To kick off World Water Day 2013, the United Nations released an analytical brief about global water security and the global water agenda. The report includes a working definition of “water security” as “The capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of and acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water-related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.”
A report from Bloomberg News highlights one of the biggest global water challenges: sanitation. The world currently has more mobile phones than toilets, with 2.4 billion people lacking connected access to wastewater systems, the report said.
In Africa, large agricultural land acquisitions by foreign investment companies are a growing concern, CNN reported. The “land grabs” could reduce water security for the communities where they occur, argue the report’s authors.
Drought is expected to continue in the central United States for the next three months, according to the spring outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Guardian reported. Farmers had hoped the drought, which destroyed many crops in the nation’s corn belt last summer, would be eased by spring rains.
Tibet is under increasing pressure from climate change, with nearly all of its glaciers in retreat, writes field biologist George Schaller for Yale Environment 360. The region is the source of many of China’s largest rivers, and provides irrigation to almost 75 percent of the arable land in northern China, according to the report.