Iran

Water Scarcity Agricultural diversions, dams and climate change have led to the loss of 85 percent of the water in Lake Urmia, a lake that once covered 5,000 square kilometers, Bloomberg News reported. Iran’s president said the country is initiating efforts to restore the lake, which are expected to take 10 to 15 years to […]

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Water Scarcity Water supplies are increasingly being used as a weapon in conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa, Inter Press Service reported. The United Nations has recently expressed concerns about forces in Syria deliberately cutting off supplies to civilians, which it called a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. Water shortages […]

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Climate Change Water issues figure prominently in the new National Climate Assessment released by the Obama administration today, which details how climate change is affecting regions across the United States, Reuters reported. Sea level rise, flooding, droughts, and changes to snowpack and water supply are already taking place in many areas of the country. The […]

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Water Supply Reservoir levels outside of Tehran are at a “critical level” and approximately 500 cities across Iran are facing water shortages, according to water officials in the country, Voice of America reported. Officials said water cuts could be imposed for some of the 22 million people served by Tehran’s water supply if consumption is […]

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Climate change, dam construction, irrigation and groundwater use are causing water supplies in Iran to shrink rapidly, a phenomenon epitomized by the near disappearance of Lake Urmia, The New York Times reported. Lake Urmia is estimated to contain just 5 percent of the water it once held, and though it is a saltwater lake, Iran’s […]

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Mining Barrick Gold Corp, the company behind the massive $US 8.5 billion Pascua-Lama gold mine project on the Argentina-Chile border, said it is suspending construction at the site, Reuters reported. The mine has faced stiff opposition and legal battles due to concerns about its effect on glaciers and water supplies. In Indonesia, coal’s “last frontier” […]

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Water Conservation Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, has said that it will take “national will” for Iran to conserve its scarce water supplies, urging his top ministers to create a national plan for water conservation, Bloomberg News reported. The president outlined priorities such as curbing illegal well drilling and improving the efficiency of irrigation […]

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Water Supply A new study about Andean glaciers found that the pace of ice retreat in the tropical Andes is “unprecedented,” putting the water supply for many South American communities at risk, the Guardian reported. The study, published in Cryosphere, claims that an average temperature rise of 0.7 degree Celsius over 70 years is behind […]

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Food Millions of tons of grain in India are at major risk at the moment as they are lying in the open, exposed to scorching summer heat and monsoon rains, according to Reuters. This story looks at the country’s rigid regime of subsidies for grain farmers, the lack of storage facilities and the inefficient, broken […]

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Switching to a low-carbon global economy could create a net gain of between 15 and 60 million new jobs around the world, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme, the Guardian reported. Iran has rejected a Chinese company’s bid to build the country’s proposed Bakhtiari dam, which would hold 4.8 billion cubic […]

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iran_water_transfer

The country already has major water transfer projects moving 2,110 million cubic meters (557 billion gallons). Just two weeks ago, Iran began construction on a new $US 1.5 billion project that will transfer more water from the Caspian Sea.

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Iran Water Transfer

Circle of Blue reporter Codi Yeager’s thoughts on water transfer projects around the world.

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Iran has launched a $US 1.5 billion project to divert water from the Caspian Sea to the country’s central desert, Associated Press reported. The project loosely reminds of China’s proposed Bohai pipeline to transport water from the Bohai Sea to dry areas in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. Could a new method of waterless fracking — […]

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Shale gas drilling is off to a disappointing start for investors in Poland, the country thought to have the biggest unconventional gas reserves in Europe, according to Bloomberg News. Explorers in Poland are confronting rising costs, a lack of rigs, tighter environmental rules and shale layers that are harder to drill than expected. China’s biggest […]

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Hydropower and Water Security Two of the world’s biggest energy companies have pledged to measure the economic, social and environmental effects of their big hydropower projects using new voluntary guidelines, according to the Guardian. The building of dams and the increasing water consumption in upstream Afghanistan negatively affects water supply to Iran and could exacerbate […]

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Washington, D.C. is ploughing ahead with a $2.6 billion underground project — its biggest public works project in more than 40 years — aimed at helping clean up the polluted Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay, according to Reuters. Iran’s threat to halt traffic through the strategic Strait of Hormuz — which is the passageway […]

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Marafiq Plant in Al Jubail

Classified cables show that Saudi and U.S. officials believe water supplies along the Persian Gulf are at high-risk for terrorist attacks and possible contamination from nearby nuclear plants. This is the first of a new series that will analyze the water-related U.S. embassy cables published by WikiLeaks.

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Climate change manifests itself most visibly through water. But is heat the more immediate threat to the world’s breadbaskets? Floods in Southeast Asia Areas of Bangkok are bracing for evacuation as floodwaters began spilling into the capital, boosting the levels in the Chao Phraya river, damaging infrastructure, and causing food and water shortages in a […]

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The United Nations has declared a sixth famine zone in Somalia, the Guardian reported. About 4 million Somalis – more than half of the population – are now in crisis in the drought-stricken country, and 750,000 people are at risk of death in the next four months if there is no adequate response, according to […]

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The shale gas boom in the United States has weakened Russia’s role in the European energy market and could contain Iran’s influence for years to come, according to a new study by the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Read more about the shale gas development in Europe on Circle of Blue. Asia […]

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