The government of Bhutan has firmly denied media reports that it had deliberately blocked the supply of water along an irrigation canal into the northen province of Assam, India, amid suggestions that the reports were an attempt by vested interests to spread misinformation and misunderstanding.
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Ghana has confirmed accession to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), becoming the third African country and 44th Party to join the Convention, managed by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Ghana also has become a Party to the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (Watercourses Convention).
The World Bank has announced additional funding for India’s Namami Gange program that is designed to rejuvenate the Ganga River. The $400 Million USD financing will finance the construction of expanded water networks and treatment facilities in order to stem pollution and strengthen river basin management.
A senior Indian government official has told media that forces of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) deployed water as a weapon during recent fatal clashes witht Indian troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan region on 15 and 16 June.
The European Commission has confirmed that the European Union’s strong water legislation, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), will not be changed.
The landmark confirmation for Europe’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands marks a success for the #ProtectWater Campaign that was launched in 2018 by WWF and European partners who, together, form lobgying group Living Rivers Europe.
OOSKAnews Voices is a series of guest columns written by participants in different parts of the international water community.
An open letter, signed by thirty international agencies and charitable organisations, pleads for fulfilment of commitments for aid to Yemen.
The 15 June letter "rom "The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) actors in Yemen" identifies that COVID-19 is spreading throughout Yemen, one of the most water scarce countries in the world. The group identifies that over five years of conflict have damaged water systems, leaving the health sector on the brink of collapse and have contributed to outbreaks of disease, including cholera. The group estimates that over 70 percent of the population lack access to soap for handwashing and personal hygiene and basic water supplies required to cope with COVID-19.
“Communications, Advocacy & Policy Opportunities and Outreach for Poop” (known as the CAPOOP Alliance) has launched a new platform for for knowledge share in the sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector across Africa.
The platform, announced 15 June, accesses knowledge and expertise across Africa and is intended to provide tailor-made, user-friendly tools and resources directed to assist experts and professionals working on key sanitation issues, particularly fecal sludge management and non-sewered sanitation in Africa.
The indigenous Wayuu communities of Colombia have launched an urgent appeal for the UN Human Rights Council to intervene in an alleged human rights crisis caused by operations of the Cerrejon coal mine which is backed by Australian mining giant BHP.
The mine reportedly uses 24 million litres of water per day, and operations have contaminated the Rancheria River which is the main source of drinking water in the region. In addition, a planned mine expansion also includes diversion of the nearby Bruno stream, an alternative source of drinking water.
The European Parliament this month approved new legislation that establishes clear “green” criteria for investors is critical to raising public and private funding so that the European Union can become carbon neutral by 2050 as set out in the European Green Deal.
Professor Bob Ferrier, Director of the Hydro Nation International Centre (HNIC) at The James Hutton Institute (JHI), Scotland, is in conversation with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews – VIDEO LINK
Ferrier describes the rationale of the Scottish Government's Hydro Nation Programme; the work of the globally renowned JHI; and the Hydro Nation International Centre.
As one of the largest interdisciplinary centres of its kind, the Centre contributes to Scotland’s continued efforts to become the world’s first Hydro Nation – one that manages its water environment to the best advantage and uses its expertise at home and internationally.
Professor Ferrier has over 30 years’ experience in water resources management, with a particular focus on developing a holistic approach to achieving sustainable solutions to resource management. He has worked globally on issues such as acid rain, diffuse pollution, contaminants, catchment to coast interactions, driven by climate change, land use, and human influences.
The Scottish government's Hydro Nation initiative collaborates in the aquaNOW Audiences panel show series, produced by OOSKAnews.
The Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) annual report, published 16 June, includes a noteworthy statement calling for increased transparency from China over upstream dam operations on the river. The Mekong is Southeast Asia's longest river and acts as a lifeline to 60 million people.
Downtream Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam all suffered severe drought in 2019 as the river fell to record lows while upstream dams in China reportedly held "above-average natural flow”, withholding water and compounding the drought.
Multinational consumer goods company Unilever has announced creation of a new Climate & Nature Fund with a commitment to invest $1.1 Billion USD across all brands over the next ten years.
The new range of measures, announced 15 June, is described as being designed to improve health of the planet through decisive action to fight climate change, and protect and regenerate nature. Programmes will be directed at landscape restoration, reforestation, carbon sequestration, wildlife protection and water preservation. Unilever intends to work with stakeholders and governments and to improve access to water, especially in water-stressed areas.
New funding has been confirmed for operation support and maintenance of the North Gaza wastewater treatment plant. The World Bank announced new funding of $10 Million USD 10 June for four years, and is further supported with $3.7 Million USD from the Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), which will be deployed on the Moon in late 2023 to prospect for water ice that could support future human missions, will be delivered by US space robotics technology Astrobotic Technology.
VIPER will investigate the moon for 100 days, roving over several miles and sampling various soil environments. In addition, the rover will take core samples of up to three feet.
NGO European Water Association's (EWA) “Water Manifesto 2020” identifies current challenges for water management in Europe and presents corresponding sustainable solutions in four critical themes:
- Nature-based Solutions to Respond to Climate Change
- Financing Investment in Water Services
- Asset Management and Digitalisation of Water Infrastructure
- Boosting Water Demand Management
The "Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Collaborative" has called on the Canadian government to implement a proposed $1.6 Billion USD Action Plan to address some of the greatest environmental challenges facing the region over the next ten years.
The World Bank has approved $27.4 Million USD in financial support for Kosovo’s Fostering and Leveraging Opportunities for Water Security Program (FLOWS). A 10 June announcement describes the programme's aims to strengthen Kosovo’s capacity for managing water security at the national level and to improve water security in the driest region of Morava e Binces basin, in particular.
Experts at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have urged the Government of Japan to delay any decision regarding the release of radioactive water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear facility until after the COVID-19 crisis has passed and full consultations with affected communities and neighbouring countries can be completed.
OOSKAnews Voices is a series of guest columns written by senior participants in different parts of the international water community. In this article, Renee Martin-Nagle examines unconventional water resources (UWR). Martin-Nagle is President and CEO of A Ripple Effect plc, Treasurer of the International Water Resources Association and a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute. She holds two undergraduate degrees and three law degrees, including a PhD in Law from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Her book Governance of Offshore Freshwater Resources was published by Brill Nijhoff in early 2020.
With predictions of dire consequences for humans and other species due to an impending global freshwater scarcity, attention is turning to sources of freshwater that have until now been viewed as unconventional. On 5 June 2020, UN-Water published an Analytical Brief that examines in detail several types of unconventional water resources (UWR), some of which have been utilised for years while others await catalysing circumstances:
The Water Diplomat is produced by OOSKAnews, Inc in a collaboration with The Geneva Water Hub. Content is produced by, and copyright held by OOSKAnews, Inc and do not represent any official position of The Geneva Water Hub.