Ringfencing the Roof of the World's Waters
July 26, 2020 3:11 AM Subscribe
Asia's vital rivers - "The headwaters of 10 major rivers originate near some of Earth's highest points. Known as the world's 'third pole', the land of Mount Everest and other peaks holds the largest concentration of perennial ice outside of the polar regions. Along with snow and rain from the mountains, this ice helps supply the river basins below that support the water, food, and energy needs of almost two billion people."
- A water crisis looms for 270 million people as South Asia's glaciers shrink - "Melting ice is crucial to the thirsty Indus River region. But now the flow is projected to decline, posing risks for agriculture and a growing population."
- Indus Lifeline - "Some 270 million people in four countries depend on the Indus River and its tributaries. But population growth, mismanagement, and climate change all threaten this crucial water supply. Follow the Indus from its source in Tibet to the Arabian Sea, and explore the issues surrounding this essential system."
- India's daunting challenge: There's water everywhere, and nowhere - "A 2,400-mile trek across India reveals the allure of its sacred rivers—and a crisis that threatens a way of life."
- Tibet's Rivers Will Determine Asia's Future - "At the dawn of a new era of building dams on the Yarlung Tsangpo, countless lives and ecosystems are being risked in the name of 'development' and geopolitics."
- China Leverages Tibetan Plateau's Water Wealth - "China, by building giant dams and other diversion structures on international rivers that start in Tibet, is becoming Asia's upstream water controller. This action is arming Beijing with increasing leverage over the countries critically dependent on river flows from the Tibetan Plateau."[1,2]
- China Limited the Mekong's Flow. Other Countries Suffered a Drought. - "New research show that Beijing's engineers appear to have directly caused the record low levels of water in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam."[3,4]
- The Mekong River, Water Wars, and Information Wars - "The accusation made by the cartoons is more specific: It is that China used its dams deliberately to choke off the water supply to those downstream... But is the study true? At best, that remains to be seen."
- China-India border dispute: is Pakistan about to enter the fray? - "The disputed Himalayan territory also houses the glaciers that feed the River Indus and its tributaries, providing water for the world's biggest irrigation system on which 270 million people in India and Pakistan depend. However, multiple climate change studies have found that most of the glaciers there are melting at an alarming rate, and could reach 'peak water' flow anytime from 2050 onwards, before going into decline. Meanwhile, population growth in India and Pakistan will increase both demand and competition for the increasingly scarce shared natural resource. ... The World Bank-mediated 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), which stipulates how India and Pakistan manage their shared water resource, was already 'under growing pressure from both sides, which believe it is unfair and outdated', Kugelman said. In response to India building a dam on the River Jhelum, a tributary allocated to Pakistan under the IWT which acts as the LOC boundary in western Kashmir, Islamabad has reasserted its water rights with Beijing's help."[5,6]
- Battle in the Himalayas - "China and India are locked in a tense, deadly struggle for advantage on their disputed mountain border."
- Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia deadlocked on Nile dam in new talks - "The dam is the centrepiece in Ethiopia's bid to become Africa's biggest power exporter, but has sparked concerns in Cairo that Egypt's already scarce supplies of Nile waters, on which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent, would be further restricted."
- Sudan says Ethiopia denies filling the Renaissance dam reservoir - "Sudan and Egypt both fear the $4 billion hydroelectric dam could lead to water shortages in their own nations."
- On Point: A Framework for Ending The Egypt-Ethiopia Nile Water War - "What is to be done? A war between east Africa's two most powerful nations would be a disaster for both but especially Sudan, which lies between them. In late January 2020, the Trump administration, acting as an 'external mediator', tried to hammer out a 'joint responsibility agreement' for managing drought crises. The U.S. has good relations with Egypt and Ethiopia. The deal didn't gel -- but the idea of guaranteeing Egypt water during a drought is a rational approach." (via)
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