Water War A’Coming – Who Wins, Who Loses?

Education Images/UIG

❝ Lake Mead is the country’s biggest reservoir of water. Think of it as the savings account for the entire Southwest. Right now, that savings account is nearly overdrawn.

For generations, we’ve been using too much of the Colorado River, the 300-foot-wide ribbon of water that carved the Grand Canyon, supplies Lake Mead, and serves as the main water source for much of the American West.

The river sustains one in eight Americans — about 40 million people — and millions of acres of farmland…snowpack in the Rockies has been dwindling, and there’s no physical way for them to store the water they depend on. There are no big reservoirs in the Rockies…

❝ And then there’s always climate change. On the world’s current emissions trajectory, sharply warming temperatures boost the odds of a megadrought in the Southwest sometime later this century to more than 99 percent. Such a drought would last a generation. Nearly all trees in the Southwest could die. The scale of the disaster would have the power to reshape the course of U.S. history.

❝ For now, the spat over the Colorado River offers a glimpse into water politics in an era of permanent scarcity.

Our little community in La Cieneguilla is well situated to survive a water war. Geology is on our side. So what? We have neighbors in the county, in the state, who will move to logical and kindly, illegal and greedy, solutions depending upon timely local politics.

Gird your loins wherever you may be in [or near] the Southwest. Hopefully, common sense and decency prevail.

83 thoughts on “Water War A’Coming – Who Wins, Who Loses?

  1. Cassandra says:

    “How a city that floods is running out of water” (BBC 5/14/18) http://www.bbc.com/future/gallery/20180510-how-a-city-that-floods-is-running-out-of-water “Mexico City is running out of water – and that crisis is exacerbating everything from sewage spills to subsidence to earthquakes.”
    “Mexico: Water Activist in Baja California under Preemptive Arrest for Bogus Charges” https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Water-Activist-in-Baja-California-Put-Into-Preemptive-Prison-20180513-0009.html
    “How Cape Town delayed its water-shortage disaster—at least until 2019” (Quartz 5/4/18) https://qz.com/1272589/how-cape-town-delayed-its-water-disaster-at-least-until-2019/

  2. On borrowed time says:

    “Satellite study finds major shifts in global freshwater” https://phys.org/news/2018-05-satellite-major-shifts-global-freshwater.html “What we are witnessing is major hydrologic change,” said co-author James Famiglietti of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We see, for the first time, a very distinctive pattern of the wet land areas of the world getting wetter—those are the high latitudes and the tropics—and the dry areas in between getting dryer. Embedded within the dry areas we see multiple hotspots resulting from groundwater depletion.”
    Annotated map of Terrestrial Water Storage trends from: “Emerging trends in global freshwater availability” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0123-1/figures/1
    “Humans are causing massive changes in the location of water around the world, NASA says” (Washington Post 5/16/18) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/05/16/humans-are-causing-massive-changes-in-the-location-of-water-all-over-the-earth-nasa-says/?utm_term=.3892e2425bd6 “I think we have forgotten, society has forgotten, how much water it takes to produce food,” Famiglietti said. “We’ve taken its availability for granted. And you know, now we’re at a point in many of these aquifers where we can’t take it for granted anymore. Population is too great, groundwater levels are too low. … we’re at tipping points.”

  3. Chirrionera says:

    “New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking” https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/07/texas-landowners-new-mexico-stealing-water-fracking/ In this new water-war battlefront, the New Mexico land commissioner argues that unregulated pumping of water from wells along the state line in West Texas for use in fracking is depleting the shared aquifers that supply water to southern New Mexico.

    • Wet Willy says:

      “Growing pains across America’s biggest oilfield” (CNNMoney 6/28/18) http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/28/investing/permian-basin-oil-texas/index.html “…The process of extracting oil from shale wells requires a great deal of water — a precious commodity in Texas due to recent drought conditions and a growing population. “The sheer volume of water is unprecedented,” wrote consulting firm Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Ryan Duman. The firm said that water expenses could eventually knock as much as 400,000 barrels of anticipated daily production growth offline. Water risks “could impact the ability to actually carry out operations,” Duman said.
      See also “Texas-New Mexico water fight could be impacted by SCOTUS ruling” (Texas Tribune 6/27/18) https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/27/texas-water-fight-new-mexico-could-be-impacted-scotus-decision/ “The high court’s decision lowers the burden of proof for states locked in similar water battles with upstream neighbors.”

