Le site Bellaciao: coloré, multiple, ou le meilleur cotoie fort heureusement le pire, mélangé, bizarre, picabien et dadaîste, explorant toutes sortes de registres et de régimes rhétoriques, drole et polémiqueur, surréaliste: rencontre d'un parapluie et d'une machine à coudre sur une table de dissection, têtes de Lénine sur le clavier d'un piano Steinway ou Bosendorfer...
FR
ES
Senal en Vivo
VIDEO
RADIO
FRIENDS SITES
with Bellaciao
Bellaciao hosted by
To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary !
Bellaciao  mobile version   |   Home  |   About us   |   Donation  |   Links  |   Contact  |   Search
Asia’s river systems face collapse

by : Alan Boyd
Friday March 23, 2007 - 14:32

Asia’s river systems face collapse By Alan Boyd

Water in the Indus River is so clouded that the native dolphin has in effect lost its eyesight and has to detect prey and other objects through sound waves.

More than half of all the industrial waste and sewage in China flows into a single waterway, the Yangtze. And tributaries of the Ganges, one of Asia’s greatest cultural and religious treasures, are running dry because of the crippling burden of irrigation.

Such has been the legacy of the frantic Third World rush to industrialize at any cost, according to a landmark study by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) that was released as part of World Water Day on Thursday.

It found that 21 of the world’s greatest rivers, including the Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Ganges, Indus and Tigris-Euphrates in Asia, were struggling to survive against the tide of man-made pollution and the diversion of water through dams, pipes and irrigation.

"We’re talking about a complete collapse of the system - they’re so polluted, so over-extracted or so cut up by dams that it’s really not functioning as a river anymore," said Tom Le Quesne, freshwater-policy officer at WWF. "It’s a challenge that humanity faces not far off the scale of climate change."

So many lives depend on these river systems that the economies of emerging Asia could be ravaged and there could be immense social upheaval, including the loss of food security and employment. About 450 million people draw water, food and electricity supplies from the Yangtze alone, while many more use it for transportation.

The Mekong River basin supports 60 million people, including parts of China, Myanmar and Vietnam, nearly one-third of Thailand and most of Cambodia and Laos. It supplies two of the world’s most important rice bowls, central Thailand and the delta region of southern Vietnam.

In India, the Ganges Plain comprises one-third of the country’s land area and 120 million people rely on its waters for fishing and farming. Tens of millions live on tributaries of the Ganges in Bangladesh.

Then there are the displacements forced by development, often involuntary. The World Commission on Dams (WCD) has estimated that between 40 million and 80 million people have been resettled, including at least 10 million in China.

As habitats are progressively destroyed, the ecological toll is mounting and may be irreversible. About 20% of the world’s 10,000 freshwater fish and plant species are either extinct or endangered.

In the Yangtze, the freshwater dolphin was declared officially extinct last year and the Chinese alligator, baiji (river dolphin) and freshwater finless porpoise are critically endangered. Other dolphins are at risk in the Salween basin, Ganges and Indus.

Hundreds of fish species have vanished, especially species that have found their annual migration patterns blocked by dams. Giant catfish, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, have not been caught in the Mekong in northern Thailand since 2001.

As the species decline, so do livelihoods. Annual fish catches from the middle and lower Yangtze averaged around 240,000 tonnes in the early 1950s, but were down to 110,000 tonnes when the last checks were taken, in the period 1983-2000.

The WWF puts the blame for the deterioration of river systems on overdevelopment, noting that at least 60% of the world’s 227 largest rivers have been fragmented by dams, leading to the destruction of wetlands.

On a global scale, more than 45,000 large dams - those that are more than 60 meters high - are operational in more than 150 countries, while another 1,500 or so are under construction.

"Unabated development is jeopardizing nature’s ability to meet our growing demands," said Jamie Pittock, who heads the WWF’s freshwater program.

The report is a follow-up to a study by the WCD in 2000 that recommended more stringent controls on the blocking of water flows so that the environmental impact of man-made barriers could be contained. The WFF concludes that governments are not acting on these recommendations.

Most at risk is the Yangtze, which also has the largest number of large dams either planned or under construction - 46, including the mammoth Three Gorges.

Communities along river systems add to the problem. Pollution in the main stem of the Yangtze has increased by more than 70% during the past 50 years, with heaps of garbage, pig waste and discharge from factories, hospitals and mines, possibly including radioactive waste, accumulating on the riverbed.

Leather-processing industries that use large quantities of chromium and other metals are feeding toxic waste into the Ganges, especially near Kanpour, while about a billion liters of mostly untreated raw sewage spills in daily.

