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aquaNOW Audience -- The Future Of Water Stewardship

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom

OOSKAnews produced the second panel discussion in this year’s series of aquaNOW Audiences 11 November at The Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland. and the topic this time was "The Future Of Water Stewardship”.



Water Diplomacy Talks -- Governance Of Atmospheric Water

Washington DC, United States

During the thousands of years that humans have utilised freshwater in surface water bodies and groundwater aquifers, laws and customary practices have developed for its utilization and protection.

Renee Martin-Nagle examines governance of our planet’s atmospheric water.


Invest In Nature Based Solutions And Harness Collective Action For Water Security

Arlington, United States

Nature-based solutions for water security (Nbs-WS) can help protect freshwater resources and safeguard nature’s integrity. They can make a significant contribution to reversing the rapid decline in freshwater biodiversity in Europe, adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts, according to a new report from The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

These solutions are increasingly seen as cost-efficient strategies that need to be mainstreamed in water resource management strategies.

Download “Investing in Nature for European Water Security”


Water Diplomacy Talks -- "Water and Violence: Attacks on Water Infrastructure"


Jayantika Kutty and Niranjana Menon, research analysts with international think-tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) speak with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) "Water Diplomacy Talks" audio conversation.

This newscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of SFG’s ninth "Blue Peace Bulletin", "Water and Violence: Attacks on Water Infrastructure", authored by Kutty and Menon, which can be DOWNLOADED HERE.

The trend of using water during armed conflicts has been around since centuries. Right from the conquests of Julius Caesar to the battles of World War II and more recently the attacks perpetrated by terror organizations and militia, water has played an important role, sometimes inadvertently and at others intentionally. Seven trends highlight the manner in which water has been used either as a target (ie destruction of water resources) or a weapon (ie usage of water to cause some form of damage to the enemy) during armed conflicts: Diversion; Flooding; Strategic attacks on water infrastructure; Incidental attacks and collateral damage; Attacks by Cross Border Terror/Militia Groups on Water; Role of International Coalitions; Impact of Civil Wars. Each of these patterns/trends is further examined herein to illustrate the kinds of attacks carried out on or against water.

Syria Conflict: Efforts To Alleviate Water Crisis

GENEVA, Switzerland

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) are concerned about a possible humanitarian crisis in northern Syria arising from a lack of access to clean drinking water.

An attack by Turkey on Northern Syria in October followed United States’ troops withdrawal from the region which effectively opened the door for Turkey’s offensive.


Climate Change Uncertainty Means Water Uncertainty


A new guidance and planning document for integrating water into climate responses. “Watering the NDCs” offers guiding principles and recommendations for national climate planners and decision-makers to help ensure they meet their goals set out in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Agreement.


Planet Will Soon Cross Climate Change "Tipping Point"

EXETER, United Kingdom

Leading international climate scientists have warned that the world is at the point of crossing a series of climate “tipping points" and the this risk creates a “state of planetary emergency” and “existential threat to civilization”.

In an article in Nature, the authors (Timothy M. Lenton, Johan Rockström, Owen Gaffney, Stefan Rahmstorf, Katherine Richardson, Will Steffen, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber) describe Arctic sea-ice loss as amplifying regional warming, and that Arctic warming and Greenland melting are driving an influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic. This could have contributed to a 15 percent slowdown since the mid-twentieth century of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) , a key part of global heat and salt transport by the ocean. Rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and further slowdown of the AMOC could destabilize the West African monsoon, triggering drought in Africa’s Sahel region. A slowdown in the AMOC could also dry the Amazon, disrupt the East Asian monsoon and cause heat to build up in the Southern Ocean, which could accelerate Antarctic ice loss.


Emissions Gap Report: Targets Won't Be Met


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released its annual Emissions Gap Report, in advance of the annual United Nations climate conference in Madrid.

According to scientific models, predicted temperature rises increase the likelihood of extreme weather events: accelerated glacier melt, rising sea levels, more severe monsoons, protracted drought and heat waves.


Supreme Court Rules That All Citizens Of India Have A Constitutional Right To Clean Water

DELHI, India

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that the country’s citizens have a constitutional right to clean water and air, giving state governments six weeks to explain why they should not be held accountable for "failing to discharge their basic duties" and why "liability should not be imposed for such a tort".


South Korea Seeks Additional Data On Release Of Contaminated Fukushima Water

TOKYO, Japan

The government of Japan government has sought to reassure neighboring countries that contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant will be dealt with “appropriately”. There has been critisism of Japan, however, for lack of specific detail about treatment and release after an information session for foreign diplomats on November 21 that included representatives from 17 countries including nearby Taiwan, China and South Korea.

OOSKAnews Coverage 0f Fukushima (180 articles)


Water Investment: Risks And Opportunities

GENEVA, Switzerland

A new WWF report calls on financial institutions to start valuing water and taking steps to mitigate worsening water risks to their investments.

"Freshwater risks & opportunities: an overview and call to action for the financial sector", launched in November, also highlights the opportunities for financial institutions to rapidly scale up investments in tackling water challenges, which can generate strong returns, while simultaneously benefitting both people and planet.


Water Protests Contribute To Fall Of Iraq PM


Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi submitted his resignation to the country’s parliament 1 December, as protests continued across the country about unemployment, provision of clean water and corruption.

