Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ten Years To Solve Water Crisis

Ten Years To Solve Water Crisis

Ten years to cure 'water crisis'

The plan advocates allowances for water use and meteringBritain's water systems are in crisis and the government has a decade to put things right, according to a coalition of conservation and angling groups.

They are setting out a 10-point plan to make UK water systems sustainable, including fair pricing, slashing waste and upgrading sewerage facilities.

People should have personal allowances and homes should be metered, they say. EU regulations require member nations to have plans for restoring natural watercourses in place by 2009.

The European Water Framework Directive prescribes that the ecology of rivers, lakes and wetlands should be restored by 2015.

For too long, we've taken water for granted

Fiona Reynolds, National Trust

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity," the coalition's report announces.

"With the Blueprint for Water we, a coalition of leading environmental organisations representing some six million people, are calling on the government to act now."

Going with the flow

It is perhaps unusual to find conservation groups such as the Wildlife Trusts, WWF and the RSPB in league with angling associations.

But on water, they find common arguments, namely that Britain should:

waste less water

keep rivers flowing and wetlands wet by barring damaging abstraction

price water fairly

stop pollutants entering watercourses and make polluters pay

upgrade sewerage and drainage systems to avoid fouling of human population centres and sensitive ecological areas

support water-friendly farming

restore and maintain rivers, wetlands and floodplains

"It's clear that adequate supplies of clean water are essential, not only for our lives but for the health of the habitats, species, landscapes and soils we depend on," said Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust.
More at the link

Calculate your water usage here:

Water Calculator
Are we hopefully, finally realizing just how precious our water is? We have time to fix this. We can, and we must. And those suggestions above do not just apply to Britain. ESPECIALLY in developing countries, people need EDUCATION and the tools necessary to harvest rainwater, effectively manage irrigation water, grow crops that are less water intensive that will not cause them economic hardship, and be given the truth about the effects of climate change so that they may better manage their lives to mitigate its effects such as drought, which is persistant, sustained, and deadly in areas of the world like Africa, Asia, and Australia.

This must be a global effort, and we must begin NOW. You can begin by making a personal inventory of your daily water usage and pledging to at least halve it within a year's time, making special observation of water you waste on doing things where your comsumption can effectively be minimized without jeoparding your own health and hygiene.

Do you really need to use all of that water to water a sidewalk? Or wash a car? Or fill a pool? Or "irrigate" your lawn? Become aware and become more responsible for what you will not only save water and money, you WILL make a difference. And if you can, support good organizations like Water Partners International. They are doing good things to bring water to those who otherwise would not have it.

AND FIGHT PRIVITIZATION OF WATER, and please if you can help it, don't buy bottled water that costs more per gallon than gasoline when that money could go towards efforts to bring potable water to the over one BILLION people in this world who don't have it. EXPLOITATION is wasteful and it is killing people. It is time for that to end, and with the moral will, we can end it.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Water Is The New Oil

Just wait. Your water will one day be supplied by Coke or Pepsi, and you will pay through the nose for it. Water is now becoming a commodity to be traded with no value given to its intrinsic value as a human right... and that WILL affect human life.

Infrastructure in North America is in DESPERATE need of fixing, and politicians KNOW THIS but still do not plan for it. Instead, they allow it to crumble as our tax dollars are diverted to other projects of less importance so that privitization of resources can occur to make them money and give them more political clout.

They are exploiting this precious resource for their own gain at our expense... And it is being done subtly and quietly without many people in municipalities even in this country knowing what is going on regarding their own water supply. The price of water even in my own community has gone up FORTY PERCENT, but the money is not going to infrastructure or to provide better service, but to pay off BOND DEBT... Bonds that were issued to build a golf course... How ironic.

People, you need to do a little research as to what is going on regarding water in your own community. Predators in the private sector are just licking their chops to get in and take over your supply because there is now big business in water... and I predict that like in other countries around the world where the people are poor and vulnerable, the same tactics will be employed right here in the U.S., and the people have to stand up against it.

WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT, not a commodity to be sold by Coke for a profit that only the rich will be able to afford!

Water Is The New Oil CIBC

Globe and Mail Update

The colossal cost of fixing crumbling water infrastructure in the developed world has opened the door to government privatization.

Water delivery systems in the industrial world are in “dire need” of repair, says a report released Monday by CIBC World Markets Inc. At least one-fifth of America's municipal wastewater treatment facilities do not comply with federal regulations and in some U.S. cities, more than half of the water headed to consumers is lost along the way.

CIBC economist Benjamin Tal, author of the “Tapping into Water” report, estimates it will take “hundreds of billions of dollars” to fix dated water infrastructure in North America and Europe. Federal governments are not rushing to fix the infrastructure and municipalities lack the means to do so. “As a result, governments are now much more open to the notion of privatizing their water infrastructure which, in turn, is providing a substantial boost to the private water industry,” Mr. Tal said.

“What we are witnessing here is a trend that is profoundly modifying water as an investment theme throughout the world.”

Canada has one of the world's largest supplies of fresh water, but has its own water woes. Nearly a million British Columbia residents were placed on a boil-water advisory eleven days ago after heavy rainfall triggered mudslides and caused runoff into the Vancouver region's reservoirs, raising concerns about high levels of turbidity. The boil advisory was lifted on Monday.

Water contaminated with E. coli killed seven people and made thousands sick in Walkerton, Ont., six years ago. The bacteria entered the town's water supply from farm runoff, and residents had to boil or buy their water for seven months after their supply was tainted.
Meanwhile, the business of water is booming.

