The Stream, July 18: Planned Dams and Water Diversions Increase Risk of Transboundary Conflict

The Global Rundown

New research suggests that planned dams and water diversions could contribute to increased conflict risks in river basins around the world. The number of factory farms is growing in the United Kingdom, raising concerns about pollution and animal welfare. A United Nations report calls on the international community to intensify efforts to meet the global Sustainable Development Goals. Wildfires in British Columbia have forced thousands of people to evacuate. Low water levels are creating problems for shipping companies along the Danube and Rhine rivers in Germany.

“Implementation has begun, but the clock is ticking. This report shows that the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030.” –António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, commenting on the organization’s latest progress report on the global Sustainable Development Goals, which found that the world must step up efforts to reduce poverty and improve living conditions. The goals include a target for improving access to clean water and sanitation. (UN News Centre)

In context: Billions lack safe drinking water and sanitation at home.

By The Numbers

800 mega-farms Number operating in the United Kingdom, a 26 percent increase over six years. Intensive farming methods in the United States and elsewhere have raised concerns about water pollution. Guardian

In context: EPA turns away from CAFO water pollution.

39,000 people Number evacuated from areas of British Columbia, where dry conditions have fed more than 100 wildfires. The Canadian government announced Monday that it would send military aircraft to help control the blazes. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Plans for 1,400 new dams and water diversions around the world could increase the risk of conflicts in transboundary water basins, according to a study commissioned by the United Nations. Researchers found that tensions are most likely to intensify in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river basin, and Africa’s Orange and Limpopo river basins. Science Daily

In context: Infographic — Water and security hot spots 2016.

On The Radar

Dry weather has drawn down water levels on the Danube and Rhine rivers in Germany, impeding cargo ships. The rivers are used to transport grain, minerals, coal, and heating oil throughout Europe. Reuters