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Surly1

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The Water Thread
« on: August 24, 2019, 07:20:28 am »
Sydney's water supply falling at fastest rate on record due to drought


FILE PHOTO: A woman drinks water from a water fountain during a hot day in central Sydney January 5, 2010. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz/File Photo


SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s biggest city Sydney is running down its water supply at the fastest rate on record with dams expected to fall below half maximum capacity due to the worst drought on record, the government said on Friday.

Warragamba Dam, the city’s main water supply, was sitting at 51.4% capacity, down 17.8% in a year and little more than half its level just two years earlier. The amount of water flowing into the dam was just 10% of what it was a year ago, according to the New South Wales (NSW) state regulator WaterNSW.

The total water level in Sydney’s 11 dams was 50.1%, forcing authorities to introduced water restrictions in recent months.

“We have never seen these kind of inflows,” said NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey.

“Catchments that have been historically reliable ... are now facing a critical shortage of water,” she added.

At the current rate of decline, discounting rainfall, Sydney dams would only have enough water reserves for another two years, according to figures provided by WaterNSW.

Pavey said “major (inland) cities ... run the risk of running out of fresh water in the next 12 months”. “That is the stark reality for our regional communities,” she added.

Sydney has resorted to water-saving methods in recent months including enforced water restrictions, which limit the amount of water people are allowed to use outdoors.

In March, Sydney’s desalination plant started working at full capacity to process sea water, with the aim to lift the city’s water reserves to 70%. The state government said this week it plans to expand the plant.

In April, researcher Kantar Public surveyed 1,000 Sydney residents and found that despite the dry conditions and declining water supply, 47% of people did not realize there was a drought.

Reporting by Mell Chun; Editing by Byron Kaye and Michael Perry

Surly1

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Re: The Water Thread
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 07:54:34 am »
We'd Better Retreat from the Coasts While We Still Can, Scientists Urge Amid Climate Crisis
Do it now or do it later, with much, much worse outcomes.


By Brandon Specktor


Flooded streets after Hurricane Sandy show the damage that can occur in vulnerable coastal areas. We should plan for the inevitable and strategically retreat from such vulnerable coastal communities now, scientists argue in a new paper. (Image: © jonathansloane/Getty)

As many as 1 billion people are expected to be forced out of their homes by the droughts, floods, fires and famines associated with runaway climate change over the next 30 years — and they all have to go somewhere. This massive global exodus can go one of two ways: either it will be a chaotic mess that punishes the world's poor, or it can be a path to a fairer, more sustainable world.

In a new policy paper, published today (Aug. 22) in the journal Science, a trio of environmental scientists argue that the only way to avoid the first scenario  is to start planning now for the inevitable "retreat" from coastal cities. 

"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat — moving people and assets out of harm’s way — but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the authors of the paper wrote.

Rather than dealing with these forced migrations on a reactive, disaster-by-disaster basis (as many emergency evacuations do now), the researchers propose taking a "managed and strategic" approach to the problem, setting up policies and infrastructure now to help climate refugees transition into new homes and out of harm's way as soon as possible.

The steps to accomplish this task range from the commonsense — for example, limiting property development in at-risk areas (like coastal cities) and instead investing in creating affordable housing in safer inland communities — to the incredibly complex. For instance, the authors want to build infrastructure that maintains the cultural heritage of marginalized communities that wind up having to leave ancestral homes.

"Retreat may exacerbate historic wrongs if it relocates or destroys historically marginalized communities," the researchers wrote. "Conversations around who should pay for retreat will almost certainly need to address reasons why certain communities find themselves at risk." 

Indeed, the researchers wrote, retreat could be an opportunity to revitalize communities and redistribute wealth in a more sustainable way. For example, it could be a chance to end real estate practices that incentivize living in at-risk areas. Retreat could also be a chance to subsidize new schools, hospitals and affordable housing in safer inland regions instead of making belated improvements to at-risk areas, like building expensive new sea walls to shield communities that have already been battered by severe storms and abandoned before.

"One proposal for Bangladesh suggests investing in a dozen cities to provide infrastructure along with educational and employment opportunities to draw successive generations of people away from low-lying coasts," the authors wrote. "Retreat is not a goal in and of itself, but a means of contributing to societal goals."

While widespread evacuation of climate-prone communities may not occur for a decade or more, the only way to prepare for this unprecedented global challenge is to start planning now. Leaving home is never easy — however, with enough research, investment and strategic thinking, it doesn't need to be a disaster.


AGelbert

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Re: The Water Thread
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 05:00:35 pm »
BY Jasmine Banks & Samantha Parsons, Truthout

PUBLISHED August 24, 2019

🦖 David Koch Is Dead. We Must Now Take On His Harmful 🙉🙊 Legacy in Higher Education.

JASMINE BANKS & SAMANTHA PARSONS, TRUTHOUT

As David Koch's family mourns his loss, we are taking a moment to pause and grieve, too. We grieve for the families who lost loved ones due to limited health care access. We grieve for the Black communities living alongside waterways polluted by Koch's chemical plants. We grieve for the Indigenous nations whose lands were used to build Koch's industrial wealth. We grieve the destruction of democratic values through Koch's investments in higher education.

