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Showing posts from August 17, 2008

Devastating Drought Settles on The High Plains

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Devastating Drought Settles on The High Plains

Cimarron County, Oklahoma, the westernmost county in the state, is “at the epicenter of the drought,” according to staff climatologist Gary McManus with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS). The land is occupied by wheat farms, corn fields, and pasture. It’s an area of periodic drought; the Dust Bowl years have not yet faded from living memory.

“The area has been in and out of drought since the start of the decade. Mostly in,” McManus said. “But fall of last year was when it really started to get bad. In some places, this year has been as dry or even drier than the Dust Bowl.” As of early August, the Oklahoma panhandle was experiencing its driest year (previous 365 days) since 1921, according to OCS calculations. Through July, year-to-date precipitation in Boise City, Cimarron’s County Seat, was only about 4.8 inches, barely half of average and drier than some years in the 1930s, the height of the Dust Bowl.

The toll of the drought on cr…

Lake Tuz no longer 2nd largest in Turkey due to climate change and waste

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Lake Tuz No Longer Second Largest Lake in Turkey

Lake Tuz, located in central Anatolia and known as the second-largest lake of Turkey, can no longer carry that title as it has shrunk by 85 percent over the last 90 years due to global warming, drought and the over usage of its water for irrigation purposes.

Aksaray University department of engineering, geodesy and photogrammetry engineering instructor Semih Ekercin spoke with the Anatolia news agency on Tuesday and said he examined the changes to the coastlines of Lake Tuz, second in size only to Lake Van, located in eastern Anatolia, and Bey┼čehir Lake, located in the western part of central Anatolia.

Ekercin said he even received support from NASA during the course of his study, adding that after examining satellite maps of Turkey provided by the US, Japan and France, he found there was a serious shrinkage of Turkey's lakes.

Ekercin said Lake Tuz covered 216,400 hectares in 1915. "Lake Tuz has shrunk at an alarming rate from then…

Water water everywhere, but what will we drink?

Many take water for granted, but as we all know we cannot live without it. However, much of it in the United States and other countries worldwide is polluted beyond human use. We have managed to pollute and toxify the very resource we need to survive, thereby reducing the amount of potable water in our world as our population continues to rise. This presents geopolitical issues as well as poverty, health, and social issues...especially as multi-nationals continue to buy up water for profit to control its distribution.

Who decides who is worthy to have water? Who decides who is worthy to have clean potable water? Who decides who gets to live and who is to die? It is one thing to truly have water scarcity in the form of no water... but to see water all around you and not be able to drink or use it is truly a moral tragedy. Please do all you can to conserve this precious resource, and pass on to those in government that demanding corporate accountability for polluting our natural resourc…

Flow-In Theatres This Fall

A must see documentary on the growing privitization of scarce water by corporations looking to profit from the global water crisis. I am very gratified to see this movie coming to theatres this fall. This is an issue I have been talking and reporting about for years. Water safety has always been at the crux of my environmental concern and action, though I am disheartened to see it come to this stage.

In reading of the pervasive and severe droughts that now exist on every continent of our world save Antarctica, this documentary could not have come out at a better time. I am hoping this does for the global water crisis what Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth did to wake people up to the challenge of climate change, which is inextricably linked to the global water crisis.

Please pass this on to all you know. Our water future depends on it.

Students Design Solutions To Global Water Crisis

Students Design Solutions To Global Water Crisis

NEW YORK.- AIGA, the professional association for design, today issued an ambitious call to action, tasking the next generation of creative thinkers with developing solutions to the global water crisis in its first annual Aspen Design Challenge, dubbed “Designing Water’s Future.” The international contest challenges cross-disciplinary student teams to develop design solutions that encourage responsible water use, provide access to freshwater to those in need and increase awareness about the importance of water conservation.

The rules and guidelines for the Challenge were distributed to thousands of faculty and students at more than 250 universities from Beijing to Boston, and are available to all with the launch of the Aspen Design Challenge website (www.aspendesignchallenge.org). Winners will have the opportunity to refine and develop their concepts with world leaders and policy makers at the Aspen Environment Forum, and their solutions…

Spain Sweats Amid 'Water Wars'

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Spain Sweats Amid 'Water Wars'

Spain is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years. Climate experts warn that the country is suffering badly from the impact of climate change and that the Sahara is slowly creeping north - into the Spanish mainland.
A dry fountain: Spanish children are learning about climate change

Yet in Spain itself there is little consensus about what is to be done. Indeed, such is the disagreement that journalists and politicians alike are calling it "water wars".

A farmer and politician, Angel Carcia Udon, said: "Water arouses passions because it can be used as a weapon, a political weapon, just as oil is a political weapon".

And water in Spain has set region against region, north against south and government against opposition.

When the city of Barcelona nearly ran out of water earlier this year, the fountains were switched off and severe restrictions were introduced.

The government of Catalonia pleaded for water to be transferred from rivers…

Cyprus is running out of water

Climate change and a rising population in the region are lending to a drought that is now at crisis stage in Cyprus. I find it very hard to comprehend why so many people do not take this seriously. Water is the mainstay of our lives. Without it we die. The people of Cyprus and actually the entire Mediterranean area are now seeing rising temperatures with less water due to water evaporation due to global warming/climate change and a rising population. It is now changing the very way farmers and others there live.

This is now a global crisis that must be addressed along with the climate crisis. We cannot continue to take water for granted and expect it will be there when we need it. For the people of Cyprus as well as people in Australia, Asia, Africa, South America, and now North America, this is just a foretaste of what is to come if we do not get serious about water conservation, more efficient irrigation, and cutting Co2 emissions.

And there are many who would not fight over oil, but …