    • Dihydrogen monoxide says:

      “The New Mexico State Land Office announced Tuesday that it will be halting the practice of allowing fresh water to be pumped from state trust land and sold for use in oil and gas development.” (US News 12/15/20) https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2020-12-15/new-mexico-land-boss-ends-fresh-water-sales-for-oil-and-gas
      “The agency cited data reported by companies to FracFocus, a national registry, that indicated nearly 14.5 billion gallons of water were used for overall production in New Mexico in 2019, with recycled or produced water making up only a fraction of the total use.
      “Rather than looking at fresh water as a commodity for sale to the highest bidder, we should look at the advancements in water recycling and produced water as our way forward,” Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said in a statement. “There is simply no reason for fresh water to be used for fracking.”
      She said small communities in close proximity to the basin already are fighting the industry for access to fresh water.”

      FracFocus national hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure registry https://fracfocus.org/

  4. Ольга says:

    “Crimea water crisis resolution unlikely, risk of further Russian incursion into Ukraine rises in three-year outlook” (Jane’s July 5, 2018) http://www.janes.com/article/81549/crimea-water-crisis-resolution-unlikely-risk-of-further-russian-incursion-into-ukraine-rises-in-three-year-outlook
    Key points:
    ● The water crisis in Crimea, already severe, is likely to deteriorate further, following Ukraine’s decision to cut fresh water supply to the annexed peninsula in 2014, which had previously accounted for 86% of the total.
    ● Although there are potential non-military solutions to the Crimea water crisis, they would require large investments and time to be implemented successfully, thus potentially pressing the Russian leadership to choose a quicker military solution.
    ● A military operation to secure water supply for Crimea, currently a low-probability but high-impact scenario, would require Russian invasion into the Kherson region of Ukraine, potentially under a hybrid scenario under the pretence of assisting the oppressed Russian speakers in the region, reminiscent of the Donbass conflict’s scenario in 2014.

  5. Cassandra says:

    Pakistan: “Parched for a price: Karachi’s water crisis” https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2017/parched-for-price/index.html (interactive) “Residents of Karachi, one of the largest cities in the world, are being held hostage by a ‘mafia’ that makes millions of dollars out of their need for water.” See also “Karachi ‘water mafia’ sucking city’s pipelines dry” (2015) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/karachi-water-mafia-sucking-city-pipelines-dry-150910062202773.html
    Scotland: “Water help for communities ‘running dry’ after heatwave” (BBC 7/18/18) https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-44865968
    “Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California’s mega farms” (Guardian UK 7/18/18) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/18/california-central-valley-sinking-arsenic-water-farming-agriculture

  6. Basdin says:

    “The Klamath conflict: Water war along California-Oregon border pits growers against tribes, family against family” (San Francisco Chronicle 7/20/18) https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/The-Klamath-conflict-Water-war-along-13089350.php
    “Conflict in Klamath: A battle over irrigation rights in Oregon becomes, for a time, the latest flash point for antigovernment activists.” (Southern Poverty Law Center 2001) https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2001/conflict-klamath

  7. Here&Now says:

    ● “The Water Wars of Arizona: Attracted by lax regulations, industrial agriculture has descended on a remote valley, depleting its aquifer — leaving many residents with no water at all.” New York Times July 19, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/19/magazine/the-water-wars-of-arizona.html
    ● “Georgia is nowhere near last battle in tri-state water wars” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 6/28/18)
    ● “In the midst of a state decision that the Turlock Irrigation District says could “drastically impact our communities,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the two reservoirs on Friday that are in the middle of California’s water war.” (Turlock Journal, CA 7/20/18) https://www.turlockjournal.com/news/government/water-fight-attracts-federal-interest/ Environmentalists claim amendments to an Interior Department spending bill “aims to curtail ample flows through the San Joaquin River and its tributaries to the San Francisco Bay-Delta in favor of big corporate almond growers.”
    “Zinke will work to find a solution for all people, he [Secretary Zinke] said, adding that the next steps upon returning to Washington, D.C., include making sure that he, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue are all “on the same page.” “If the administration works together, we’ll have a solution fairly quick,” Zinke said.

