disputes - Causal Factors Mapped

BRUSSELS, Belgium

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.

New “Global Commission” Will Accelerate Climate Adaptation Action; “Flagship Report” Expected Within 12 Months

The Hague, Netherlands

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.

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Pakistan's 10 Billion Tree Program Will Make The Country "Cleaner Than Europe"

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

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”.

Access To Clean Water Will Reduce Bangladesh Poverty Faster

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh can reduce poverty and accelerate growth faster by taking urgent actions to improve the quality of water and sanitation, says a new World Bank report. Despite progress in improving access to water and sanitation, 41 percent of all improved water sources are contaminated with E. Coli bacteria, which suggests a high prevalence of fecal contamination.

Pakistan Court Threatens Mineral Water Companies Over Extraction Fees

ISLAMABAD

The Supreme Court on Thursday warned that the plants of mineral water companies may be shut down if they fail to pay Rs1 per litre for water extracted from the ground. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing the mineral water suo-moto case.

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India Solar Power Generation Faces Increasing Water Risk

DELHI

India’s rapidly progressing solar sector is heavily exposed to water risks, with around 94% of installed capacity deployed in water-stressed areas, according to a new report from consultancy firm Bridge to India.

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South Korea Turns On Tap Water For Region Of North Korea, Denies Breach Of International Sanctions

SEOUL, South Korea

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.

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Chinese Scientists Monitor Trophic State Of Global Inland Waters

BEIJING

Chinese scientists have developed a new remote sensing approach to assess the trophic state of global inland waters. Results show that eutrophic inland waters are concentrated in Central Africa, eastern Asia, and mid-northern and southeastern North America, while oligotrophic inland waters are concentrated in plateau regions in Central Asia and southern South America.

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Pakistan, Afghanistan Must Cooperate Over Kabul River Sustainability

PESHAWAR

Afghan Consul General Professor Mohammad Moeen Marastial has urged the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to sit and discuss water issues between the two countries to resolve them in line with the international laws. The Afghan consul general said that the water disputes are there in all parts of the world.

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Kashmir Villagers Protest Gypsum Mining Water Pollution

URI

Residents of the village of Salamabad Dachina in the Kashmir region, which crosses the India-Pakistan border, have complained that local gypsum mining operations are posing a threat to their safety by polluting water sources and damaging local roads.

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Water Conflict: Fist Fights Erupt After Chinese Tourists Throw Melon Seed Shells Into Lake

KUNMING

A brawl broke out at a scenic lake in southwest China after tourists throwing melon seed shells into the water were confronted by villagers on Friday afternoon. Lugu Lake is a popular tourist destination, but it is one of several Yunnan lakes that have been the focus of anti-pollution campaigns in recent years.

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Kenya Ndakaini Dam: Benefit-sharing Mechanism Proposed In Nairobi City Dispute With Murang'a County

NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenya's Council of Governors and Ministry of Water and Sanitation have intervened in the dispute between the city of Nairobi and the county of Murang'a over benefits to be derived from Ndakaini Dam (also known as Thika Dam) water distribution.

IFC To Help Improve Pakistan Textile Industry Water Stewardship

Washington, United States

The International Finance Corp (IFC) is to help textile manufacturers in Pakistan improve water use and energy consumption practices to drive productivity and efficiency.

IPCC Report: "The Next Few Years Are Probably The Most Important In Our History"

INCHEON, South Korea

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.

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OOSKAnews Voices: The Long View On Long-Term Climate Impacts: Building Cathedrals Of Resilience

CORVALLIS, United States

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.

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IFC Has Mobilized $3.4 Billion USD Investment In East Asia, Pacific Infrastructure In 2018

HONG KONG

IFC, a member of the World Bank, provided $2 billion in financing for its own account and mobilized $1.4 billion from other investors in the 2018 fiscal year, with IFC’s support enabling businesses to provide over 550,000 jobs, distribute power to 4.4 million people, provide water to 9.6 million people, and improve livelihoods of more than 710,000 farmers.

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ADB Willing To Fund More Water Projects In Member Countries

Manila

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it was willing to finance more water projects to provide safe water supplies to member-countries, similar to the Jaffna water project. Huang cited the Sri Lankan province as one of the projects that the bank is willing to finance when it comes to its water portfolio, as a severe water problem is expected in the the next decade.

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"Chronic Kidney Disease Of Unknown Causes": Is Drinking Water Quality To Blame?

WASHINGTON DC

Chronic kidney disease of unknown causes, or CKDu, has become a widespread threat to agricultural workers in South Asia, especially in Sri Lanka. In 2014, Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health documented 16,479 CKDu cases. In 2015, the number was 20,828. A clue may lie in the poor quality of the region's drinking water.

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