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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«.

 
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.

 
Climate change hits hard in Zambia: an African success story

Lake Kariba, Zambia — Even as drought and the effects of climate change grew visible across this land, the Kariba Dam was always a steady, and seemingly limitless, source of something rare in Africa: electricity so cheap and plentiful that Zambia could export some to its neighbors. The power generated from the Kariba – one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams, in one of the world’s largest artificial lakes – contributed to Zambia’s political stability and helped turn its economy into one of the fastest growing on the continent. But today, as a severe drought magnified by climate change has cut water levels to record lows, the Kariba is generating so little juice that blackouts have crippled the nation’s already hurting businesses.

 
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!

 
Earth Observation for Water Resources Management – new World Bank book

Water systems are building blocks for poverty alleviation, shared growth, sustainable development, and green growth strategies. They require data from in-situ observation networks. Budgetary and other constraints have taken a toll on their operation and there are many regions in the world where the data are scarce or unreliable. Increasingly, remote sensing satellite-based earth observation is becoming an alternative. A new World Bank book briefly describes some key global water challenges, perspectives for remote sensing approaches, and their importance for water resources-related activities.

 
Swiss Re Foundation launches "ReSource Award 2017"

The ReSource Award focuses on social entrepreneurial approaches that implement the principles of sustainability in water management. The prize builds on more than ten years of experience in supporting outstanding partners heading for sustainable watershed management. An international jury awards USD 150,000 to new social entrepreneurial initiatives driving sustainable water management practices. The prize combines financial and non-financial contributions (coaching and expert advice).

 
Africa Water Atlas

The Africa Water Atlas is a visual account of Africa’s endowment and use of water resources, revealed through 224 maps and 104 satellite images as well as some 500 graphics and hundreds of compelling photos. However the Atlas is more than a collection of static maps and images accompanied by informative facts and figures: its visual elements vividly illustrate a succinct narrative describing and analyzing Africa’s water issues and exemplifying them through the judicious use of case studies. It gathers information about water in Africa and its role in the economy and development, health, food security, transboundary cooperation, capacity building and environmental change into one comprehensive and accessible volume.

 
Participatory Planning for Climate Compatible Development in Maputo, Mozambique

Right now, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are keenly feeling the impacts of climate change. They are being hit hard by increased droughts, floods and extreme weather. And they will be hit even harder in the future. Because of its coastal location, Mozambique is exposed to severe climate risks, such as flooding, cyclones and sea-level rise. Enabling developing countries like Mozambique to adapt to the effects of climate change and protect its most vulnerable citizens, while growing its economy in a sustainable way, is a critically important challenge.

 
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