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South Korea Expresses Concern About New Fukushima Water Release Plan

SEOUL, South Korea

South Korea has expressed concern about a new draft plan from Japan to release contaminated Fukushima water from its disabled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea.

The country’s Office for Government Policy Coordination said March 26 that Japan should ensure that its plan does not affect the health and safety of South Koreans or the maritime ecosystem, while the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that it “cannot support the Japanese government discharging contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in the sea without discussions with neighbouring countries”.

Further OOSKAnews coverage of Fukushima and Water

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Turkey-backed Forces Again Cut Off Water Supply in Northern Syria, Humanitarian Crisis Intensifies

Damascus, Syria

Turkish-backed armed forces cut off the water supply of up to 460,000 Syrians in March, exacerbating a perilous humanitarian situation in the East of the country. Much of the population is already in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with international aid and virus testing unavailable.

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Netherlands Detects Traces Of Coronavirus Contamination In Wastewater

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands

Dutch government researchers have found traces of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in samples from sewage treatment plants at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Trace elements have also been detected in wastewater samples near the village of Kaatsheuvel, where the country’s first COVID-19 patient lives, and in Tilburg.

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China Announces Acceleration Of Water Conservation Projects To Offset Economic Impacts Of Coronavirus

BEIJING, China

The Chinese Ministry of Water Resources is developing a series of approximately 100 water conservation projects worth over $140 Billion USD over a period of three years. The majority of the projects have already been in the planning stages but construction is being accelerated at this time to offset the economic impact of coronavirus, Shi Chunzian, head of project planning told Chinese state media last week.

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IWRA Webinar "Water and Climate Change" Marks World Water Day

Washington DC, United States

The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) held a webinar 23 March to mark World Water Day 2020 focusing on “Water and Climate Change”.

The full video can be found HERE.

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"Valuing Water Finance Task Force" Will Address Unsustainable Corporate Water Practises

BOSTON MA, United States

Sustainability think-tank Ceres has announced a new task force to drive corporate action on water-related financial risks.

In cooperation with leading US pension funds and international banks, the “Valuing Water Finance Task Force” aims to “raise awareness in the capital markets of the huge negative impact of corporate practices on water supplies, and the industries and practices linked to the most severe and systemic of these impacts", the organisation said.

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Guterres: "The Solution Is Clear"

NEW YORK NY, United States

In a World Water Day address, United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described water as "the primary medium through which we perceive the effect of climate disruption, from extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, to glacial melting, saltwater intrusion and sea level rise". The United Nations’ World Water Day 2020 focused on “Water and Climate Change”.

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Cambodia Announces Ten Year Moratorium On New Mekong Dams

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

The government of Cambodia has announced that the country will not develop new hydropower dams on the Mekong River for the next 10 years, putting two planned dams at Sambor and Stung Treng on pause. The decision means that Laos, which has opened two new dams in the past six months, is now the only country on the Lower Mekong Basin that is planning hydropower on the river.

OOSKAnews coverage of Mekong River (839 articles)

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Mexico Referendum Blocks Corona Brewery

MEXICALI, Mexico

A March 21-22 referendum in Mexicali, Mexico has determined that a partly-built $1.5 Billion USD brewery will not proceed as planned. Communities and farmers have engaged in resistance the controversial US brewers Constellation Brands plant in the north of the country since 2016 on the basis that the demands of the brewery will further strain already scarce regional water resources. In 2018, activists called for beer boycotts, blocked delivery of equipment to the construction site and clashed with security forces. Corona Extra, a Contellation brand, is the most successful Mexican exported beer.

(More from OOSKAnews)

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Groundwater Scientist Awarded 2020 Stockholm Water Prize

STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Dr John Cherry, a world-renowned hydrogeologist and leading authority on threats to groundwater contamination is to receive the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize in 2020.

As creator of the academic field of contaminant hydrogeology, Cherry’s work has raised awareness of the extent of groundwater contamination and his work has been at the forefront of the research and development of more efficient methods to tackle the problem.

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World Youth Parliament For Water Launches New Web Platform

MONTREAL, Canada

The World Youth Parliament for Water has launched a new web platform (www.youthforwater.org), showcasing members of Youth Parliaments for Water around the world, their actions and success stories.

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Pan-Africa Survey Reveals Dissatisfaction With Governments' Provision Of Clean Water, Sanitation Services

ACCRA, Ghana

More than half of respondents to an extensive survey in 34 African countries say that their respective governments have failed in the provision of clean water and sanitation services. In 20 countries, a majority of respondents said that their government is doing a poor job of providing water and sanitation services.

