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MartinWisse (2)

Minute 319

Last November, after five years of remarkable negotiations that unfolded far from the Delta, representatives from the U.S. and Mexico agreed to a complex, multi-part water deal that will give them desperately needed flexibility for weathering the drought. More surprisingly, the two nations will join the team of environmental organizations to release a flood of more than 105,000 acre-feet of water – 3.8 million big-rig tankers' worth – into the Delta's ancient floodplain, and chase it with a smaller, permanent annual flow to sustain the ecosystem.

It is the unlikeliest of times to pull off a deal like this. Rather than hoarding all the water for themselves in this drought –– the river supplies some 35 million people –– the West's largest water agencies have pledged to send some all the way to the sea. That move is, to some extent, a long-overdue acknowledgment that the U.S. bears responsibility for the impacts its dams have caused beyond its borders. And after years of fruitless court fights in the U.S. by environmental groups, the Mexican government finally insisted that water for the Delta be a cornerstone of the broader deal.
For High Country News, Matt Jenkins describes the most ambitious water sharing plan ever created between Mexico and the United States (single page print version). For much more about this project and the water issues surrounding it, there's Eli Rabett's roundup of John Fleck's blogposts about this. (Or read the tl;dr version by Alex Harrowell.)
posted by MartinWisse on May 10, 2014 - 9 comments

Going against the flow of history

As you know Bob, the Dutch have long known how to deal with the threat of flooding, living in a country that was largely conquered from the sea. Over the centuries the Netherlands has learned to put its trust in bigger and higher dykes, dams and various increasingly clever solutions to keep the sea where it's wanted and away from where it would be a nuisance. There's a new threat however, that can't be solved with higher dykes, a threat that needs to accomodated by doing something very un-Dutch: reflood parts of the Netherlands. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 24, 2013 - 31 comments

The Desert is alive

The Qanat; a water management system from C7th BC still in use today;is one of the wonders of the world, and keeps the desert alive. This fascinating 17 min video from UNESCO is a good introduction to the subject.
Cooling provided by Qanat’s is still in use in Yazd, Iran.
Modern warfare scores a gigantic fail in the battle for hearts and minds. (wiki)
posted by adamvasco on Feb 8, 2010 - 21 comments

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