Who owns the Nile?
Nine countries want to have a say in answering that question, and they don’t agree. The great river moves through Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so they all may claim her as at least partly their own.
In a place like Iraq, our attention is on the big issues, and we might forget that life also goes on for regular people. They need to grow crops and wash dishes and make tea. For many people in the country, those mundane things can be every bit as big an issue. If you don’t have water to drink, that is an immediate crisis.
A CWC research team is analyzing a complicated issue in a highly conflicted part of the world, and trying to find a way forward. They are taking an in-depth look at Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan), and the environmental, political and economic crisis building there.
The Economist has released a Special Report on Water, dated May 22nd, 2010, written by John Grimond. The 18 page report contains 9 short but substantial articles giving an overview of global water issues.
Over the last year, the government has been working on passing a new water bill, the Hydraulic Resources Law, which would, as I understand it, allow the concessions to stand, codify privatization of water rights and centralize decision-making at the state level, possibly further excluding traditional local water-management structures from the process. In the last weeks an estimated 10,000 protesters have descended on the capitol city of Quito, trying to stop the bill as it comes before the national assembly.
T Boone Pickens, well known for his strong opinions on renewable energy, is hoping that selling water to thirsty cities will be as commercially profitable as he’s found oil to be, and has been investing heavily in purchasing water rights. He opposes a public groundwater management plan that interferes with that.
Regions likely to become drier because of climate change include Central Asia and northern Africa. Up to 250 million people in Africa could suffer extra stress on water supplies by 2020, according to the U.N. panel of climate experts.
The “Golden” State doesn’t seem so golden these days. LA’s recent wildfires and Sacramento’s recent budget crises have left a dark cloud hanging over the state. Compounding the state’s financial woes and charred image is a problem potentially even more challenging: drought. Since 2000, the state’s reservoirs have been depleted and current climate change projections… read more
We’ve all heard about the horrors of the genocide in Darfur, followed Nicholas Kristof’s evangelical Op-Eds, and seen the benefit concerts to raise money towards the cause. Perhaps some know too of the ethnic differences tinting much of the clash, know the history of relations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army. But few… read more