Monday, June 29, 2009
Water Key Element In Mideast Peace
'Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel must address the vital issue of water in the West Bank if meaningful peace talks are to take place. Israel's leaders said nothing, but Abbas had touched on one of the most sensitive issues in the seemingly endless negotiations, which have been in abeyance for the last few years, and one on which any expectation of a comprehensive settlement will probably ultimately rest.Israel's unilateral control over rivers and aquifers meant scarce water resources were not being shared equitably "as required by international law," he declared. "It is with dismay that I see 9,000 Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley utilize one-quarter of the water that the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank utilizes," he told the World War Forum in Istanbul.
In the largely arid Middle East, water is more valuable than oil and has been a source of conflict since time immemorial. As the world's resources, from oil to timber and minerals, dwindle, the prospect of more water wars in the Middle East in the decades ahead increase with each passing day. The crisis is deepened by rapidly expanding populations across the Arab world. This, coupled with industrial growth and a relentless drive for food self-sufficiency, is draining water supplies faster than they can be replenished. Global warming accelerates the damage.
Climate experts warn that one-third of the Earth's surface may be at risk of extreme drought by the end of the century, triggering mass migrations of "environmental refugees." Many of those will be in the Middle East and North Africa. The region has been hit by a severe drought for the last five years, making the water issue all that more critical, aggravating a dispute between the Israelis, whose own water resources are dwindling, and the Palestinians, who sit on a major aquifer under the West Bank that Israel covets as much as its ever-expanding archipelago of settlements.Israel views the water from the West Bank -- as it did the water it siphoned off from the Litani River in Lebanon during its 1978-2000 occupation of that country's southern zone -- as vital to its national security. The Palestinians will not be able to sustain a viable independent state without water.
How hard is this for Israel or any oher country to understand? Water is the lynchpin to peace.
Large Dead Zone Predicted For Gulf Of Mexico This Summer
'A team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University, and the University of Michigan is forecasting that the "dead zone" off the coast of Louisiana and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico this summer could be one of the largest on record.
The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where seasonal oxygen levels drop too low to support most life in bottom and near-bottom waters.
Scientists are predicting the area could measure between 7,450 and 8,456 square miles, or an area roughly the size of New Jersey. However, additional flooding of the Mississippi River since May may result in a larger dead zone. The largest one on record occurred in 2002, measuring 8,484 square miles.
Dead zones are caused by nutrient runoff, principally from agricultural activity, which stimulates an overgrowth of algae that sinks, decomposes, and consumes most of the life-giving oxygen supply in the water.
The dead zone size was predicted after researchers observed large amounts of nitrogen feeding into the Gulf from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. The rivers experienced heavy water flows in April and May that were 11 percent above average.
"The high water volume flows coupled with nearly triple the nitrogen concentrations in these rivers over the past 50 years from human activities has led to a dramatic increase in the size of the dead zone," said Gene Turner, Ph.D., a lead forecast modeler from Louisiana State University.
This forecast helps coastal managers, policy makers, and the public better understand and combat the sources of the dead zones. For example, the models that generate this forecast have been used to determine nutrient reduction targets required to reduce the size of the dead zone.
This hypoxic, or low-to-no oxygen area, is of particular concern because it threatens valuable commercial and recreational Gulf fisheries by destroying critical habitat."
End of excerpt
It isn't enough that we are killing the land and air with toxic waste and poisoning our food with an overuse of pesticides and herbicides... we are now literally sucking the life out of our water. Hypoxia is the phenomenon we now see in the Gulf Of Mexico, which is a lack of oxugen in the water whicha lso effects marinlife and which also effects many bodies of water worldwide.
And we, humans, are doing it. In our zeal to make lots of money that we think we can actually enjoy in a poisoned world where our health and the sustainability of our planet is threatened, we have lost touch with our true purpose as stewards of this planet. Pesticides, herbicides, CAFOS, climate change, and the relentless lobbying of the brokers of these poisons to politicians are all part of the vicious circle we now are part of.
Update to previous report: Turkey Blamed For Looming Crop Disaster
Turkey Boosts Iraq Water Supplies
Somewhat good news considering the drought Iraq is currently in. Although, considering they are also growing Monsanto seeds, I don't know how truly prosperous Iraqi farmers will be now.
Mutant Seeds For Mesopotamia
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