Read the Article →
https://truthout.org/articles/david-koch-is-dead-we-must-now-take-on-his-harmful-legacy-in-higher-education/
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Re: The Water Thread
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2019, 06:17:04 pm »

AGelbert

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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Climate crisis: Rising sea levels and catastrophic storm surges could displace 280m people, UN warns
IPCC draft report is fourth to call for radical action to tackle environmental disaster




The damage caused by catastrophic “superstorms” combined with rising sea levels could increase by a hundred-fold or more, displacing hundreds of millions of people from coastlines around the world unless more is done to limit greenhouse gas emissions, according to a draft report by the United Nations.

According to French news agency AFP, which said it had obtained a copy of the report, the document outlines a grim scenario in which the warming oceans are “poised to unleash misery on a global scale”, with declining fish stocks, the melting of sea ice and glaciers, and increasing levels of human displacement.

Unless there are serious cuts to man-made greenhouse gas emissions, at least 30 per cent of the northern hemisphere’s surface permafrost could melt within just 80 years, the report warns.

his melt would unleash billions of tonnes of carbon stored in what are currently permafrost areas, which will accelerate rates of global warming even more.

The upshot would be warming seas and rising coastlines, which could immediately threaten 280 million people, the document says.

The findings come from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is a “special report” on oceans and the Earth’s frozen zones, known as the cryosphere.

It is the fourth report in the last year to be published by the organisation examining the impacts of the unfolding climate crisis, with the other three examining issues including declines in biodiversity, forest management and food, and how the effects of a 1.5C increase in average global temperatures since pre-industrialisation will be felt.

All of the reports warn major change is required to avert disaster.

The warning comes as MPs and scientists have warned the UK is already on track to miss its environmental goals, including a government pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Last week a report from the Science and Technology Select Committee said efforts to reduce emissions have been undermined by “unacceptable” cutbacks and delays, meaning we face “dire consequences”.

And on Thursday, the government’s chief environment scientist said the UK cannot hit its net zero emissions goal while ministers are fixed on economic growth as measured by GDP.

Globally, many countries are also dragging their heels on putting policy in place to tackle emissions.

The US – the second biggest contributor of CO2 – is exiting the Paris agreement on climate change, under Donald Trump’s leadership.

China – the world’s biggest polluter – is making strong progress in renewable technologies, but has relaxed air pollution controls and coal use is creeping upwards.

In India, an enormous drive to open coal power plants is underway, though the country is also increasingly relying on solar-generated electricity.

And in the EU, progress towards a mid-century net zero goal is slow due to some member states’ reluctance to vote for policies legally requiring them to reduce emissions.

The Paris agreement called on all countries to work to ensure average global temperature rises remain “well below” 2C warmer than the world was before the industrial revolution.

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University told AFP one of the key problems was the idea humanity can overcome any problems resulting from sea-level rises.

“There is a pervasive thread in the US right now, promoted by techno-optimists who think we can engineer our way out of this problem,” he said.

“But the US is not ready for a metre of sea level rise by 2100.

“Just look at what happened in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Katrina, in Houston, or Puerto Rico.”

The IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate is due to be published on 25 September.

The Independent has contacted the IPCC for comment.

AGelbert

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Re: The Water Thread
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 03:00:18 pm »

Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University told AFP one of the key problems was the idea humanity can overcome any problems resulting from sea-level rises.

There is a pervasive thread in the US right now, promoted by techno-optimists who think we can engineer our way out of this problem,” he said.

“But the US is not ready for a metre of sea level rise by 2100.



Yep. IOW, it will get 🌊 Catastrophically Worse, (long before 2100) no matter what the techno-fix wishful thinkers come up with.


No ethics = no solution, PERIOD.



This Robert Jensen 👍 interview from over a year ago sums up our ☠️ situation accuratetly:

Robert Jensen "The News Is Bad, And It's Getting Dramatically Worse Faster Than We Thought"
5,577 views


Collapse Chronicles
Published on May 15, 2018

Category People & Blogs
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 07:36:36 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

Surly1

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Mekong water levels reach low record
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 07:42:16 am »
Mekong water levels reach low record



Vientiane, Lao PDR, 18 July 2019 – The Mekong water levels during this early flood season from June to July are among the lowest on record, falling below their historical long-term minimum levels. But the situation is expected to get better at the end of July.

From the upper reaches of the lower Mekong basin in Thailand’s Chiang Saen to Lao PDR’s Luang Prabang and Vientiane and further down to Thailand’s Nong Khai and Cambodia’s Neak Luong, the water levels are all below those that occurred in 1992, which was by far the year with the lowest flow on record.

For example, the current water level in Chiang Saen, 2.10 meters, is 3.02m lower than its long-term average – the average water level measured over 57 years (1961-2018) – over the same period. It is about 0.75m lower than the minimum level ever recorded. Between 14 June and 18 July this year, there was also a drop of 0.97m at this station.