  8. Tuchman's Law says:

    “The World Will Soon be at War Over Water” (Newsweek) https://www.newsweek.com/2015/05/01/world-will-soon-be-war-over-water-324328.html
    “What You Need to Know About the World’s Water Wars” (National Geographic) https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/world-aquifers-water-wars/
    “Water Wars: China, India and the Great Dam Rush” (The Diplomat) https://thediplomat.com/2015/04/water-wars-china-india-and-the-great-dam-rush/
    “The ‘water war’ brewing over the new River Nile dam” (BBC News) https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43170408
    “Mideast Water Wars: In Iraq, A Battle for Control of Water” (Yale E360) https://e360.yale.edu/features/mideast_water_wars_in_iraq_a_battle_for_control_of_water

  9. White Buffalo™️ says:

    In late 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court left standing a lower court ruling endorsing priority groundwater rights for Native American tribes by denying an appeal in Agua Caliente Band v. Coachella Valley Water District. This ruling establishes a new standard throughout nine western states within the lower court’s jurisdiction and establishes persuasive, although nonbinding, legal precedent for the rest of the United States. As many as 236 tribes in the West could have lands with unresolved groundwater rights according to a new Stanford University study published in Science. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6401/453
    This means as the West’s water becomes scarcer in the coming decades, 200-odd tribes could play a key role in deciding who gets it — potentially boosting allocations for ecosystems as well as tribal areas that are already water-scarce. Their role could be especially great in Arizona, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah. See map at https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/0*MolCub85tmlqLDfj

  10. Doomsville says:

    Right now, New Mexico’s largest reservoir is at about three percent capacity, with just 62,573 acre feet of water in storage as of September 20.
    Elephant Butte Reservoir’s low levels offer a glimpse of the past, as well as insight into the future. Over the past few decades, southwestern states like New Mexico have on average experienced warmer temperatures, earlier springs and less snowpack in the mountains. And it’s a trend that’s predicted to continue.
    “There was no spring runoff this year. We started this year at basically the point we left off at last year,” says Mary Carlson, a spokesperson for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates Elephant Butte Dam, just north of the town of Truth or Consequences. The federal agency runs the Rio Grande Project, which stores water that legally must be delivered downstream to the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, the state of Texas and Mexico. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/879547/nms-reservoirs-weathered-this-year-but-what-will-happen-next-year-en/?mc_cid=37aa08512f&mc_eid=4b85ca587f …Elephant Butte Reservoir offers perhaps the starkest reminder that keeping up with the changing climate may require questioning long-held ideas of how water is managed and shared, how we think about rivers and reservoirs and even, who we consider our friends or foes.

  11. Isaiah 5:6 says:

    As NM’s water situation worsens, SCOTUS battle over the Rio Grande intensifies http://nmpoliticalreport.com/881010/as-nms-water-situation-worsens-scotus-battle-over-the-rio-grande-intensifies-en/?mc_cid=ac250e5dcb&mc_eid=4b85ca587f
    Also: “As warming strains NM’s water supplies, ‘status quo’ no longer works” http://nmpoliticalreport.com/880512/as-warming-strains-nms-water-supplies-status-quo-no-longer-works-en/ “…what people need to understand is we are facing conditions that mankind has not faced here before.” Between 1971 and 2001, average temperatures in the Upper Rio Grande Basin increased by an unprecedented 0.7 degree Fahrenheit per decade, or double the global average. And they’re expected to rise within the basin by an additional four to six degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century. A 2016 Bureau of Reclamation report also notes that the rivers flows in the basin, are already insufficient to meet the basin’s water demands, and the basin already experiences water supply shortages, even without the effects of climate change.”
    See also Rio Grande Basin fact sheet https://www.usbr.gov/climate/secure/docs/2016secure/factsheet/RioGrandeBasinFactSheet.pdf

