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Forum > Catastrophic Climate Change

The Water Thread

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Photo at top: The Dead Sea, at more than 400 meters (about 1,300 feet) below sea level, is the lowest point on earth. The body of water, which serves as one of Israel’s main tourist attractions, is shrinking due to drought, evaporation and continual pumping for industry. (Karyn Simpson/MEDILL)
OCTOBER 22, 2018

By Karyn Simpson

Medill Reports

ISRAEL – The Dead Sea is dying. So is Israel’s Sea of Galilee – the country’s only surface-level source of freshwater. The effort to save these sacred and historic lakes involves a convoluted mix of religious tradition, tourism and technology.

Over the past several decades of carving out an oasis from the desert, Israel has pushed back countrywide water scarcity through desalination, conservation, efficient use of the country’s limited freshwater, and wastewater treatment and reuse. Today, approximately 80 percent of Israel’s drinking water comes from desalination plants, meaning that even as Israel enters its sixth consecutive year of drought, the country should continue to have a stable supply of drinking water for its residents.

The main concern surrounding the drought is the health of Israel’s two natural, above-ground bodies of water, the freshwater Sea of Galilee and the saltwater Dead Sea – both sacred to residents, if for entirely different reasons. While the Dead Sea is valued particularly because of its contributions to Israeli tourism, the Sea of Galilee holds special import in religious history and because many residents remember when it was the country’s main source of water.

“The Sea of Galilee, for all the people in Israel, is emotional – 100 percent emotional,” said Arnon Eshel, who works at Sapir, the water pumping station for the Sea of Galilee. “We come here, we see the Sea of Galilee as it looks now, we are in totally depression.”

The ongoing drought has reduced the Sea of Galilee to some of its lowest levels in history, 215.5 meters (about 707 feet) below sea level. To try to assuage the rapidly decreasing levels and prevent any irreparable environmental damage, Israel has almost completely ceased pumping from the Sea of Galilee. But some pumping is necessary to keep the machines working and to fulfill Israel’s peace agreement with neighboring Jordan.

This water holding tank at Sapir, the pumping facility alongside the Sea of Galilee, mirrors the sea’s water level. On the far side of the tank, just below the fence, a red marker shows the sea’s normal level: 208 meters below sea level. The water is currently at 215.5 meters below sea level. (Karyn Simpson/MEDILL)

“For Jordan, by peace agreement, we have to supply to them 50 million cubic meters (about 13.2 billion gallones) per year from the Sea of Galilee,” Eshel said. “Which means that Jordan is the biggest customer of water from the Sea of Galilee.”

Some of the streams which feed into the Sea of Galilee flow from Jordan, meaning that a portion of the water that ends in the Sea of Galilee should belong to the Jordanians – the crux of the peace agreement. While Israel once faced attacks from Jordan, as evidenced in the historic Yom Kippur War, having water be part of the peace agreement has ensured cooperation between the two countries, Eshel said.

“One of the things that Israel understands, that it’s smart to make cooperation with the agriculture in Jordan, by the government, of course, and have a quiet border – 400 kilometers [248.5 miles], totally quiet border,” Eshel said. “If some terrorists want to try to attack Israel, they say not from here. If it come from here, Israel [will] destroy that area.”

Though Israel has considered building a pipeline from the seawater desalination plants to Jordan to fulfill this water requirement without having to pump from the already-low Sea of Galilee, Eshel said that the construction for such a project would be too cost-prohibitive to be feasible.

Today, only 5 percent of Israel’s drinking water comes from the Sea of Galilee, amounting to approximately 25 million cubic meters (abut 6.6 billion gallons). That is just enough to keep the machines working, Eshel said. The biggest culprit to the sea’s decline is evaporation, and without adequate rainfall, the sea has no chance to replenish what it is losing.

“Every year, we [lose] something around 240 million cubic meters (about 63.4 billion gallons) to evaporation,” Eshel said, which appears as about one meter each year in depth. This descent can be seen from the shoreline, which now contains meters of sand where there used to be water.

