Showing posts from February 1, 2009

Water-another global 'crisis?'

Water-Another Global "Crisis?"

If you look at the numbers, it is hard to see how many East African communities made it through the long drought of 2005 and 2006.

Among people who study human development, it is a widely-held view that each person needs about 20 litres of water each day for the basics - to drink, cook and wash sufficiently to avoid disease transmission.

Yet at the height of the East African drought, people were getting by on less than five litres a day - in some cases, less than one litre a day, enough for just three glasses of drinking water and nothing left over.

Some people, perhaps incredibly from a western vantage point, are hardy enough to survive in these conditions; but it is not a recipe for a society that is healthy and developing enough to break out of poverty.

"Obviously there are many drivers of human development," says the UN's Andrew Hudson.
"But water is the most important."

At the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), w…

Russia and Central Asian Water

Russia And Central Asian Water

by John C.K. Daly

An integral element of the new Eurasian "great game" between Russia and the United States is a tussle for control of the Caspian's hydrocarbon riches and those of former Soviet republics farther east. But Russia is making a diplomatic play on another key resource -- water.

Russian and foreign energy consortia remain largely focused on the region's rich oil and natural gas reserves. Within the "Stans" -- former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- an added element in the matrix is water, used by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan largely to generate hydroelectric power, while the downstream states of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan view it as a resource for supporting agriculture rather than an energy source.

In the 17 years since the Soviet Union collapsed, the Central Asian nations emerging from the debris have yet to resolve the issue of an equitable distribu…