The extraction of water for irrigation and runoff of chemicals from factories and farms threaten the Indus, which snakes through Pakistan and western India. Meanwhile logging, poor farming practices and the destruction of mangroves are putting the Mekong at risk.

Governments are waking up to the threat to their river systems, but there are inevitable economic and political trade-offs. India’s localized Ganga Action Plan for the Ganges, which is building a chain of waste-treatment plants, has had little backing from the leading political parties because of the perceived threat to industry, and it barely registers with religious authorities.

Chinese officials have promised their neighbors on the Mekong that Beijing will "fully consider" the environmental consequences of tapping water from the river, which is known in China as the Lancang. Yet China refuses to join monitoring efforts by the Mekong River Commission.

The WWF and other environment agencies have acknowledged that policymakers face a difficult choice between development goals and ecosystems as they battle to raise living standards. Under the Millennium Accord brokered by the United Nations in 2000, the countries of the world agreed to halve the proportion of those without access to affordable and safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.

Poor countries pledged to govern with greater effectiveness and to invest their resources more wisely. Rich countries committed to support them through increased aid and debt relief, among other things.

Much of this aid has been channeled into big-money water-infrastructure projects with the backing of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other lending institutions, usually with multinational conglomerates from the richer nations as project partners.

Small countries such as Laos and Myanmar stand to make a financial windfall. For Laos, one of the most backward countries in Asia, the planned investment of more than US$1 billion in the contentious Nam Theun II Dam will be equivalent to three times its national budget.

But the WWF report contends that the benefits are often overstated, as most returns go to the offshore partners, while local communities face dislocation and the potential loss of livelihoods.

"Dams are both a blessing and a curse - the benefits they provide often come at high environmental and social costs," said Dr Ute Collier, head of the WWF’s Dams Initiative. "Those most affected by dams rarely benefit from them or gain access to power and clean water."

According to studies by the WCD and the UN, the dams contribute water to only 12-16% of world food production, even though half were built specifically for the irrigation of crops and an estimated 30-40% of the 271 million hectares of irrigated land worldwide relies on dams.

This is because irrigation is notoriously inefficient: on average, it utilizes only 38% of water discharges and up to 1,500 trillion liters of water is wasted annually, enough to supply the whole of the African continent.

Likewise, there are arguments against the capital investment needed for the 19% of dam capacity that is used to supply power to electricity grids, even though it offers relatively low greenhouse emissions.

UN studies have found that every megawatt of installed capacity for hydropower costs about $1 million, while the bulk of output is often exported for hard currency rather than being offered to local populations.

Nevertheless, the WWF concedes that "there is little doubt that dams have improved agricultural output by making more land suitable for cropping through irrigation", while also piping drinking water and providing valuable benefits for flood mitigation. The central argument, the agency says, is how to build dams in a less intrusive manner that will sustain water systems and their habitats. So far the message is getting through only in developed countries: the United States is actually dismantling some of its dams.

But as water resources dwindle, it is likely that the potential for conflict between neighbors who share rivers will force a change of attitude, as the impact of dams and other flow diversions is selective. Communities living downstream from large dams, particularly those that rely on natural floodplains for agricultural, herding and fishery production, suffer the most when structures are built upriver.

China’s activities on the upper Mekong are disrupting the navigation of Laotian fishing vessels, disrupting flood patterns for Thai river communities, drying up Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia and aggravating salination problems in Vietnam’s delta region.

Management of the glacier belt in the Himalayas affects a whole range of river systems, providing 40% of the water in the Ganges and much of the flow for the Indus, Brahmaputra and Padma and feeding the Red Sea. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh put their trust in Nepal and Tibet.

Internal diversions of water have a similar impact on domestic populations. China plans to pipe water from the Yangtze basin to the Yellow, Huaihe and Haihe river systems more than 1,000km to the north to revive the Yellow River, which is now only a trickle in places.

India is considering 30 separate projects that will link rivers, including the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery, as a way of transferring flows, mostly from the north and west to the south.

Le Quesne said attitudes of governments will have to change if the world’s river systems are to be saved.

"We’ve all been used to taking water for granted. We’ve assumed that water is a limitless resource. It’s not anymore," he said.

"It’s a question of using water wisely and managing it. It’s a question of political will."

Alan Boyd, now based in Sydney, has reported on Asia for more than two decades.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/...