“When I was a child, every day I need to choose whether I’m going to school or going to swim. Most of the time I’m going to swim. Don’t judge me – there was no air conditioning when I was a child,” Eshel said. He grew up along the Sea of Galilee and held up a picture of the coastline by his home – a long stretch of concrete sidewalk that ended at the water’s edge. In the photo, water lapped against the wall about a foot below walking level, and small boats floated only a meter or two away from shore.

“I never even needed to think if we have the ability to jump or not,” Eshel said.

He held up a second picture – that same stretch of coastline outside his childhood home taken in recent years. The water’s edge had receded 15 to 20 feet, leaving only sand near the concrete sidewalk where Eshel used to jump off, and old boats were beached on the sandy bank where they used to float.

An idea has been proposed to build a pipe sometime in the next three years that would funnel desalinated water into the Sea of Galilee, Eshel said.

Agelbert NOTE: They have to work quickly or the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret lake) is toast, regardless of "a good winter will replenish the lake " wishful thinking. As you read above, the water, as of October of 2018, was at 215.5 meters below sea level. The lake has now reached a point where it CANNOT recover without adding massive amounts of desalinated water. From Wikipedia:

--- Quote ---After 5 years of drought as of 2018, Sea of Galilee is expected to get to the black line.[22] The black elevation line is the lowest depth from which irreversible damage begin and no water can be pumped out anymore.[23] Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research describe it as "The black line marks -214.87 m, the lowest-ever level reached since 1926 when the water level record began. According to the water authority, the Kinneret water level must not decline below this level."[24]In February 2018, the city of Tiberias requested a desalination plant to treat the water coming from the Sea of Galilee and demanded a new water source for the city.[25]

In September 2018 the Israeli energy and water office announced a project to pour desalinated water from the Mediterranean sea into the sea of Galilee using an underground tunnel. The 💧 tunnel is expected to be the largest of its kind done in Israel and will transfer half of the Mediterranean desalted water and will push 300 to 500 million cubic liters of water per year.[27]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_of_Galilee
--- End quote ---

This would be intended to provide water to the settlements around the Sea of Galilee and to help combat the effects of the drought on the lake, but some Israelis are hesitant to support such a project because of the “one good winter” concept, he said.

“People are afraid we will invest a lot of money for that kind of project, and after one good winter, we won’t need to use it,” Eshel said, referring to how, in non-drought years, Israel typically gets enough rain in the winters to make up for the hot, dry summers. “This is people without vision. People with vision understand, even if we have a good winter, so it’s going to be just one. Then we have another 10 years of drought years. You need to be with courage, but it’s not easy.”

A similar debate surrounds the Dead Sea, which is too salty to be used for drinking water, but is a big part of Israel’s tourism industry.

“The Dead Sea is shrinking because the input from the lower Jordan River is about less than 10 percent” of what it once was, said Noam Weisbrod, a hydrology professor and the director of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. “Simply, there is no input and the output is bigger than the input, so the net reduction in the water level is about one meter per year in the last 30-40 years. In the last two years, it was 1.15 meters per year vertically.”

That 1.15-meter, or approximately 4-foot, vertical decline means the Dead Sea’s coastline has shrunk several meters inward depending on the location along the coast, Weisbrod said. Even with the drought, what Weisbrod called the “Dead Sea works” – the factories that process and sell water, salt and mud from the Dead Sea – are still drawing water.

“Water level in the Dead Sea is going down dramatically, and it’s not just the water supply,” said Yael Dubowski, civil and environmental engineering professor at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. “It’s also the fact that we have lots of industry here both on the Israeli and the Jordanian side that actually uses, evaporates the water… to get the minerals. So there is an industry in the south that celebrates evaporation, and you have less fresh water coming in, and this lake is basically dying. The Dead Sea is dying.”

The solution, which has already received preliminary funding from the World Bank, has been called the Red Sea-Dead Sea project and will involve Israel and Jordan working together to pipe water from the Red Sea, in Jordan, to the Dead Sea, which is on the border between both countries.

“The advantage of this program is mostly because it’s along the border between Israel and Jordan,” Weisbrod said. “Because it’s going to help both Israel and Jordan, you can define it as something that will help the environment and at the same time will deepen the peace process and the agreement between the countries.”