  12. Harbinger says:

    Glaciers in western North America, not including Alaska, have lost about 117 billion tons of ice since 2000, and are currently losing about 12 billion tons a year, according to new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/glaciers-in-the-americas-are-melting-faster/
    Meanwhile, a second study published this week in Nature Climate Change confirmed that Patagonia, a region that includes parts of southern Chile and Argentina, is losing more ice than any other area in South America. The new estimates, also based on satellite imagery, suggest that the northern and southern Patagonian ice fields—covering about 6,500 square miles, the largest expanse of ice in the Southern Hemisphere besides Antarctica—are losing around 17 billion tons of ice each year. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0375-7
    Mountain glaciers are a critical source of fresh water, helping to feed the streams and rivers that wildlife and human communities depend on. As the glaciers shrink those water supplies begin to dry up.
    Also according to experts the estimated 5,500 glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region – site of Mount Everest and many of the world’s tallest peaks – could reduce their volume by 70%-99% by 2100, with dire consequences for farming and hydropower generation downstream. Over one billion people in Asia depend on rivers fed by glaciers for their food and livelihoods. While increased glacier melt initially increases water flows, ongoing retreat leads to reduced meltwater from the glaciers during the warmer months. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/27/most-glaciers-in-mount-everest-area-will-disappear-with-climate-change-study

  13. Heads up says:

    “On the Water-Starved Colorado River, Drought Is the New Normal” https://e360.yale.edu/features/on-the-water-starved-colorado-river-drought-is-the-new-normal
    With the Southwest locked in a 19-year drought and climate change making the region increasingly drier, water managers and users along the Colorado River are facing a troubling question: Are we in a new, more arid era when there will never be enough water? Second in a series. See also http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2019/01/no-lake-powell-is-not-inexorably-headed-toward-dead-pool/#comment-748762

    • Mike says:

      Colorado, Western states finalize landmark drought plan to voluntarily use less Colorado River water : Feds welcome “drought contingency” plan to avert crisis still likely after 19-year shift to aridity https://www.denverpost.com/2019/03/19/colorado-river-drought-contingency-plan/
      Faced with reservoirs less than half full along the Colorado River, federal authorities and negotiators for Colorado and six other Western states have finalized a plan to share the burden of voluntarily using less water as growing cities and warming temperatures deplete the supply for 40 million people.

  14. Mike says:

    “French Town Becomes a Focal Point in War over Water : A battle is brewing in Vittel over Nestlé. The groundwater is running low in the French spa town and the multinational conglomerate is fighting for its rights to the commodity — and for its reputation.” http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/vexed-in-vittel-a-1252370.html
    Documentary Film “Bottled Life – The Truth about Neslé’s Business with Water”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0QH43DQLC4 See also https://ecogreenlove.com/2014/08/24/green-documentaries-bottled-life-the-truth-about-nestles-business-with-water/

  15. Cassandra says:

    “Water wars: Are India and Pakistan heading for climate change-induced conflict?
    Across the world, climate change is sparking conflict as people struggle over dwindling resources. The fight over water could quickly escalate between India and Pakistan — and both have nuclear arms.” (Deutsche Welle 1/25/19) https://www.dw.com/en/water-wars-are-india-and-pakistan-heading-for-climate-change-induced-conflict/a-47203933 Includes link to “Water scarcity in Pakistan – A bigger threat than terrorism”
    (“Pakistan recalls India envoy amid tensions over Kashmir attack : Islamabad recalls its ambassador a week after New Delhi summoned back its envoy after 42 troops were killed in Kashmir.” Al Jazeera 2/18/19)

  16. Honi ha-M'agel says:

    U.S. domestic water use in gallons per day per person and percentage population growth 2000 to 2015 from U.S. Census Bureau Population and Housing Unit estimates data sets (doesn’t include industrial or agricultural use)

  17. Hey, Rube! says:

    “What drought? These states are gearing up to draw more water from the Colorado River” https://grist.org/article/what-drought-these-states-are-gearing-up-to-draw-more-water-from-the-colorado/ There are at least six high-profile projects in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming that combined could divert more than 300,000 acre-feet of water from the beleaguered Colorado River. That’s the equivalent of Nevada’s entire allocation from the river. (One acre-foot is roughly equal to 326,000 gallons.) These projects are in different stages of permitting and funding, but are moving ahead even as headlines about the river’s dwindling supply dominate the news.
    The Colorado River sustains the American West. About 40 million people rely on the Colorado River and its water irrigates 5.5 million acres of farmland — an area roughly the size of the state of New Hampshire.