More than 50 anti-government demonstrators were killed by security forces on 28 November alone, with more than 400 deaths attributed to unrest which accelerated in early October.

In particular, there have been weeks of unrest in Basra province, in the south of the country, with demonstrators demanding improvement in public services including the severe shortage of clean water and power outages.

Iraq is ranked the 12th most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International, and has an unemployment rate of 25 percent.

A report from international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) earlier this year described 2018’s hospitalization of 118,000 and associated violent protests in Basra as attributable to corruption and mismanagement of access to safe drinking water.

Further OOSKAnews Coverage Of Basra (68 articles)


Washington-brokered GERD Meetings Underway

CAIRO, Egypt

A second meeting of experts in the series of four tripartite talks brokered by the US government on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will convene in Cairo, Egypt, 2 December. The two-day meeting will be chaired by the Ministers of Irrigation and Water Resources in Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Further OOSKAnews coverage of GERD (40 articles)


Grim Working Conditions Of Millions Of Developing World Sanitation Workers

NEW YORK NY, United States

A new report authored by the International Labour Organisation, WaterAid, World Bank and World Health Organisation focuses on the well being of sanitation workers; their safety, health and dignity.


Lower Mekong Countries Face Extreme Drought In 2020.


The Mekong River Commission (MRC) has warned that with the late onset and early departure of the monsoon, countries in the lower Mekong region can anticipate extreme drought through January 2020. The situation is further aggravated by high temperatures attributed to an El Nino event.


Water Diplomacy Voices -- Into Uncharted Waters: Governance Of Atmospheric Water

Washington DC, United States

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 governance of our planet’s atmospheric water.

Martin-Nagle is President and CEO of A Ripple Effect plc. She is also Treasurer of the International Water Resources Association and a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute. In June 2019 she received a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland; a book based on her thesis, “Governance of Offshore Freshwater Resources”, will be published by Brill Publishers in early 2020.

During the thousands of years that humans have utilised freshwater in surface water bodies and groundwater aquifers, laws and customary practices have developed for its utilization and protection.

As impacts of climate change, continuous population growth water-intensive consumption patterns create imbalances in freshwater availability, unconventional sources of freshwater, including atmospheric water, will become more appealing. At the same time, geo-engineering proposals such as solar radiation management that are designed to mitigate climate change also have potential for large-scale impacts on the hydrological cycle. Diversion of atmospheric water through weather modification (WM) or geo-engineering (GE) can lead to artificially enhanced rainfall in one area to the detriment of “downstream” neighbors. Currently there is only one global treaty that addresses WM – the 1978 Convention on the Prohibition of Military and Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, which has 78 parties and addresses weather modification exercised as a means of warfare. The 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation grants each state “complete and exclusive sovereignty over the air space above its territory”, which includes the territorial sea. However, that convention has been interpreted to apply only to over-flights. While some nations have domestic laws about WM, thus far no applicable global governance regime has been formally proposed. In order to avoid potential conflicts, a set of legal principles must be developed to govern WM and GE.

Capturing atmospheric water

Current mechanisms for removing freshwater include fog harvesting, mechanized capture of water vapor and cloud-seeding, and other techniques for controlling atmospheric water may be perfected in the future.


Urgent Need To Address SDG Sanitation Challenges


This year's "World Toilet Day" (19 November) also saw a Meeting (the 5th Session of) of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. The Parties called for  urgent action to be taken to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting the need to deliver access to basic sanitation services to the 31 million people in the pan-European region who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation and more than 300,000 who still practice open defecation.


New Assessment On Human Influence On Climate Change; Adaptation Urged

OXFORD, United Kingdom

Climate change is predicted to greatly affect marine, freshwater, and terrestrial life, from plankton and corals to fishes and forests. Using over 40 years of data and a number of different measures, new research shows that little governmental action has been taken to address the crisis. The research has been endorsed by the Alliance of World Scientists, an international group of 11,253 scientists who “stand ready to assist decision-makers in a just transition to a sustainable and equitable future”.

15 Additional Nations From Africa, The Middle-East, Asia, Latin America Show Interest In Joining UNECE Water Convention

GENEVA, Switzerland

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has announced that an additional 15 countries have expressed interest in joining the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (the UNECE Water Convention). Iraq, Ghana and Togo have announced that the process is well-advanced accession consideration is already at parliament level.

Transboundary waters cover nearly half of the earth’s land surface and account for 60 per cent of global freshwater. Further, it is estimated that about 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in shared basins.


aquaNOW Audience: "The Future of Water Stewardship" - Review And Link To Video

EDINBURGH, United Kingdom

OOSKAnews produced the second panel discussion in this year’s series of aquaNOW Audiences 11 November at The Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland.  and the topic this time was "The Future Of Water Stewardship”. 


The series is supported by "Scotland: The Hydro Nation"; Barry Greig, who leads for the Scottish Government on this initiative welcomed the studio audience and online viewers, describing the Hydro Nation’s ambition to maximize the value of water resources in both an economic and a non-economic sense while also supporting industry. A further aim is to offer an outward looking and international agenda, and the11 November panel featured participants from across the world. For more information on the Hydro Nation click here.

Panelists discussed questions audience questions posed through the event Chair David Duncan, Founder, OOSKAnews, which stemmed from the theme “The Future of Water Stewardship".



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.