Adding water to the Dead Sea would be beneficial to both countries, as well as hopefully help stop the formation of sinkholes along the coastline. But the project is facing even more pressure from Jordan than from Israel, Weisbrod said. This is because the plan involves building a desalination plant at the saline Red Sea, desalinating the water, and sending the fresh water to Jordan and southern parts of Israel. The twice-as-concentrated brine, the output from saltwater desalination, will then be piped to the already-saline Dead Sea.

“The pressure from the Jordanian side is bigger than the pressure from the Israeli side because Jordan really needs the desalinated water that will be part of this thing,” Weisbrod said. “The water situation in Jordan is really on a level of catastrophe. There is running water in Amman, which is the capital, only two, three days a week, and we’re talking about a city with more than 1 million people.”

While it seems like a beneficial plan on most counts, significant environmental concerns must be addressed, Weisbrod said. Scientists are not sure how the water from the two seas will react, but their high concentrations of calcium and sulfate could combine to create gypsum, which would float on the surface of the Dead Sea. Another problem is that the pipeline will likely run along the rift valley in Jordan, an area that is prone to earthquakes.

“What happens if there will be an earthquake that will end up in a leak of seawater into the aquifers?” Weisbrod said. That would ruin the aquifers. “This is irreversible situation, and these aquifers are being used for the villages along the Arava… In general, some people say, ‘Look, the history show us that every time we, you and me, people, try to control the environment and change the world by doing such mega project, it ends up in a disaster.’”

Funding has been secured, according to Dubowski, but not without heavy debate. Some parties wanted Israel to bring water from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River in the north 👍, and let the Dead Sea be replenished more naturally 👍, Dubowski said, which would also remove the political aspect of the problem.

“Scientifically, I think it makes more sense to go for the north, but you cannot separate between science and politics also,” Dubowski said. “And with regard to political issues, it makes more sense to choose this solution, so Jordan will have its own desalination factory and have more control on it. It was a very complex suggestion where you need to consider all aspects – political, geographical, scientific ones.”


Agelbert additional observation: The Sea of Galilee was a HUGE part of the Ministry of Jesus Christ while He walked among us. Moreover, He appeared there AFTER His Resurrection, cooking a fish on the beach.

Jesus Christ appears on the shore of Lake Tiberias by James Tissot
 Maybe I am wrong, but I think Jesus Christ has a soft spot for that lake. If the Sea of Galilee dries up, perhaps that is still another sign that we are experiencing the End Times that the Lord Jesus Christ prophesied about over two thousand years ago.

--- Quote ---Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. -- Proverbs 28:14
--- End quote ---

Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030

As civilization faces existential threats, Trump is trying to end long-term climate studies. Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically.

