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Transboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate – Water Book of the Year 2015

Stockholm, 1 September 2016 • Today, during the World Water Week in Stockholm, Transboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate has been announced to be the International Water Resources Book of the Year 2015. After due consideration of more than 100 books about international hydrology and water resources, we are happy to announce that «Transboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate» has been awarded the title International Water Resources Book of the Year 2015. It is good to see that after its introduction to the World Water Week about 10 years ago, climate change has been acknowledged by the water sector as an important development that needs to be seriously considered in water resources decisions. Nowadays, however, ‘climate change’ is too often used as an argument or excuse to achieve water-related political goals, such as funding for dams or large-scale water transfers – without a proper analysis of the real causes of problems such as conflict, displacement, poverty. Michael van der Valk, international water resources expert and director of Hydrology.nl: »‘Climate change’ is often invoked at the highest levels to motivate support for large-scale infrastructure projects, not always based on a sound foundation that is supported by science, monitoring and real-world data. «Transboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate» is one of the few publications that touches on these sensitive but very important topics—a must to read for everyone working on transboundary water management.«

August 2016: another record month

August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The record warm August continued a streak of 11 consecutive months dating back to October 2015 that have set new monthly high-temperature records.

‘Water is peace, life, dignity': why the UN deputy chief has a thirst for saving lives

For almost a quarter of a century, UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson has been an indefatigable champion of the right to water and sanitation for all. »Politicians lack long-term planning«, he says. »They look at budgetary needs now but don’t see the larger picture. But they must look beyond their mandate periods. Ministers of finance should have responsibility for the long-term effects of public expenditure. [...] Water and sanitation cannot drop off the agenda now. There is such a commitment to it. You have the development community, the World Bank and the big development banks, but also the scientific and health communities along with civil society, and philanthropists all backing it.«

The Spring - 10 years of charity: water

Ten years ago, former nightclub promoter Scott Harrison set out to solve the water crisis in his lifetime. Today, more than one million people have made it their mission too. This is all of their story. Live from the World Water Week in Stockholm.

Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices

The Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP), which is co-sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and some 30 other partners, has released a «Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices».

Water, migration and how they are interlinked

With continuing growth of population and conflicts, we see also an increase in displacement. Increasingly linkages are made between displacement, migration, refugee flows and climate change, which is often linked to water-related problems. These nowadays almost automatic linkages with climate change do not always have a sound foundation, based on science, monitoring and real-world data. SIWI has just published a very good Working Paper, that is spot-on: »Water, migration and how they are interlinked«.

CEO Briefing: Global Depletion of Aquifers

Global companies must take an active role in groundwater governance to avoid existential risks. That is the main conclusion of the CEO Briefing on Global Depletion of Aquifers. The exposure of multinational companies to depleting and degrading groundwater is increasing. The rapid depletion of aquifers is a systemic risk to one billion people in the world’s growing economies. Aquifers are shared across national borders and have the potential to spark conflict. Companies must act beyond their site operations and help improve groundwater governance if they are to ensure their sustainable growth.

Turmoil in Saudi Arabian water sector as country runs dry

Half a century ago, Saudi Arabia sat on one of the world’s biggest and oldest aquifers, containing an estimated 500 cubic kilometres of water. However, there has been chronic mismanagement of water resources. In one generation most of that massive amount of water has been exhausted, mainly through a seriously flawed agricultural policy. The Saudi authorities have tried to lower water use, mounting big publicity campaigns and giving away water-saving devices such as more efficient showerheads. In some areas the campaigns have been successful, but the government is realising mistakes arising from its overly generous subsidy regime. Once people have grown used to paying virtually nothing for services, they deeply resent any charges – even if the taps are running dry.

Ecosystem conservation and groundwater

IAH, the International Association of Hydrogeologists, has published a new series: IAH’s Strategic Overview papers. The new series is designed both to inform professionals in other sectors of key interactions with groundwater resources and hydrogeological sciences and to guide IAH members in their efforts to promote improved understanding, wise use and protection of groundwater resources to related sectors. The papers are an authoritative summary for each topic drawing on the collective international experience of IAH, and are also a contribution to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Association. The latest Strategic Overview paper is on «Ecosystem conservation and groundwater». 

City of Thorns – the world’s largest refugee camp – book of the month May 2016

Dadaab is a semi-arid town in Garissa County, Kenya. It is the site of a large UNHCR base hosting about 330,000 refugees, making it the largest refugee camp complex in the world. To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. In cooperation with Athenaeum Boekhandel, Europe by People and Portobello Books, the very readable book City of Thorns was presented in Amsterdam on 13 May 2016 — recommended reading!

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