Thursday, May 20, 2010
Experts rightly say the climate is our biggest security threat as the Worlds Water wars increase
Upriver Nile Countries Sign New Nile Treaty Without Down-river Countries
Entebbe, Uganda (AHN) - Four East African countries signed an agreement on Friday seeking more water from the River Nile - a move strongly opposed by Egypt and Sudan.
East Africa seeks more Nile water from Egypt
Three years ago I decided to Google water wars as I know there are many problems developing daily around the world as countries harness water sources running through their land and was horrified at what I was finding. There were 136,000 stories encompassing water wars around the world. Let alone within ones own boundaries. What the hell is wrong with the world? We are already at war! We are already in the fight of our lives, why are we racing to end them? The Washington Post had a good article. Global warming will intensify drought, and it will intensify floods: As the air gets warmer, there will be more water in the atmosphere. That’s settled science. Where the atmosphere is configured to have high pressure and droughts, global warming will mean long, dry periods. Where the atmosphere is configured to be wet, you will get more rain, more gully washers.”
The droughts will be especially bad. How bad? Richard Seager, a senior researcher at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, looked at 19 computer models of the future under current global warming trends. He found remarkable consistency: Sometime before 2050, the models predicted, the Southwest will be gripped in a dry spell akin to the Great Dust Bowl drought that lasted through most of the 1930s. Droughts and water shortages already been driving conflict around the globe: The potential for conflict is more than theoretical. Turkey, Syria and Iraq bristle over the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt trade threats over the Nile. The United Nations has said water scarcity is behind the bloody wars in Sudan’s Darfur region. In Somalia, drought has spawned warlords and armies. Already, the World Health Organization says, 1 billion people lack access to potable water. In northern China, retreating glaciers and shrinking wetlands that feed the Yangtze River prompted researchers to warn that water supplies for hundreds of millions of people may be at risk. This was 3 years ago! Water wars will worsen
Water has emerged as a key issue that could determine if Asia is headed toward cooperation or competition. No country would influence that direction more than China, which controls the Tibetan plateau, the source of most major rivers of Asia. Tibet's vast glaciers and high altitude have endowed it with the world's greatest river systems. Its rivers are a lifeline to the world's two most-populous states - China and India - as well as to Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Pakistan, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries make up 47 percent of the global population.
Yet Asia is a water-deficient continent. Although home to more than half of the human population, Asia has less fresh water - 3,920 cubic meters per person - than any continent other than the Antarctica and China is taking it. The looming struggle over water resources in Asia has been underscored by the spread of irrigated farming, water-intensive industries and a growing middle class that wants high water-consuming comforts like washing machines and dishwashers. Household water consumption in Asia is rising rapidly, although several major economies there are acutely water-stressed. The specter of water wars in Asia is also being highlighted by climate change and environmental degradation in the form of shrinking forests and swamps that foster a cycle of chronic flooding and droughts. The Himalayan snow melt that feeds Asia's great rivers could be accelerated by global warming. Man am I naive! Yesterday I couldn't understand China's wanting to control Tibet, the Himalaya's, and the Dali Lama, today I know. Asia's water wars
We talk often about the worlds growing food and water wars however it is worsening right here! A "water war," worsening droughts and a growing, thirsty population make the Catawba-Wateree river system the most endangered river in the country, an environmental advocacy group announced Wednesday. With the designation, American Rivers hopes to focus public attention on what it called "backwards water management plans" and to push legislators in North Carolina and South Carolina to approve water-sharing agreements that would regulate users and water levels left in the rivers and streams. The Catawba flows from the North Carolina mountains and joins the Wateree in the Midlands. The system provides nearly half the water that flows into the Marion-Moultrie lakes, the source of drinking water for most of the Low country. The system is the focus of a South Carolina lawsuit against North Carolina over proposed water withdrawals from its basin. The lawsuit is now being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The "endangered" designation comes as South Carolina legislators grapple with a proposed state water plan, a law that would create a permitting system and set withdrawal limits for most large surface water users. Having a plan is pivotal to being able to work out water-sharing agreements with neighboring states and might be vital to winning the Supreme Court lawsuit. But the proposed plan has business and environmental interests, including American Rivers, hotly lobbying legislators over whose use and how much use it would restrict. The designation also comes as the waterway recovers from six months of drought in both states that led to communities along the rivers mandating water conservation measures. On Wednesday, the State Drought Committee declared much of South Carolina to be in a less severe drought, but the state as a whole is still in drought or threatened with drought.
The Washington-based environmental group annually ranks 10 "most endangered" rivers across the country to push conservation efforts for them. In 2005, the Santee River was named the sixth-most-endangered as the Santee-Cooper hydro-electric project underwent a contentious federal relicensing. Gerrit Jobsis, American Rivers' conservation director in the Southeast, called the Catawba-Wateree system a poster child for the kind of lapses in regional planning that lead to water shortages and Western-style "water wars" now erupting in this region. "It really is ground zero for a collision between limited water supply and unchecked population growth," Jobsis said. "Both states are guilty of having poor water management planning and regulation in place to deal with today's water issues. This is our time to get it right. The best, fastest, cheapest way of protecting water supplies is to initiate water conservation efforts." "It certainly highlights that water problem we are having. Hopefully, it leads to greater attention. We need legislation in this state and legislation is being considered," he said. This is fromk 2008 Most endangered rivers in the Nation
You know about Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and surprisingly to me Florida, let alone the expected States of California and Nevada and most other States, Lakes, and Rivers. It blew me away to hear my favorite wilderness river was in major trouble. This list is not good for entire Country.
The country's most endangered rivers, according to Washington-based advocacy group American Rivers:
1. Catawba-Wateree River
2. Rogue River (Ore.)
3. Cache la Poudre River (Colo.)
4. St. Lawrence River (N.Y., Canada)
5. Minnesota River (S.D., Minn.)
6. St. John River (Fla.)
7. Gila River (N.M., Ariz.)
8. Allagash Wilderness Waterway (Maine)
9. Pearl River (M.S., La.)
10. Niobrara River (Wyo, Neb.)