Dahr Jamail

Outside on my front porch, alder chip smoke billows out of my small smoker. The racks inside the tin smoker are filled with wild-caught Alaskan Coho salmon, provided to me by my friend Jonathan. He and his wife take their three daughters in their fishing boat and head north from our town on the north coast of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula for the late summer salmon runs in Southeastern Alaska. They return with a hull full of frozen fish, for those of us here lucky enough to have placed our orders for it. Several friends here attached to the land where I live are also outside, busy doing their own things: one is preparing his sailboat to launch in a week, another is working in the garden, two others are pitching a tent, another is out working his summer job with the Washington Conservation Association, and still another is reading and contemplating what she might write in the next column we co-author for Truthout. It is truly idyllic. A dream I’ve had for decades is finally coming true: I’m living in a way that is close to the Earth, which enables me to minimize my carbon footprint. I’m growing much of my own food and living in community with like-minded people. Yet all is taking place against the backdrop of a global climate crisis. Runaway human-caused climate disruption is already making life unlivable for millions around the globe, and is an integral reason why we are already in the Sixth Mass Extinction Event. Each of us in this small community of ours is fully aware of the crisis that is upon us. We understand we are living in a bubble, in that we are able to grow much of our food, smoke this fish, go for hikes, share healthy meals, and have enough water to do all of this. Our conversations tend to run the gamut: ranging from discussing the latest breakdowns of portions of our global life support system, to when are we going to hang the bat house, to where to put the clothesline, to what happens when the cities run out of food, to when am I leaving for my next climbing trip. Meanwhile, the news of the collapse continues to roll in. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that sea-level rise could be twice as bad as previously expected, due to accelerated melting in the Antarctic and Greenland. Instead of the previous worst-case scenario of 1 meter by 2100, the study has doubled that figure. Several scientists this writer has interviewed believe the realistic figure of sea level rise by 2100 will be even higher than this recent study’s prediction. Another report showed how the state of Florida could be facing a $76 billion bill to mitigate and adapt to climate crisis impacts by just 2040, mostly from rising sea levels. In some areas of China, fruit trees have to be pollinated by hand due to lack of pollinators. To give you an idea of how far along we already are in this crisis, in some areas of China, fruit trees have to be pollinated by hand due to lack of pollinators. Climate disruption is a major contributing factor toward the loss of insects around the planet. The Arctic, our proverbial canary in the climate coalmine, just saw its hottest May ever recorded. Coastal erosion of permafrost is happening at a rate of up to one meter every day, and the current rate of coastal erosion is already six times higher than the historical rate. In Siberia, carbon-laden permafrost has warmed by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6°F) in just the last 10 years alone. This is an ominous sign, for as the permafrost thaws it releases carbon and methane, making this one of the most dangerous feedback loops in the climate crisis, given that permafrost around the globe contains twice the amount of carbon that is already in the atmosphere. In fact, it has now been shown that the permafrost is thawing 70 years sooner than previously predicted. According to a 2017 study, tundra in Alaska is already warming up so quickly that it has become a net emitter of CO2 ahead of schedule — rather than sequestering carbon, as it has historically done. Thawing is occurring so rapidly in the Arctic now, sinkholes are becoming increasingly common across the region. To make matters worse, Arctic sea-ice extent for early June was at a record low, and the ice could be on track now for a record melt year at the current trajectory. Another well-researched report has recently been released warning the end of human civilization could be on the horizon if we don’t change course. Underscoring the severity of the crisis, yet another well-researched report has recently been released warning the end of human civilization could be on the horizon if we don’t change course. In the report, climate scientists predict 2050 as the year we face complete climate catastrophe. The authors predict, “More than a billion people may need to be relocated, and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end.” They found that by 2050, total ecological collapse could bring about huge social consequences like “increased religious fervor to outright chaos.” The report warns that catastrophic environmental disasters could result in widespread pandemics, forced migrations from places that no longer support humans, and the spread of war over diminished resources. The report describes one possible scenario, in which “planetary and human systems (reach) a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown of nations and the international order.” It would be an error to think there is that much time before this kind of breakdown. If you live on the delta in Bangladesh, or in Paradise, California, or on the coastline of northern or western Alaska, the crisis is already upon you. Earth Extreme weather events fueled by human-caused climate disruption are already severely affecting food production, causing food price shocks in the U.S. A report focusing on the recent flooding in the Midwest illustrated how rain-sodden fields across the Corn Belt, along with massive numbers of drowned livestock, are contributing factors. This issue is only set to deepen. Meanwhile, despite the fact that human-caused climate disruption is, in many ways, a geoengineering experiment gone