The Stream, August 3: Asia Works Toward More Sustainable Systems
The Global Rundown
International aid in Mozambique will provide much needed potable water systems. Vietnam is reconsidering how its agriculture and aquaculture industries affect the Mekong Delta. Many are eagerly awaiting new energy policy from China, which will shape its direction over the next several years. One community in India is building its own water metro system. Fish are switching their internal clocks to deal with increased carbon dioxide levels in global waters. The Colorado River in the United States will likely soon be the site of a major diversion to supply a growing urban center.
“The challenge becomes reconciling the ability to develop water with the reality that you are assuming a ton of risk,” James Eklund, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The proposed diversion, and the stress it puts on the entire waterway, could affect seven states and two countries that share the river. (Circle of Blue)
By The Numbers
500,000 Number of Mozambique citizens a new international consortium, led by the aid organization CARE, is expected to reach. The coalition, which also includes Save the Children, Oxfam and Concern International, is focused on food relief and constructing and repairing water systems in seven drought-stricken provinces. Additionally, the consortium is working with farmers to increase crop yields and reduce water dependency through modern farming techniques. Efforts are being funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, The United States Agency for International Development, Irish Aid, and the German Foreign Ministry. CARE International
50 percent Amount of Vietnam’s rice production that is dependent on the now threatened Mekong Delta. The waterway is also responsible for 70 percent of the nation’s aquaculture, one-third of its GDP and the livelihood of more than 17 million of its citizens. This year, unprecedented drought has caused many farmers to rethink the impact of their traditional methods. The Vietnamese government is also reexamining its plans for rural development in the delta so as to minimize impact and maximize crop outputs. World Bank
Science, Studies, And Reports
A recently released report indicates how some fish are contending with changing ocean chemistry caused by global warming. Attuned to carbon dioxide levels in the water, which naturally spike during the day, the animals are setting their circadian clocks to constantly reflect nighttime. Scientists remain unsure how this adaptive change to a global increase in carbon dioxide could affect breeding patterns or subsequent generations of fish. Reuters
On The Radar
China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for energy, referred to as Energy 13FYP, is hotly anticipated by the international community. The plan is expected to detail the key targets being sought by the country’s policy makers, including a move toward increased renewable energy. China’s media have stated the report’s release is “imminent.” However the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan—which should have dictated policy during the span of 2011 to 2015—was released in 2013, leaving many to wonder when Energy 13FYP will become available. The Third Pole
Kochi, located in southern India, will soon have its own water metro system. Home to some of the region’s poorest people, the area already has a system of canals that will be utilized. When combined with modern public transportation watercraft, the system should provide cheap, efficient travel for more than 100,000 farmers and fishermen. Officials anticipate the water metro system will be up and running by 2020. The Guardian
Circle of Blue contributor
Nick is interested in the social and political instability caused by growing global resource scarcity. He is also the director of communication at On the Ground, an international aid and development NGO that supports sustainable community development in farming regions.