The Stream, March 21: India, Pakistan Will Resume Indus River Talks

The Global Rundown

India and Pakistan next month will resume a dispute resolution process over hydropower projects in the Indus River Basin. More than two dozen people have died from hunger in Somalia amid a severe drought. Cape Town, South Africa will spend millions of dollars to develop emergency water systems. Military patrols are guarding forests in Malawi to prevent illegal logging that has jeopardized water sources. Scientists say more attention should be paid to forests’ role in the water cycle. A new report documents “uncharted territory” for the world’s climate, according to researchers.

“Even without a strong El Nino in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory.” –David Carlson, director of the World Climate Research Programme, on a report released by the World Meteorological Organization that details climate extremes in 2016. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

26 people Number who died from hunger during the past two days in Somalia’s Jubbaland region. More than 6 million people in Somalia are at risk from food shortages amid a severe drought. Reuters

$24.8 million Amount Cape Town, South Africa plans to spend to develop emergency water systems over the next three years. The drought-hit city currently has 100 days of water supplies left. Eyewitness News

1.8-2.6 percent Estimated annual rate of deforestation in Malawi, where the government authorized 24-hour military patrols to protect trees because of their role in providing water to cities. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Climate change science should look more closely at the relationship between forests and the water cycle rather than focusing solely on the ability of trees to capture carbon, according to an article published by nearly two dozen scientists in the journal Global Environmental Change. The researchers argue that trees have a much larger role to play in climate change mitigation and should be included in discussions about water and food security, as well as carbon storage. Science Daily

On The Radar

Representatives from India and Pakistan will meet in Washington, D.C. on April 11 to begin discussions about hydropower development in the shared Indus River Basin. The talks will address a dispute over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects, which Pakistan worries will curb downstream river flows. Dawn

In context: Hydropower projects spark discord in the Indus River Basin, but water management challenges go deeper.