In Vientiane, the water is 0.70m or 5.54m below its long-term average over the same period. It is about 1.36m lower than the minimum level. Between 16 June and 18 July, there was a drop of 5.58m at the station

Water level in Vientiane

Water level hydrograph in Vientiane of Lao PDR on 18 July.


The water in Kratie, 9.31m, is about 5.40m below its long-term average. But it is about 0.16m higher than the minimum level ever recorded. Between 10 June and 18 July, there was a drop of about 0.38m at the station.

Although the relatively rapid and sustained decrease in water levels and discharge from June to July 2019 has been unprecedented, it does not reflect the natural recession of the seasonal flows when during this period the water should be slowly increasing.

According to the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) analysis and available information, some key factors have contributed to the current state of what is described as the “regional low flow” of the Mekong river basin.

There has been very deficient rainfall over the Mekong basin since the beginning of this year. In the upper reaches of the lower Mekong basin, Chiang Sean had the lowest rainfall this June compared to the other areas downstream. Its June’s average rainfall was only about 67% of the total amount of monthly rainfall in June 2006-2018.

The average lower-than-normal rain volume in the lower Mekong basin during June-July could also cause the deficient groundwater in the region. This means there is insufficient groundwater contributing to the Mekong mainstream.

The amount of water flowing from the upper part of the basin, where the Mekong is known as Lancang, could also be a potential contribution of the low flow. According to the notification from China, starting from 5 to 19 July the amount of water flowing out from the Jinghong dam in Yunnan province would be fluctuating from 1,050 – 1,250 cubic meters per second (m3/s) to 504 – 600 m3/s due to “grid maintenance”.

Besides, the drier-than-average conditions are expected in July over parts of the southern ASEAN region. Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar are some of the countries that would be hit, according to the Asian Specialized Meteorological Center (ASMC).

But the current state of the lower water in the basin is anticipated to improve at the end of this month, with rain in the forecast.

According to the ASMC, wetter-than-average conditions may develop over parts of the region between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and eastern Mekong sub-region, including the four lower Mekong countries plus Myanmar.

More information about water levels on the Mekong mainstream can be found at: http://ffw.mrcmekong.org/bulletin_wet.php.

Note to editors:

The MRC is an intergovernmental organization for regional dialogue and cooperation in the lower Mekong river basin, established in 1995 based on the Mekong Agreement between Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. The organization serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region. Both China and Myanmar are Dialogue Partners of the MRC.


Surly1

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Expert Says Indians Will Soon Become Water Refugees Heading for Water-Rich Europe

Rajendra Singh, also known as the “Waterman of India”, says over 70 percent of the country has dried up, and this may lead to climatic migration to other countries.


18 September 2019, 8:19am
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As various reports show India approaching ‘Day Zero’ (the day when a place’s taps dry out and people have to stand in line to collect a daily quota of water), a top Indian expert has warned that Indians may soon become “water refugees” who’ll migrate to water-rich European countries. Rajendra Singh, a Magsaysay-winning conservationist and environmentalist, and popularly known as the “Waterman of India”, made this statement at the recently-concluded Stockholm International Water Institute.

India is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with almost 50 percent of the country facing drought-like situation. In fact, 21 major Indian cities will start running out of groundwater by next year, affecting millions. But Singh adds that as more than 70 percent of aquifers in India dry up, people are going to start migrating westwards unless we fix it. He compared the situation to parched regions in Africa and Asia, from where people have migrated to European states and precipitated political crisisamong and within the EU states. He also added that this may disturb the harmony of the world.

“In India, such migration is taking place from villages to cities. However, the current water crisis may lead to such climatic migration in the future to other countries,” he told The Press Trust of India. In fact, in India, a March 2019 report by the World Resources Institute has warned that the climate change impact will be considerable because of its large population—at 1.37 billion as of September 18—depending heavily on environment-sensitive sectors such as agriculture. “These factors make adaptation critical,” says the report.

Reports have also shown India is facing horrible droughts and floods, both at the same time. “This deadly combination of floods and droughts cannot be tackled by providing piped water but only through community-driven water management,” said Singh. “The responsibility of providing water to everyone can only be fulfilled if the government collaborates with people at the ground level rather than handing over the work to contractors, whose only interest is to earn benefits or profits.”

However, even though it seems like much is lost, Singh says things can still be fixed. One could be to discontinue the use of mechanised herbicides and pesticides, which are messing with the water aquifer system. Other ways to salvage the crisis, he said, would be to develop water harvesting systems to protect our reservoirs from drying up in the sun. This way, the country can develop reserve banks of water even when there’s a drought-like situation. He also stressed on indigenous methods of water management, designed by the local people.

But with the statistics suggesting much is lost, it’s safe to say that India is running out of time. “In fact, we have lost all the time to act,” said Singh. "A country whose 70 percent aquifers are dry has no time left.”

Follow Pallavi Pundir on Twitter.


 

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