  18. Mike says:

    The Office of the State Engineer awarded the state’s first water rights permit to keep water in a river. The office granted the permit to Audubon New Mexico for a stretch of the Gallina River near Abiquiu.
    Riparian areas, including rivers, streams and wetlands, account for just 1 percent of the New Mexico landscape [see http://uttoncenter.unm.edu/resources/research-resources/water-for-nm-rivers.pdf ], and have been stressed by decades of drought and a warming climate. A recent World Resources Institute study ranked New Mexico as the most water-stressed area in the United States. [see http://nmpoliticalreport.com/2019/11/14/95-of-oil-and-gas-leases-on-public-lands-in-nm-are-in-extremely-high-water-stress-areas/ ]
    Surface water rights in the state are typically granted to individuals for diverting water from streams and rivers to irrigate crops and support food production.
    Paul Tashjian, director of freshwater conservation at Audubon New Mexico, called the permit acquisition historic, and said it enables private water rights holders to lease or sell water for conservation purposes. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/2019/12/13/new-mexico-grants-water-rights-to-keep-water-in-a-river/?mc_cid=fa3a9668e7&mc_eid=4b85ca587f

  19. بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ says:

    “Saving the Nile : For the 280 million people from 11 countries who live along the banks of the Nile, it symbolizes life. For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.” (interactive) https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2020/saving-the-nile/index.html
    Re: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Ethiopian_Renaissance_Dam

  20. Bryce says:

    The Ogallala aquifer is rapidly declining.
    The large underground reservoir stretches from Wyoming and the Dakotas to New Mexico, with segments crossing key farmland in Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. It serves as the main water source for what’s known as the breadbasket of America — an area that contributes at least a fifth of the total annual agricultural harvest in the United States.
    The U.S. Geological Survey began warning about the aquifer’s depletion in the 1960s, though the severity of the issue seems to have only recently hit the mainstream. Farmers in places like Kansas are now grappling with the reality of dried up wells.
    In New Mexico, the situation is more dire. The portions of the aquifer in eastern New Mexico are shallower than in other agricultural zones, and the water supply is running low.
    In 2016, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources sent a team to Curry and Roosevelt counties to evaluate the lifespan of the aquifer. The news was not good. Researchers determined some areas of aquifer had just three to five years left before it would run dry given the current usage levels, potentially leaving thousands of residents and farmers without any local water source. https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/03/02/amid-groundwater-declines-water-data-gains-importance/?mc_cid=a7c00adede&mc_eid=4b85ca587f
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map of the The Ogallala aquifer [click to enlarge]

  21. Meanwhile... says:

    An Egyptian cyber attack on Ethiopia by hackers is the latest strike over the Grand Dam (6/27/20) https://qz.com/africa/1874343/egypt-cyber-attack-on-ethiopia-is-strike-over-the-grand-dam/ “The two countries have been at loggerheads with each other for years over Ethiopia’s construction of the massive hydroelectric dam on the Nile—Egypt’s sole water source for irrigation farming and in general for its 100 million-strong population. But as the source of 85% of the Nile’s waters, Ethiopia maintains that the Chinese-backed dam is crucial for attaining developmental goals and combating poverty. Under construction since 2011, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) continues to be a source of growing tension between the two states.”
    Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Ethiopian_Renaissance_Dam
    (6/27/20): “Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed to delay the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) until a final deal is reached, the Egyptian presidency said on Friday. https://www.arabnews.com/node/1696076/middle-east
    The three countries decided to form a committee of legal and technical experts to draft a final deal, and will “refrain from taking any unilateral measures, including the filling of the dam, before the agreement is reached.”
    The announcement came after an emergency African Union online summit of leaders of the three countries, chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.”

  22. Mayordomo says:

    “USDA crop insurance program cuts benefits to Rio Arriba farmers, acequia-irrigated lands” https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/09/15/usda-crop-insurance-program-cuts-benefits-to-rio-arriba-farmers-acequia-irrigated-lands/?mc_cid=f5fe3784d8&mc_eid=4b85ca587f
    “…In response to the ongoing drought in New Mexico, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated nine counties in New Mexico, including Rio Arriba and Taos, as primary natural disaster areas and eligible for emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency.
    But the Farm Service Agency has been telling farmers a shortage of water in acequias doesn’t count as drought. Acequias tap the Gila in the southwest and the San Juan in the northwest, but of an estimated 650 in the state, over 200 of them run through Rio Arriba County, and 150 through Taos County.”
    Re: Acequias see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acequia#Overview