Mr. Tal sees parallels between today's water industry and the oil industry in its golden era, before and after the Second World War. “The market is paying attention,” he said. “Capital investment, deregulation, consolidation, and privatization of global water assets and services are advancing at a pace not seen before.”

In the last three years, U.S.-based water companies — as measured by the Bloomberg U.S. water index — have surged 150 per cent, three times the rise seen by companies on the S&P 500, while paying twice as much in dividends. International water players are doing even better, Mr. Tal said, with their stock values rising twice as fast as their American counterparts in the past year alone.

Water is an attractive investment because it is much less volatile than industries driven by economic cycles, Mr. Tal said. Companies that specialize in “water solutions” can range from pumps, pipes and valves, wastewater treatment, to quality testing. European companies account for half of the global water players, while American companies make up 36 per cent. In Canada, there are few ways for investors to directly invest in H2O. However, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board recently launched a bid for a British water utility. “Water prices in many industrialized countries are now rising much faster than inflation, and this trend will only accelerate in the coming years,” Mr. Tal said.

World Bank estimates suggest that outsourcing and privatization in the water sector are set to double in the coming five years to reach a near 40 per cent share of the market. “If crumbling water infrastructures in North America and Europe provide the private water industry with great opportunities, the potential in the developing world is even greater,” Mr. Tal said.
More at the link.
Also see:

Water Must Go To Those Who Deserve It Most, The Rich

If you live in the U.S. and your water is supplied by a private company, then say hello to your new owner as of 2002:


Which bought out:

American Water
Now in 16 states.

Remember, it's all about PROFIT.
UPDATE: 11.30.06

New Report Questions The Future Of American Water

Monday, November 27, 2006

Iraq Worried About Turkish Dam

A Kurdish boy in front of the bridge in Hasankeyf, Turkey, which will be drowned if the Ilisu Dam is built. The base of the bridge dates back to the 7th century

©International Rivers Network Kurdish Human Rights Project
The Iraqi people haven't been through enough. Now they have to worry about their water being taken away...what little they have. Isn't it also so coincidental that where ever we start a war, water is an issue as well as oil? Isn't it also so outrageous how history can simply be washed away without a thought when greed takes over that process?
Iraq Worried About Turkish Dam


Iraq Worried about Turkish Dam

The Ilisu Dam will, when it's finished, provide hydroelectric power in south-eastern Turkey. Iraq, though, is worried it may also cut flows of the vital Tigris River.

Officials in Iraq are angered by Turkish plans to construct a gigantic dam on the river Tigris in southeast Turkey, near the Iraqi border. The so-called Ilisu Dam's 300 square kilometer reservoir would be a significant source of hydroelectric power, and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at an opening ceremony on Aug. 5 that it "will bring big gains to the local people." But in Iraq, health officials are concerned that these gains will come at the expense of their own people.

Photo Gallery: The Treasure Turkey Will Lose
Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (6 Photos)

"There is no doubt that this will lead to a significant deterioration of the water quality" in Iraq, said Latif Rashid, Baghdad's Minister of Water Resources, in a letter to the Germany-based NGO World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED). Iraq is also concerned that the new dam project could hamper the flow of water into the country via the 1,900 kilometer long Tigris River. The river begins in Turkey and flows into Iraq through the south-eastern Turkish town of Cizre.

The Ilisu Dam is part of the larger Southeast Anatolia Project, a 21-dam plan to expand hydro-electric energy production in the under-developed and largely Kurdish southeast. But it's a project that is no stranger to international criticism with the Ilisu Dam attracting particular attention. In 1999, the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) revealed that its completion would result in the flooding of Hasankeyf, an ancient city of particular cultural import to the Kurdish minority. Criticism has only grown since construction started in August.

Now, though, even the German government is worried about the construction's potentially negative effects on Turkey's troubled neighbor, Iraq. The project is being realized by an international consortium of construction firms, including the German firm Z├╝blin. Officials in Berlin now face the delicate decision of granting export credits to a controversial project.

Government officials on Friday said that Ankara would need to guarantee the minimum water levels for neighboring Iraq before it would approve export credits. But WEED spokeswoman Heike Drillisch urged the government not to support the initiative. "The complaints from Baghdad show that international standards and human rights are being ignored," she said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry reacted with indignation to the accusations. It played down the Iraqi complaints, asserting that Iraqi delegates have not even mentioned the issue in direct talks with Turkey. A spokesperson for the Turkish government gave assurances that minimum water levels would be maintained for Iraq, and that the government is open for talks.

This is a very comprehensive site regarding the entire Ilisu Dam project and the socio-economic, political, and environmental impacts of this project that in my view is only being done for political blackmail.

The Ilisu Dam Project

Make no mistake about it: with drought in this area already causing water tables in the Tigris to be at only 50% capacity or lower, this dam will only make matters worse for those who rely on the Tigris for sustinence, and that could lead to conflict for this most precious resource of the Middle East.

The Water Wars

And again, what side does the U.S. fall on in this? The Bush regime occupies Iraq, brings about a civil war that is killing thousands of people including our own, and then dares to say we bring Democracy in the face of destroying their infrastructure (including water) in the face of all of this?


Also see my other entries on this topic:

The Ilisu Dam Controversy

Iraq's Marshes, Corporate Control, and Water Scarcity

Another World Water Day Gone

We see another World Water Day pass us by. The theme, Water For All, signifies that though some progress has been made we are woefully behin...