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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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".
Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) global environment disclosure system has released its newest report on cities, revealing that of the 620 respondents in 2018, 530 revealed that they are experiencing the impacts of climate change. The combined population of these cities is over 515 million.
From energy, to water supplies, cities are expecting to see many of their most fundamental pillars come under threat in the coming years.
The European Commission has approved an additional $87 Million USD in aid for public services, health and education in Yemen, bringing EU support to $485 Million USD since 2015 when violent conflict erupted. The conflict in Yemen has resulted in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with unprecedented levels of hunger, poverty and spread of preventable disease.
Extreme weather, both too much and too little rain, conflict, displacement and poverty have caused crisis levels of hunger for as many as 18 million people across Africa. The climatic conditions are exacerbated in many countries that are already suffering from ongoing conflict situations.
Marking the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict on November 6, the head of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) Inger Andersen called for greater action to protect natural resources and the environment during wartime, describing the environment as a continuing “silent victim” of armed conflict.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticised by the Pakistan government after he promised supporters that river waters that currently flow into Pakistan per terms of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty would be diverted to Indian farms and households in the region, claiming that despite the terms of the agreement, the water “belongs” to farmers of Haryana and Rajasthan.
At October's Budapest Water Summit, the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace (GHLPWP) gathered two years after the publication of its milestone report "A Matter of Survival"formally launched in Geneva and presented in New York at the UN General Assembly in September 2017. The event was facilitated by the Geneva Water Hub acting as the Secretariat of the Panel. Public and private side events were held.
The Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland, will host the interactive panel discussion, produced by OOSKAnews, engaging international water experts and Scottish expertise in global water-related challenges and solutions, filmed before a live audience and streamed online to a global viewership, with the theme "The Future Of Water Stewardship". Attendance is free.
On 12 and 13 November, the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) will host its Global Water Stewardship Forum, also in Edinburgh. This Forum is regarded as a “must attend” event for the international water stewardship community.
The 11 November aquaNOW Audience panelists include:
In this Water Diplomat / OOSKAnews Voices Q and A, we talk to Johan Gely, Head of Global Program, Water, for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). presents the case for a Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to a River Basin Organisation.
Gely has dedicated his career overseas (advising multi-stakeholder platforms, governments, civil society organisations and the private sector in transitional economies, fragile states and emerging market economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America), and in Switzerland (Federal Department of Economic Affairs and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) to support a common goal: positioning water prominently in the governments and the global debate to contribute to a water-secure world for All.
The Water Diplomat / OOSKAnews:
We have noticed a fascinating call from you on a social network for nomination of a water organisation – an International River Basin Organisation – for the Nobel peace prize. For those less familiar with the nature and function of River Basin Organisations, can you take a moment to describe what they do, and what is the link with peace?
The quest for universal and sustainable access to water made the modern world. This is not recognised. Let us recall John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s quote on water: “Anybody who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel Prizes, one for peace and one for science.” And, when listening to Alfred Nobel, the Peace Nobel Prize should go to a person (and / or organisation) who accomplished "the most or the best work for fraternity among nations…those who shall have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind...”
International aid organisation Oxfam has cut trucked water to thousands of Yemenis because of the increase in fuel prices in the conflict-torn country. Piped water systems installed by Oxfam, which supply a quarter of a million people, are running at around 50 per cent capacity, the agency said 22 October.
Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA), addressed the Security Council of the United Nations 17 October about the humanitarian situation in Yemen, including severe water challenges in the strife-torn country, describing Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the largest relief operation with more than 250 humanitarian agencies working through the UN response plan.
International political boundaries are arbitrary creations. Often using mountains, rivers, or other geographical landmarks, modern borders are entrenched in historic tradition rather than logic and fact. As a result, today’s international borders are poorly equipped to handle modern challenges, in particular climate change, which has already begun to threaten the most important state resource, fresh water. But what if states and basins were the same?
The CM said he was committed to making Karachi a liveable and peaceful city. He discussed with the delegation various possible collaborations between the Sindh government and Energy China in the water sector.
Federal officials said Tuesday that a body had clogged the pumps in the Tijuana River intended to prevent polluted water from flowing into the United States. As a result, about 14.5 million gallons of polluted water spilled over the border into the U.S. from Saturday night through Monday, according to the U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission.
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.