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Fatal Impacts Of Corruption In South Africa Water Sector

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

Corruption plays an important part in who gets water and how much and how it is delivered in South Africa according to a new report from Water Integrity Network and Corruption Watch.

“Where funds are scarce, any corruption that diverts money from public purposes to private pockets directly reduces the provision and quality of service,” according to the report, "Money Down The Drain: Corruption In South Africa’s Water Sector".

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2020 Water, Sanitation And Hygiene Barometer

PARIS, France

International humanitarian group Solidarites International this month released its 2020 "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Barometer" highlighting lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation with focus on Africa, where human population is set to double by 2050.

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“Water And The Climate Crisis” - aquaNOW Audience, World Water Day 2020

EDINBURGH, Scotland

OOSKAnews hosted an aquaNOW Audience 20 March in Scotland, marking World Water Day. Footage of the live-streamed webcast panel discussion, with the theme “Water and the Climate Crisis” can be viewed HERE.

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.

The aquaNOW Audience Panel:

  • Mats Erikssson, Water and Climate expert at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
  • Barry Greig leads on “Scotland, Hydro Nation” for the Scottish government
  • James Curran, Chair of the James Hutton Institute
  • John Matthews, Director of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA)
  • Kirsty Holstead, Hydro Nation scholar and PhD candidate in the School of Management at the University of St Andrews
  • David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews, acts as Moderator
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COVID-19: World Water Day Face-to-face Observances Postponed

Edinburgh, Scotland

In light of global spread of the coronavirus and following instructions from national authorities and guidance from the World Health Organization, certain World Water Day (22 March) observances that were scheduled to take place in Geneva, Rome, Paris and New York have been postponed or cancelled.

19 March Announcement From UN Water

While these face-to-face events will not take place in March, World Water Day and its campaign is still ongoing. However, as many may need to make changes to their plans, a dedicated web page has been made available where organizations and stakeholders can find advice on how to keep meetings and workplaces safe, help limit the spread of the coronavirus and adjust their plans accordingly.

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Shuttle-diplomacy And Sabre-rattling In Nile Dam Standoff

WASHINGTON DC, United States

Following Ethiopia’s effective withdrawal from US-brokered negotiations around the contentious Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile, the governments of both Egypt and Ethiopia are engaging in international lobbying and sharp words around their respective positions in the longstanding dispute.

Egypt unilaterally signed a draft agreement in Washington at the end of February which Ethiopia’s foreign ministry has described as “unacceptable and highly partisan” and indicated that it will bring in a new proposal on filling of the GERD's reservoir.

Construction of the $4 Billion USD GERD commenced in 2011; upon completion it will produce over 6,000 megawatts of electricity and become Africa's largest hydropower project. Downstream, Egypt is concerned that the dam will affect its annual share of Nile water, causing shortages.

The Egypt-Ethiopia standoff is around timing of filling the reservoir. Egypt has insisted that Ethiopia should fill the dam reservoir over a period of seven years and release 40 billion cubic meters of water every year. However, Ethiopia wants to fill the dam in 3 years and earlier this year rejected Egypt’s proposal, claiming that it does not “respect current and future rights and development plans of Ethiopia over the Nile and complicates the filling of the dam”.

Further OOSKAnews Coverage of GERD (54 Articles)

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New World Bank Support For Sustainable Agricultural Water Use In Himachal Pradesh

NEW DELHI, India

The World Bank, the government of India, and the government of Himachal Pradesh state in the north of India have agreed an $80 Million USD fifteen year loan for improvement of water management practices in selected villages in the state. Over 400,000 smallholder farmers in 10 districts will benefit from the program that is targeting sustainability and development of resiliency for rain-fed agriculture.

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AfDB Funds Namibia Rural Water Supply, Sanitation Upgrades

WINDHOEK, Namibia

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced new funding for rural water supply and sanitation in Namibia. The total funding of $125 Million USD, described in a 11 March statement, will support construction and rehabilitation of bulk water infrastructure and related equipment, construction of water supply networks and climate resilient sanitation facilities, hygiene interventions and institutional capacity building initiatives.

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Access To Clean Water For Hand-washing Is Crucial In Coronavirus Containment

New York, United States

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not a water-borne disease but lack of access to clean water, sanitation and good hygiene can hamper containment efforts, as handwashing and handwashing with soap are key elements in prevention of the impact of respiratory and diarrheal diseases.

Handwashing with soap, when done correctly, is critical in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but millions of people have no ready access to a place to wash their hands, UNICEF said 13 March. In total, only 3 out of 5 people worldwide have basic handwashing facilities, according to the latest data.

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