badly, ongoing discussion within the scientific community of using geoengineering to completely solve it continues to escalate. Extreme weather events fueled by human-caused climate disruption are already severely affecting food production, causing food price shocks in the U.S. Despite the clear dangers of unforeseen consequences, generating conflict between nations, and the immorality inherent in the idea of attempting to control parts of the biosphere, some scientists are proposing strategies like spraying aerosols of sulphate particles into the stratosphere and using tall ships to pump salt particles from the ocean into polar clouds to brighten them in order to attempt to refreeze warming parts of the polar regions. Meanwhile, experts from 27 different national science academies released a report showing how climate disruption is already negatively impacting people’s health via heatwaves and floods, but also indirectly by things like the spreading of mosquito-borne diseases and deleterious mental health impacts. “There are impacts occurring now [and], over the coming century, climate change has to be ranked as one of the most serious threats to health,” Andrew Haines, a co-chair of the report for the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council told The Guardian. Water The endangered North Atlantic Right Whale’s already scant population is declining, and this decline has been linked directly to oceanic warming, which is of course, being caused by climate disruption, according to a recent report. Warming oceans have caused the whales’ food supply to shift locations, causing them to have to travel farther to find it, along with moving them into areas closer to shipping lanes which are dangerous for them. Meanwhile, dozens of grey whales have been found dead and washing up onto beaches up and down the west coast, from California to well up into Canada, causing U.S. scientists to launch an investigation into the unusually high mortality event. Scientists believe the number found dead is but a fraction of the actual number, since most of the dead whales will not wash ashore. Hundreds of “severely emaciated” dead puffins have washed ashore at St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs of Alaska, believed to have starved to death from the warming waters. “Many of the whales have been skinny and malnourished, and that suggests they may not have gotten enough to eat during their last feeding season in the Arctic,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesman Michael Milstein told reporters of the mortality event. Also, hundreds of “severely emaciated” dead puffins have washed ashore at St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs of Alaska, believed to have starved to death from the warming waters they forage from having less food available for them to eat. Estimates of the total number of dead puffins range from 3,000 to 9,000. A stunning study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that warming oceans will likely reduce the oceanic content of fish and other marine life by one-sixth by the end of this century. The study warned that for every 1 degree Celsius (1°C) warming of the world’s oceans, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by five percent. Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically. A recent report warned that by 2030, half of the entire population of India (roughly 700 million people, or to put another way, one tenth of the entire population of the globe), may lack adequate drinking water. (This is, of course, in addition to all the other places in which drinking water supplies will be inadequate.) The same report warned that the cities of Bangalore and New Delhi could run out of useable groundwater by as early as 2020. India’s sixth biggest city, Chennai, is already dealing with massive water shortages as that city’s four reservoirs recently ran dry. People are fighting while lining up for water. Many are unable to take showers, and hotels are warning people about water shortages. Most of that city’s population of 4 million are already relying solely on government tankers for their water. Back in the U.S., southeastern Alaska, normally a rain-soaked temperate rainforest, is experiencing its first ever recorded extreme drought. This is normally the wettest region of the state of Alaska. Things aren’t any better underwater. A stark report has shown that the Southern Ocean of Earth could be less of a “carbon sink” than previously thought. In fact, it could well already be belching more CO2 into the atmosphere than it is absorbing. The Welsh village of Fairbourne is on track to become the first village in Britain to be abandoned to sea level rise, as the entire population will have to be relocated. Furthermore, climate disruption is altering the composition of the world’s plankton communities, according to another study. “Large and globally consistent shifts have been detected in species phenology, range extension and community composition in marine ecosystems,” reads the abstract of the study. It is worth remembering that plankton provides a large percentage of the oxygen on the planet, with scientists estimating they provide between 50-85 percent of the oxygen to Earth’s atmosphere. There has been a 40 percent decline in phytoplankton since just 1950. Melting ice and thermal expansion of warming waters are the two leading contributors to sea level rise, and they are continuing apace. The Welsh village of Fairbourne is on track to become the first village in Britain to be abandoned to sea level rise, as the entire population will have to be relocated. Like others that will be abandoned, the resettlement plan for the refugees remains unclear. The residents of Fairbourne are far from alone. Thousands of communities along the coasts of the globe will have to be abandoned as seas continue to rise. In the U.S., communities in which at least 21 percent of homes will be at risk of chronic flooding by 2060 include Miami Beach and Key West in Florida, Hoboken and Atlantic City in New Jersey, Galveston, Texas, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Meanwhile, major climate disruption