Monday, September 19, 2005

Water Issues.

Another article discusses the potential for water disputes to become violent in the future. The article quotes Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, telling the BBC in 2003;

People generally regard 5 June 1967 as the day the Six Day War began. That is the official date. But, in reality, it started two-and-a-half years earlier, on the day Israel decided to act against the diversion of the Jordan [River].

China and India face the most severe problems. In northern China, close to the Russian border, the water table beneath some of the major grain-producing regions is falling by 1.52 meters every year. China’s annual per capita water resources of 2,292 cubic meters are one of the lowest levels in the world, only slightly above that of India. North China’s per capita water resources, at 750 cubic meters per year, are a fraction of China’s already low figure.

In Bangladesh, India and Bangladesh began negotiations concerning sharing of water from seven common rivers. Officials from Bangladesh are worried that a proposed Indian plan to divert water for Indian irrigation and electricity projects from rivers the flow downstream into Bangladesh would cause rivers in Bangladesh to dry up, affecting the country's ecology and depriving farmers of much needed water for crops. Although a 30-year agreement between India and Bangladesh on water sharing from the Ganges was finally signed in 1996, no other agreements have been reached on scores of other shared rivers.


in California, most of the water in the San Joaquin River is now diverted to water Southern California's agricultural economy and population growth. Now the San Joaquin disappears to nothing but parched gravel just 37 miles below the dam; often going years without water.

Farmers downriver from the dam saw their livelihoods disappear while the historic salmon population disappeared. Farmers, mayors and businesspeople protested that their towns, jobs and crops had relied on San Joaquin River water for decades, and that some of the state's fastest growing cities are in the Central Valley. Seeking legal relief, they sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, accusing the agency of violating state law by not letting enough water flow to maintain the historic salmon population.

In October 2004, Judge Lawrence K. Karlton in Sacramento agreed; "The conclusion that the Bureau has violated its duty hardly begins to address the problem of remedies."

The growing contentiousness of water issues is a red light flashing that the earth's ecosystems are running on empty.


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