  23. Güero says:

    “Mexican farmers occupy dam to stop water payments to the United States” (Washington Post 9/14/20) https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-mexico-water-dam-farm-protest/2020/09/13/dddb85e8-f3bb-11ea-999c-67ff7bf6a9d2_story.html
    Unrest has simmered for months over U.S. demands that Mexico pay off a shortfall of more than 100 billion gallons by Oct. 24 to meet its five-year water-delivery quota. Local farmers say the extra payments are emptying reservoirs that store water they need.
    The crisis erupted in violence this month when about 2,000 protesters swarmed over La Boquilla dam on the Conchas River and a national guard unit was sent in to stop them. One woman was shot dead in the chaotic confrontation last week, but about 200 protesters, armed with sticks and rocks, were able to repel the security forces and retain control of the century-old hydroelectric facility.
    “We tried to have a dialogue, but nobody listened to us,” said Guerrero Carillo, a local farm leader, reached by telephone at the dam. “There are thousands of farmers desperate for water. We have had no rain in months and there will be nothing left for the spring crops.

    In late July, demonstrators in Chihuahua burned several government vehicles, blocked railway tracks and set afire a government office and highway tollbooths to protest the release of water from local dams to pay the U.S. https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2020/07/20/mexico-farmers-clash-las-virgenes-dam-over-water-debt-chihuahua/5472552002/

  24. Jugaad says:

    India is considering a plan to build a 10-gigawatt (GW) hydropower project in a remote eastern state, an Indian official said on Tuesday, following reports that China could construct dams on a section of the Brahmaputra river.
    The river, also known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in China, flows from Tibet into India’s Arunachal Pradesh state and down through Assam to Bangladesh. Indian authorities are concerned Chinese projects could trigger flash floods or create water scarcity.
    Some analysts warned that damming the Brahmaputra could potentially develop into another flashpoint, as Beijing’s dam-building activities moved closer to the Indian border.
    “India is facing China’s terrestrial aggression in the Himalayas, maritime encroachments on its back yard and, as the latest news is a reminder, even water wars,” Brahma Chellaney, a specialist on India-China ties, said in a tweet. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/2/india-plans-dam-on-brahmaputra-to-offset-chinese-plans
    India and Bangladesh are also engaged in a long-standing disputes over sharing river water. The two countries share 54 rivers between them.

  25. Cassandra says:

    “The Ongoing Collapse of the World’s Aquifers : When humans over-exploit underground water supplies, the ground collapses like a huge empty water bottle. It’s called subsidence, and it could affect 1.6 billion people by 2040.” https://www.wired.com/story/the-ongoing-collapse-of-the-worlds-aquifers/
    “A slow-moving crisis threatens the U.S. Central Plains, which grow a quarter of the nation’s crops. Underground, the region’s lifeblood – water – is disappearing, placing one of the world’s major food-producing regions at risk.
    The Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer is one of the world’s largest groundwater sources, extending from South Dakota down through the Texas Panhandle across portions of eight states. Its water supports US$35 billion in crop production each year.” https://theconversation.com/farmers-are-depleting-the-ogallala-aquifer-because-the-government-pays-them-to-do-it-145501

  26. Here and now says:

    “Hydropower projects are wreaking havoc in the Himalayas : The deadly February 7 flash flood in Uttarakhand should not be blamed on ‘nature’s fury’ alone.” https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2021/3/19/hydropower-projects-are-wrecking-havoc-in-the-himalayas
    “…The rapid expansion of hydropower projects in the region is not fueled only by a desire to produce clean energy, either. The continuing “water war” between India and China is also a motivating factor behind the mushrooming of these projects in the Indian Himalayas. In November 2020, the Power Construction Corporation of China, a Chinese state-owned company, announced plans to develop a massive hydroelectric project, with production capacity of up to 60 gigawatts, on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river. India responded by announcing plans to build a 10-gigawatt project on the Siang, the main tributary of the same river, to “offset the impact of the hydropower project by China”.

