Thursday, April 09, 2015

thirsty people failing states...,


mintpressnews |  The UN defines a region as water stressed if the amount of renewable fresh water available per person per year is below 1,700 cubic metres. Below 1,000, the region is defined as experiencing water scarcity, and below 500 amounts to “absolute water scarcity”.

According to the AWWA study, countries already experiencing water stress or far worse include Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Yemen, India, China, and parts of the United States. Many, though not all, of these countries are experiencing protracted conflicts or civil unrest.

The AWWA is an international scientific association founded to improve water quality and supply, whose 50,000 strong membership includes water utilities, scientists, regulators, public health experts, among others. AWWA operates a partnership with the US government’s Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for safe water, and has played a key role in developing industry standards.

Study author Robert Patrick, formerly of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, is a government consultant and water management specialist who has worked on water scarcity issues in Jordan, Lebanon, New Mexico, California and Australia.

His Journal of AWWA paper explains that the grain price spikes that contributed to Egypt’s 2011 uprising, were primarily caused by “droughts in major grain-exporting countries” like Australia, triggered by climate change.

Patrick points out that such civil unrest could signal an Egyptian future of continuing unrest and conflict. He highlights the risk of war between Egypt and Ethiopia due to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, threatening to restrict Egypt’s access to the Nile River, which supplies 98% of Egypt’s water supply.

As Egypt’s population is forecast to double to 150 million by 2050, this could lead to “tremendous tension” between Ethiopia and Egypt over access to the Nile, especially since Ethiopia’s dam would reduce the capacity of Egypt’s hydroelectric plant at Aswan by 40%.