For the first time, in the latest assessment of the IPCC on impacts and adaptation, there is a much greater recognition that for poor people living precarious lives, things look much more complicated than they do in climate models. It is a breath of fresh air.
As the CPWF comes to an end, it is appropriate to take stock and reflect on its ten-year legacy. For me, it is also a time to reflect on the personal transformation that I have undergone in my perceptions and views of CPWF since becoming familiar with the program and its activities.
In the Mekong River Basin, hydropower has great potential to bring economic prosperity and electrification to many rural communities while meeting the growing power demands of urban centers. Which measures can we implement to prevent any one part of society from carrying the brunt of the costs, be they monetary, social, or environmental?
In Ethiopia, access to internet is limited in most areas outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city. So when you see a number of agricultural extension workers in the sprawling mountains and fields of rural Ethiopia holding e-readers, they may seem slightly out of place.
You may remember in 2003, 2007 and most recently in 2013 when Sudan was hit with devastating flash floods that displaced hundreds of thousands of people. This left hydrologists and remote sensing specialists, like myself, to wonder how we can better prepare and warn farmers of flood events.
“Should we build more large dams”. In celebration of World Water Day (March 22), we asked this to a number of different thought leaders to stimulate discussion and dialogue around this issue. We feature brief excerpts from each of our respondents but we also want to hear from you. Share your comments…
China’s rulers have traditionally derived their legitimacy from controlling water. The country ranks only sixth in terms of annual river runoff, but counts half the planet’s large dams within its borders. A new report warns that dam building has brought China’s river ecosystems to the point of collapse.
Let’s celebrate World Water Day by recognising that most of the trillions of dollars spent on building large dams round the world in the past half century or so have been a waste of money. Many people may have suspected as much, but now there is peer-reviewed research to back it up.
I forget which dam it was, but the anecdote goes that during a public consultation for a major Brazilian dam, one of the dam’s developers had quipped that you had to break eggs to make an omelette. To which one of the audience members had replied, “yeah, but it’s our eggs and your omelette”.
“Should we build more large dams?” It’s probably the wrong question. The question we should be asking decision-makers, governments and ourselves is: What do societies and economies reasonably require in terms of water resources and energy production?
With dams – big and small – the issues collide in what is increasingly referred to as the “water-energy-food nexus.” They also have wide environmental and social footprints that require careful attention to ensure impacts are manageable and benefits are shared more broadly.
Is the general notion of success in the emerging water sectors justified? Perhaps not completely. Decision support tools may contribute to a more strategic method selection and a more participatory process that may increase the chance of long-term success in water interventions.
During his time in north western Ethiopia, Dr. Steven Prager observed the complex relationship between upstream and downstream farmers in Fogera region. His results, he said, were unexpected. Dr. Prager discusses the relationship between farm plot location and resilience in this podcast.
A persistent problem in the Mekong is that misplaced and resettled river communities from hydropower development are unable to continue their original way of living. How can new sustainable options be created for these communities?
New ICT for agriculture project uses text messages to reach farmers. The SMS service provides information on weather and water use efficiency to farmers in Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia.
Water is perceived to be a women’s business but the business of water lacks women, said Sonomi Tanaka of ADB at a recent conference on Women in Water Leadership.