  27. Hope says:

    “India, Pakistan hold water-sharing talks amid thaw in frozen ties : In a further sign of rapprochement, the two rivals to hold their first meeting in three years on rights to Indus River water.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/23/india-pakistan-hold-water-sharing-talks-amid-thaw-in-frozen-ties
    The Indus River, one of the world’s largest, and its tributaries feed 80 percent of Pakistan’s irrigated agriculture.
    Re: The Indus Waters Treaty see https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/indus-waters-treaty

  28. Upstream says:

    ‘Everyone Loses’: The Government Is Rationing Water at the California-Oregon Border : A major drought has forced farmers and Indigenous tribes to compete for water in a situation nobody ever wanted. https://www.vice.com/en/article/88na4x/everyone-loses-the-government-is-rationing-water-at-the-california-oregon-border
    In 2010, after years of compromises, the tribes and the Klamath project signed the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) to decide the future of water management in the region. The plan went to Congress, where it wasn’t signed by the deadline, and it died. https://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/uncharted-waters/Content?oid=3511050
    Now, a path forward in a warming world is even more urgently needed.

  29. Cassandra says:

    Jordan facing ‘one of the most severe’ droughts in its history
    Experts say Jordan is now in the grip of one of the most severe droughts in its history, but many warn the worst is yet to come. https://www.aljazeera.com/gallery/2021/5/6/drought-hit-jordan-critical-as-water-sources-dry-up
    The environment ministry says Jordan is among the world’s most water-deficient countries, and fears that a warming planet will make the situation more severe.
    Jordan needs about 1.3 billion cubic metres of water per year, but the quantities available are around 850 to 900 million cubic metres, with the shortfall “due to low rainfall, global warming, population growth and successive refugee inflows,” Salameh said.
    This year, the reserves of the three drinking water dams have reached critical levels, now just a third of their normal capacity.
    At the same time, household water consumption has surged by 10 percent since the start of the pandemic, as people stay home amid restrictions.
    Amman says that under a 1994 peace agreement with its neighbour, Israel is obliged to provide the kingdom with 55 million cubic metres of water a year free of charge.
    This year, Jordan has asked Israel to provide a further eight million cubic metres of water, but a deal was struck to sell only three million cubic metres.

  30. Update says:

    Egypt angry as it says Ethiopia has resumed filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/6/egypt-angry-ethiopia-resumes-filling-gerd
    Egypt has said it received an official notice from Ethiopia that it had started the next phase of filling a controversial huge dam on the Nile River’s main tributary, raising tensions days before an upcoming meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the issue.
    In a statement late on Monday, the Egyptian irrigation ministry expressed its “firm rejection of this unilateral measure” and said the move was “a violation of international laws and norms that regulate projects built on the shared basins of international rivers”.

  31. p/s says:

    Rapid filling of a giant dam at the headwaters of the Nile River — the world’s biggest waterway that supports millions of people — could reduce water supplies to downstream Egypt by more than one-third, new USC research shows.
    A water deficit of that magnitude, if unmitigated, could potentially destabilize a politically volatile part of the world by reducing arable land in Egypt by up to 72%. The study projects that economic losses to agriculture would reach $51 billion. The gross domestic product loss would push unemployment to 24%, displacing lots of people and disrupting economies. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-07/uosc-uss071221.php

    “…In an interview with Arabi21, the Director of the International Institute of Political Science and Strategy, Mamdouh Munir, said: “The Russian position on the Renaissance Dam crisis is old, and they are keener on their relationship with Ethiopia than on their relationship with Egypt.”
    “They are well aware that the American influence on Egypt does not give them enough space to control it, while the great Chinese support for Ethiopia and the Chinese-Russian consensus give greater opportunities for Moscow to strengthen its presence in the Horn of Africa.”
    The Egyptian expert added: “Moscow is good at playing between the big players, Washington and Beijing, and is trying to find a path between them, often towards China.” https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210713-why-did-putin-turn-against-sisi-in-the-renaissance-dam-file/

  32. دست خدا صدا نداره says:

    Violence escalates in water-shortage protests in Iran’s Khuzestan : Six nights of protests over water shortages have turned deadly, with three civilians and one police officer killed. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/21/violence-intensifies-after-six-nights-of-water-crisis-protests-in
    “The pressure they [the Iranians] have put on the system for a long time is more than its ecological capacity,” said Kaveh Madani, a scientist in water and climate at Yale University and the former deputy head of Iran’s environment agency. “Khuzestan like most of Iran is water-bankrupt right now.” https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/21/world/middleeast/iran-protests-drought-violence.html Scroll down for related stories concerning Iran’s worsening water problem

    • Dystopian says:

      The United Nations has warned that more than four million people in Lebanon, including one million refugees, risk losing access to safe water as shortages of funding, fuel and supplies affect water pumping.
      “UNICEF estimates that most water pumping will gradually cease across the country in the next four to six weeks,” a statement by the UN body said on Friday. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/23/over-71-of-lebanese-risk-losing-access-to-safe-water-unicef
      Lebanon is battling an economic meltdown that has propelled more than half of its population into poverty and seen its currency lose more than 90 percent of its value in less than two years.

