April 24, 2017

Afghanistan-Pakistan Treaty on the Kabul River Basin?

The Kabul river flowing past Jalalabad. (image by Peretz Partensky, via thethirdpole.net)

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan would benefit from a treaty to manage the Kabul river basin, but deep mistrust, scaremongering, and a lack of preparation is damaging the chances. Read More »

Global Consumption Trends Break New Records

A view of Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm in California.

Record increase in global consumption and acceleration of resource depletion, pollution, and climate change may come with under-appreciated social and environmental costs, says a new report by Worldwatch Institute. Read More »

India Gives Green Light to Build Country’s Largest Dam

Upper Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh, India, where the dam will be built. (Photo by goldentakin, Creative Commons License)

Largest dam in Indian history will be built on a tributary of the Brahmaputra river but, with no public consultation or study of downstream impacts. Read More »

China, South Asia Ignore UN Watercourses Convention

Li River in China. (Photo by Pedro Vásquez Colmenares, Creative Commons License)

A the UN Convention on International Watercourses comes into effect this week, we ask experts if it can lower regional frictions over access to water. Read More »

Bottled Water China’s Next Health Crisis?

(Photo by Domiriel, Creative Commons License)

Recent contamination and counterfeit scandals have escalated safety concerns over China’s fragmented bottled-water industry Read More »

Diverting Blue Nile’s Course Could Take Africa to War

Blue Nile river is one of the two tributaries of the Nile river. (Photo by wo de shijie, Creative Commons License)

Water wars, many warn, could be around the corner. After the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has inherited a huge problem: Addis Ababa decided to divert the course of the Blue Nile late May, as part of its project to generate electricity through the construction of the Renaissance Dam. Ethiopia took the decision — which will have a ... Read More »

Large Dams Don’t Make Economic Sense: Study

The Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world, completed on October 30, 2008, The total electric generating capacity of the dam will reach 22,500 MW. (Photo by PVCG)

The wave of new mega dams under construction globally is economically unviable, according to Oxford University researchers who have found such projects typically cost nearly twice as much as first estimated and rarely finish on time.   The findings are based on a study of 245 dams built in 65 countries since 1934, making it the most comprehensive analysis since a slew ... Read More »

The Battle for Water

(Photo by dbarronoss)

There is a popular, tongue-in-cheek saying in America — attributed to the writer Mark Twain, who lived through the early phase of the California Water Wars — that “whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.” It highlights the consequences, even if somewhat apocryphally, as ever-scarcer water resources create a parched world. California currently is reeling under its ... Read More »

Verdict Worsens Pakistan’s Energy Woes

Pakistan has been working on a few dam projects. Gomal Zam Dam in South Waziristan tribal region was completed with U.S. assistance in 2011. (Photo by U.S. Embassy Pakistan)

Energy supply is a pressing concern in Pakistan as frequent crippling power outages are not only stunting its economic activities, but have caused a constant public outcry in recent years.   The issue was one of the core agendas in the general elections held last year in the violence-hit country.   The December 2013 verdict of the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) ... Read More »

Central Asia Grapples with Water Shortages

A hydro power plant on Talas river  in Kyrgyzstan. (Photo by Evgeni Zotov, Creative Commons License)

Central Asian water conservation specialists are discussing supply problems and ways to overcome them.   The region has strong incentives to save the precious resource, they say, noting that it has ample water resources but uneven distribution. Discussions frequently lead to quarrels rather than to solutions. Border disputes, the threat of extremism, and water disputes are among the region’s primary ... Read More »