The Stream, June 8: Water Disappearing From Oman’s Ancient Irrigation Systems

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Ancient water systems in Oman are drying up, China’s infrastructure system wastes much of the hydropower it generates, and southern Asia is preparing for possible food price inflation due to an El Nino. Leaky pipes can introduce contaminants to water systems, researchers in the United Kingdom found. An initiative in the Great Lakes region seeks to make water management more natural.

“The aflaj may be the most ancient community-run systems for managing water in the world.”– Slim Zekri, water economist at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman, on the country’s vital and age-old irrigation systems. The aflaj are now at risk of drying up due to new private water wells that are lowering water table levels. (Yale Environment 360)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

2.2 trillion kilowatt hours China’s annual hydropower generation potential, compared to the approximately 1 trillion kilowatt hours it now produces each year. Infrastructure inefficiencies mean much of that power is wasted. Reuters

0.5 to 0.9 percent Amount that the El Nino weather phenomenon usually adds to inflation in India, Indonesia, and Thailand, according to the International Monetary Fund. An El Nino this year could raise inflation, especially for food prices, in Asia. Bloomberg


Science, Studies, And Reports

Leaks in water pipes not only release water, but can also allow contaminated water back into the system if the pressure drops, according to a study by researchers at the University of Sheffield. Contaminants sucked in through damaged pipes could include viruses and bacteria.

On the Radar

On The Radar

An initiative led by the Great Lakes Commission will pursue green infrastructure pilot projects in cities around the Great Lakes region. The initiative aims to redesign water management to more closely mimic natural cycles, improving financial and ecological outcomes. Gizmodo

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