Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the United States has said that a technical committee from Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan has not been able to co-produce a document that could lead to agreement on the controversial Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam.
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The government of Laos has been challenged by neighbouring countries and NGOs about provision of data around environmental assessmnet of the Luang Prabang dam in the lower Mekong.
The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has dismissed the President of CEDAE, the State Water and Sewerage Company as the city’s weeks-long water supply and sanitation crisis shows little sign of abating.
In a second incident within one week Mexican activists in the country's northern border region broke through defences and seized control of La Boquilla dam, Chihuahua Province 4 February in an attempt to stop water diversions to the United States that are required as "payment" under a 1944 bilateral water treaty between the countries.
The government of Ukraine indicated 5 February that there will be no resumption of water supply to Russian-occupied Crimea through the North Crimean Canal.
During a visit to the Kherson region on 11-12 February, the Verhkovna Rada Committee on Human Rights will visit a dam at the closed section of the North Crimean Canal that is near an entry-exit checkpoint between the "Autonomous Republic" of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea. In advance of the visit, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine, Anton Korynevich, stressed that the water from the channel will flow into Crimea via the canal only after the region has been de-occupied and that the scheduled committee meeting has nothing to do with water supply.
New analysis from environmental NGO WWF reports that the extractives sector suffered water-related financial losses of over $20 Billion USD in 2018, measuring operational risk (too much and too little water), regulatory and reputational risk to highlight companies, commodities, river basins and countries that face the highest overall water risks.
A February 2020 Blue Peace Bulletin from Indian think-tank Strategic Foresight Group examines tension between Pakistan and India over the Indus River, assesses the current situation and makes recommendations on how to build cooperation.
A January 2020 food security analysis conducted by three United Nations agencies has revealed that, despite “satisfactory” agricultural production, over 3.3 million people in the Central Sahel require immediate food assistance. It is feared that the situation may deteriorate and the agencies estimate that the number could rise to approximately 4.8 million this summer, if appropriate action is not taken urgently.
Kenya's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appealed a magistrate’s court's decision to acquit nine suspects who had been charged in causing the death of 48 people in May 2018 when a dam burst on the Patel farm in Solai, Nakuru County.
The government of Japan briefed foreign embassy officials 3 February on an increasingly preferred method of disposal of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. 28 diplomats representing 23 countries are reported to have attended the meeting.
Cross-border water management project H2O Gurea announced 3 February the outcomes of a three-year project between France and Spain along the rivers Bidasoa, Nivelle and Urumea, a process that has shown excellent results including improved water quality, biodiversity preservation, and river and flood management.
In 2018, over 17 million people were displaced from their homes, with over 90 percent fleeing weather and climate-related disasters according to The United Nations Office for Disaster Relief Reduction (UNODRR) which reported 3 February that while, for example, there were 1,600 recorded disasters, the real number is probably much higher.
NGO Wetlands International has called for the International Organization Partners to the Convention on Wetlands to urge the Contracting Parties to the Convention to consider a more ambitious global biodiversity framework and to adopt priority measures to curb freshwater biodiversity loss.
An annual assessment of global online media coverage of "underreported" humanitarian crises, many related to water challenges, indicates increasing linkage between such events and man-made climate change.
Humanitarian agency CARE International launched its fourth such analysis 28 January, examining 40 disasters and conflicts that have affected at least a million people to determine which are the most under-reported.
Nearly 1,100 scientists, practitioners and experts in groundwater and related fields from 92 countries have called on the governments and non-governmental organizations to "act now" to ensure global groundwater sustainability. Read full statement here.
OOSKAnews hosted an "aquaNOW Audience" Thursday 30 January, in Inverness Scotland, to discuss challenges and solutions around pharmaceutical pollution of water resources.
"Green Meds for Blue Water" discussed in panel format the challenges of identifying pharma pollution and cleaning it up. aquaNOW Audiences engage international environmental experts and Scottish expertise in global water-related challenges and solutions.
Background reading: Hospital In Scotland Is World's First To Achieve Alliance For Water Stewardship Certification
- Experts identify that the challenges of Pharma in water are likely to increase - what is driving the increase? What are the global trends?
- What are the specific pharmaceuticals and sources of Pharma that are causing most concern?
- How is the world reacting to the Pharma contamination threat? What policy instruments are being applied? What works, what doesn’t, what is the best way forward?
- Is there a role in education of end users? Are Pharma users (“patients”) aware of the threat of Pharma release into the environment?
aquaNOW Audiences are produced by OOSKAnews with support from the government of Scotland, the Hydro Nation
Scotland's Hydro Nation vision builds on recognition that water is of central importance to the economy of Scotland, both as a sector in its own right and as a critical resource in Scotland’s manufacturing, agriculture, food and drink, tourism and energy sectors. The aim of the Hydro Nation is to maximize the value of these resources in every sense, whether that be the contribution they make to the economy, or in how the quality of the country’s water environment contributes to citizens’ overall wellbeing and sense of national identity. This approach to water, and climate change is understood to be unique to Scotland.
Another two-day round of tripartite meetings between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) commenced in Washington, DC 28 January. Talks were supposed to be concluded mid this month but were deferred after failure to reach final consensus
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Irrigation from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan met 14 January in Washington to discuss continuing differences around timing and technical regulations regarding filling and operation of the $ 4 Billion USD Nile dam, hosted by United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and included World Bank President David Malpass.
For the tenth year in a row, water crises as defined by the World Economic Forum (WEF) rank among the top 10 global risks in terms of likelihood and impact, while for the first time in the survey’s 10-year outlook, the top five global risks in terms of likelihood are all environmental (and all of those relate directly or indirectly to water).
The Global Risks Report 2020 presents the major risks the world will be facing in the coming year. It stresses the need for a multistakeholder approach to addressing the world's greatest challenges, and was released ahead of the World Economic Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters in January, where the focus was Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.
In a landmark decision, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) this month ruled that governments must consider the effects of climate change when assessing deportation of asylum seekers. Although decisions of the UN body are not legally binding, the ruling could present a precedent for asylum applications linked to climate change.
The case under consideration involved Ioane Teitiota, of Kiribati, who had sought asylum in New Zealand. He claimed that rising sea levels and other effects of climate change had made Kiribati uninhabitable due to the lack of fresh water and the increasing salinity of the soil. In addition, Kiribati is predicted to become uninhabitable in the next 10 to 15 years and Teitiota claimed his life, and that of his family, was endangered by staying there.
The United Nations and the government of Somalia have launched a new humanitarian response plan (HRP) to provide emergency services and support to over 3 million people.
The plan, announced 22 January, aims to deliver safe water to more than 1.2 million, provide food and non-food assistance to 2.1 million people, support access to education for more than 300,000 children, and provide health assistance to 2.5 million people. Funds will also be directed to address conflict-related protection concerns including the risk of gender-based violence.
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.