Leave a comment
Print this article





Out of jail Eric Arnoux lands in Dubai
Friday 15 - 12:03
by Kerim
Trump uses Jews to get pedophile elected
Sunday 10 - 12:45
by Eaton
WHAT TRUMP IS DOING IN JERULSALEM AND WHY HE IS DOING IT
Wednesday 6 - 18:40
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
SUPPORT RACISM: WATCH THE NFL
Saturday 18 - 01:38
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN SAUDI ARABIA?
Friday 10 - 15:13
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Sorry, Ain’t got cash. God bless you, too.
Wednesday 8 - 09:22
by Bailey Anderson
REFLECTIONS ON HOW LITTLE IS REVEALED BY JUST-RELEASED JFK ASSASSINATION DOCUMEN
Monday 30 - 19:43
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
PEOPLE OF COLOR: THE NFL DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU
Tuesday 17 - 23:07
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
TRUMP, JONES, THE NFL, AND THE NEW MCCARTHYISM
Tuesday 10 - 23:14
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Catalonia referendum: 90% voted for independence, say officials (video)
Monday 2 - 09:55
Catalonia referendum: ’Spanish authorities are the criminals’ (video)
Monday 2 - 09:47
If I was truly evil
Tuesday 12 - 14:22
Yves Bouvier Faces Swiss Tax Investigation
Saturday 9 - 03:27
by lishk
The Polisario front suspected of double-play around humanitarian aid hijacking
Friday 8 - 21:44
by NathanT
The Polisario front suspected of double-play around humanitarian aid hijacking
Friday 8 - 21:37
by Nathan Taylor
AMERICA’S JUDASES
Sunday 27 - 20:02
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
What happend to Soraya and Hussein Khashoggi?
Friday 25 - 20:38
by Perseus
The falling Max Ehrich
Thursday 17 - 19:40
by celbbetty
DAMN THE NFL
Wednesday 16 - 01:44
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Overplaying your hand
Thursday 10 - 12:36
Gujarat Flood 2017 Devastation- Inevitable or Orchestrated in Dhanera ?
Thursday 3 - 06:19
by Dwarika Nath Rath
Multiple citizenship & Zionist subversion of America, Australia, India, Humanity
Wednesday 2 - 03:10
by Dr Gideon Polya
I’M AN IDIOT AND I VOTE
Thursday 27 - 23:23
by David R. Hoffman
The Top Ten Art Scandals That Have Rocked the World
Tuesday 18 - 15:48
by Curtis Judge
John Pilger slams Mainstream silence re Apartheid Israel crimes: Free Palestine
Thursday 13 - 02:43
by Dr Gideon Polya
RUSSIAN MAFIA – NOW IN DUBAI?
Monday 3 - 14:52
by James Dolay
THE NFL IS RACIST
Saturday 1 - 00:31
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Australian Finkel Review has dirty energy for 50 years & ignores 25 key issues
Monday 19 - 03:37
by Dr Gideon Polya
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: JUSTICE FOR PHILANDO CASTILE
Sunday 18 - 01:03
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Find out what is true and false about climate change - Kenneth Pouchet
Friday 16 - 17:43
by Kenneth Pouchet
Freedom For Me, But Not You
Wednesday 31 - 02:17
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Post-Apartheid, non-racist, One State, democratic Palestine can happen tomorrow
Tuesday 30 - 08:21
by Dr Gideon Polya
A Review of Gilad Atzmon’s new book, “Being In Time: The Post-Political Manifes
Wednesday 17 - 21:23
by June Terpstra
Avoiding Another War in North Korea
Sunday 14 - 18:27
by William John Cox
Judah Ben Hur for President 2020
Saturday 13 - 16:15
by William Morgan
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FOR DONALD J. TRUMP
Saturday 13 - 02:33
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
As War Party shadow boxes, its agenda surges unopposed
Friday 12 - 14:28
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Yves Bouvier caught in a real estate bankruptcy
Thursday 11 - 20:19
by Pierre Gove
Book: This Is How The State Fucks Your Mind
Tuesday 9 - 19:16
by OAF
ISRAEL’S 1967 ATTACK ON INTELLIGENCE SHIP U.S.S. LIBERTY - THE ONLY MYSTERY
Thursday 20 - 20:06
by JOHN CHUCKMAN

home | webmaster



Follow-up of the site's activity
RSS Bellaciao En


rss FR / rss IT / rss ES



Bellaciao hosted by DRI

It is the responsibility of the intellectual to speak the truth and to expose lies. Noam Chomsky
Facebook Twitter Google+
DAZIBAO
I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
read more...
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
read more...
Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
read more...
International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
read more...
THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
read more...
I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
read more...
ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
read more...
HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
read more...
PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
read more...