April 24, 2017

Bhutan’s Paddy Crop Victim of Climate Change?

Paddy crop destroyed by rains in Bhutan. (Photo via Kuensel Online)

The forces of nature have overwhelmed some farmers in western Bhutan.  Within one week, their hope of a good harvest was turned into despair as the clear skies at the beginning of the week gave way to heavy rains last night (October 14). Farmers were so close to reap the fruit of a year round hard work, when they laid ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s Nuclear Plant — A Disaster in Waiting

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid being briefed about Rooppur nuclea power plant using a model of the project. (Photo via Dhaka Tribune)

The government is all set to get a nuclear power plant built, using Uranium 236 as the reactor fuel at Rooppur in Pabna. Of utmost concern is that Russia, which is due to supply the nuclear power plant, experienced the biggest number of civilian fatalities, injuries and related radiation sickness following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Officially, many hundreds were killed, ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Water Woes

Tarbela Dam remains Pakistan's largest water reservoir which was built in 1974. United States has been helping Pakistan in upgrading the power generation capacity from its reservoirs. (Photo by US embassy Pakistan)

While energy shortages, economic stagnation, terrorism and religious intolerance remain in the spotlight, water shortages pose one of the most significant threats to Pakistan. Regrettably, the Pakistani discourse on the subject remains in a state of delusion and is thus misdirected. In the 66 years since independence Pakistan’s per capita water availability has declined from 5000 m3 to 1000 m3 ... Read More »

‘Biblical’ Amounts of Rainfall Slam Colorado

Flood water gushing through a street in Estes Park, Colorado, on September 12. (Photo by Kevin Beaty, Creative Commons License)

Massive, historic, “biblical” rainfall cascaded through much of Colorado Thursday (September 12), leaving three people dead and one missing as of Thursday night as a result of the flooding. Up to 8 inches of rain fell across a hundred-mile expanse of Colorado’s Front Range, causing thousands to be evacuated as local streams turned into rampaging torrents. The heavy rains returned to the ... Read More »

Difference Between Water Scarcity and Drought

Tanda dam in the outskirts of Kohat City in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province. The small dam serves as lifeline for many downstream rural communities. (Photo by Raza Khan)

Water scarcity and drought are two interrelated but distinct concepts. Despite widespread recognition of the important differences between the two concepts, there is no scientific agreement about the precise definitions of the terms water scarcity and drought. Read More »

Will Iranian Gas Resolve Pakistan’s Energy Woes?

Photo by Harald Hoyer, Creative Commons License

Pakistan's crippling energy crisis demands urgent initiatives for sustainable supply of natural gas at affordable political, economic and diplomatic cost. Is Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project worth the price Pakistan seems to be willing to pay? Read More »

Deserts’ Photovoltaics Promise

solar energy

In the US, a vast glittering Ivanpah solar facility will be commissioned by the end of this summer. It will produce 392 megawatt electricity, making it the largest concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in the world. In the desert near Abu Dhabi, Middle East’s first large CSP — Shams-I — has already been commissioned, producing 100MW of electricity. The Saudis have bigger and ambitious ... Read More »