impacts have devastated Midwestern farmers, who in many places weren’t even able to plant their spring crops. And the question is not whether this kind of devastation will occur again, but when and how often. Croplands across that region were literally drowned by weeks of relentless rains over the spring. This trend continued into May, as the U.S. officially had its second wettest May ever recorded, according to NOAA. The same has been true in Canada, where once-in-a-century floods have happened two years in a row, deluging communities across Atlantic Canada and forcing residents to make a stark choice: rebuild or relocate. Fire The American West is set to experience chronic summer wildfire smokefrom megafires, according to a recent report. Nevertheless, most of the region has done next to nothing to prepare for what is seen to be a massive and ongoing threat to human health from respiratory issues. The Trump administration recently carried out one of its most overt attacks on climate science to date. This isn’t relegated only to the west. Minnesota, as far away as it is from the source of the smoke, is also already experiencing a dramatic increase in smoke because of the wildfires besetting the Canadian Rockies and the Western U.S. Underscoring both of these situations is an analysis generated by Climate Central that shows how the afflicted region’s wildfire season is currently 105 days longer than it was in the 1970s, and is burning six times the area of acreage. The region also has three times more fires over 1,000 acres in size than it did in the 1970s. Air Temperatures in the Arctic Circle in Alaska were 22°C above normal in some places in March. This is critical for multiple reasons, particularly due to the fact that in the Arctic, ice functions as part of the infrastructure across that region given how roads, homes, buildings, and other structures are built atop the permafrost, and subsistence hunting is a way of life for many Inuit people. If current trends continue, that way of life is, devastatingly, on the way out. A heat wave in Japan during May killed five people and hospitalized another 600 people suffering from symptoms of heatstroke. Then in mid-June, a major heat wave in India killed dozens of people as temperatures reached 120°F across vast swaths of the country. In one area alone, 49 people died in just a 24-hour period. It’s worth noting that 11 of the 15 warmest years on record in India have taken place after 2004. In the U.S., a heat wave in June across the west saw temperatures reach 120°F, as record highs were seen across the region. Denial and Reality Meanwhile, the lengths the Trump administration is going to in order to placate its fossil-fueled backers continue to astound. The Trump administration recently carried out one of its most overt attacks on climate science to date when it attempted to prevent an employee of the State Department from testifying about the climate crisis, according to The New York Times. Intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover had submitted his testimony to the White House for approval before he appeared in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to share his remarks covering the security risks posed to the U.S. by the climate crisis. But as The Washington Postreported, the Trump administration refused to approve his testimony for entry into the congressional record, stating that his analysis did not align with the views of the executive branch. Additionally, Trump’s Energy Department rebranded U.S. gas exports as “molecules of freedom.” Back in the world of reality, in May, a record number of students across the world walked out of their classes amid a global strike to bring attention to the climate crisis. This is a good thing, as recent data shows no signs of the climate crisis slowing down. In fact, it is only accelerating, as atmospheric CO2 content has increased by its second highest annual rise in the last 60 years. That makes this the seventh year in a row of steep increases of CO2 content in the already overburdened atmosphere. NOAA also recently reported that this year is on track to become the third warmest ever-recorded in 140 years of temperature records. The signs of collapse of industrial civilization are all around us. We must pay attention, and prepare ourselves for living in the world that the disrupted climate has brought upon us. For myself and my community, this means connecting more deeply to the Earth, to build psychological, social, spiritual and physical resiliency, in addition to taking as good care as we are able of the land that is caring for us. In this way, we are working to model on a micro scale what might be done on the macro, even in the midst of this era of great loss. Dahr Jamail Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption (The New Press, 2019), The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan(Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq(Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Izzy Award and the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards. His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in Washington State.


--- Quote from: Surly1 on July 04, 2019, 08:58:05 am ---Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030
As civilization faces existential threats, Trump is trying to end long-term climate studies. Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically. SAWITREE PAMEE / EYEEM

By Dahr Jamail 👍
--- End quote ---

True. Dahr Jamail is an honest journalist who has an in-depth knowledge of the length and breadth of Catastrophic Climate Change. Thank you for posting this article.

Most people do not get the fact that lack of potable water will kill human civilization long before the heat does. I hope that Dahr Jamail's warnings are heeded, but that hope may be overly optimistic, considering the fascist intertia prevalent in world politics at present.

Sydney's water supply falling at fastest rate on record due to drought

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

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.


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