  33. High & Dry says:

    “How water shortages are brewing wars” (BBC) https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210816-how-water-shortages-are-brewing-wars
    “…Water crises have been ranked in the top five of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks by Impact list nearly every year since 2012. In 2017, severe droughts contributed to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two, when 20 million people across Africa and the Middle East were forced to leave their homes due to the accompanying food shortages and conflicts that erupted. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Global_Risks_Report_2021.pdf
    Water Conflict Chronology: a log of 925 water conflicts, large and small, stretching back to the days of the Babylonian king Hammurabi. It is not, by any means, exhaustive and the conflicts listed vary from full blown wars to disputes between neighbors. But what they reveal is that the relationship between water and conflict is a complex one.” http://www.worldwater.org/conflict/map/

  34. Cassandra says:

    The accelerating melting of the Himalayan glaciers threatens the water supply of millions of people in Asia, new research warns. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/938235
    Dr Jonathan Carrivick, corresponding author and Deputy Head of the University of Leeds School of Geography, said: “Our findings clearly show that ice is now being lost from Himalayan glaciers at a rate that is at least ten times higher than the average rate over past centuries. This acceleration in the rate of loss has only emerged within the last few decades, and coincides with human-induced climate change.”
    The Himalayan mountain range is home to the world’s third-largest amount of glacier ice, after Antarctica and the Arctic and is often referred to as ‘the Third Pole’.
    The acceleration of melting of Himalayan glaciers has significant implications for hundreds of millions of people who depend on Asia’s major river systems for food and energy. These rivers include the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus.

    …hundreds of millions of people.

  35. Nightmare fuel says:
  36. Cassandra says:

    Officials in charge of New Mexico’s water said they need more staff to fend off lawsuits clawing at the state’s water supply, which is limited and shrinking. They expect more court battles to come as human-caused climate change increases average temperatures and aridity in the Southwest.
    “Controversies arise about waters that are crossing state boundaries, particularly when you’re in drought,” Rolf Schmidt-Petersen, director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, told lawmakers yesterday. “And the drought that we’re in today is as deep as any we have been in, in the last 100 years, if not more.” https://sourcenm.com/2022/01/20/anticipating-barrage-of-lawsuits-states-top-water-officials-ask-for-more-employees/

    未雨绸缪 (“Dig the well before you are thirsty.” Chinese proverb)

  37. Bilagáana says:

    Supreme Court agrees to hear case over the Navajo Nation’s access to the Colorado River https://www.deseret.com/utah/2022/11/7/23445204/supreme-court-will-hear-navajo-nation-case-colorado-river
    The Navajo Nation, located in northern Arizona and parts of New Mexico and Utah, is the subject of two appeals that the court will consider, likely sometime in early 2023.
    Those appeals stem from a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in February that sided with the Navajo Nation, stating it could sue the government over its water policies in the Colorado River Basin.
    The Navajo Nation originally sued in 2003, citing two treaties signed in 1849 and 1868 that established the reservation and the government’s intent to supply the tribe with enough water. The government has failed to deliver on that promise, the tribe argues.

  38. Daniel 5:5 says:

    In a closed-door negotiation last week over the fate of the Colorado River, representatives from California’s powerful water districts proposed modeling what the basin’s future would look like if some of the West’s biggest cities – including Phoenix and Las Vegas – were cut off from the river’s water supply, three people familiar with the talks told CNN.
    More than 5 million people in Arizona are served by Colorado River water, which accounts for 40% of Phoenix’s supply. Around 90% of Las Vegas’ water is from the river.
    The proposal came in a session between states that was focused on achieving unprecedented water cuts to save the Colorado River – a system that overall provides water and electricity to more than 40 million people in the West. For months, seven states have been trying to come up with cuts to keep the river system from crashing.
    As the river shrinks, talks to save it are increasingly pitting the longstanding senior water rights of farmers against explosive metropolitan growth. https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/31/us/california-water-proposal-colorado-river-climate/index.html

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