News
Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria

In May 2013, a year ago, Thomas Friedman, writing for the International Herald Tribune and New York Times, was one of the first to acknowledge the importance of drought, the lack of water and possibly climate change in the Syrian revolution. »Kids without books, teachers or classes for a long time — that’s trouble. Big trouble.«, he wrote. And »the drought and unemployment were important in pushing people toward revolution«, a Syrian lady was quoted. Building on this and on other information, Peter Gleick, in his paper «Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria», to be published in July 2014, also concludes that drought, water and agricultural management, and climatic conditions are factors in the Syrian conflict.

 
United Nations Watercourses Convention enters into force

On 19 May 2014 Viet Nam acceded to the UN Watercourses Convention, making it the 35th country to join this global instrument. The accession by Viet Nam to the United Nations Watercourses Convention triggered its entry into force by bringing the number of Parties to the required total of 35. The 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (United Nations Watercourses Convention) will enter into force on 17 August 2014.

 
Nieuwe klimaatscenario’s: implicaties voor het waterbeheer

4–5 juni 2014, Wageningen • Op 4 en 5 juni 2014 organiseert de Nederlandse Hydrologische Vereniging (NHV) samen met STOWA een symposium over de gevolgen voor het waterbeheer van de nieuwe klimaatscenario’s. Eind mei 2014 presenteert het KNMI zijn nieuwe klimaatscenario’s. Nieuwe en vooral meer data, computers met meer rekenkracht en verbeterde klimaatmodellen hebben tot nieuwe inzichten geleid, met een wetenschappelijke vertaling en detaillering voor Nederland. Dit heeft ook gevolgen voor het waterbeheer. Tijdens het symposium in Wageningen zal het KNMI de nieuwe scenario’s toelichten en zullen waterbeheerders, beleidsmakers en onderzoekers vertellen hoe zij met klimaatscenario’s omgaan. De vertaling naar hydrologische modellen, de doorwerking naar beleid en beheer, en omgang met onzekerheden komen ook aan de orde. 

 
PhD Openings Water Governance in Urbanizing Deltas

The Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology has openings for two PhD candidates for interdisciplinary research projects in the area of water governance. The PhD candidates' work will be part of projects financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), under its programme "Urbanising Deltas of the World". The positions are based in Delft, the Netherlands, but will require international travel for field work and workshops.

 
Living with water scarcity – new book

Do you worry that there is not enough water for people, the economy and environment? Do you wonder if the water in our taps and rivers is safe or polluted? Do you want to know if farmers waste water, utilities charge too much, or bottled water destroys ecosystems? You are not alone in asking questions. The headlines say "drought, pollution, conflict and insecurity," but the stories offer few solutions. Living with Water Scarcity clarifies the connections among personal and social water flows in an accessible style.

 
Knowledge and capacity development in the water sector: special issue of Water Policy

Water management is particularly dependent on strong capacity, a solid knowledge base and awareness at all levels, including those of the individual, the organization, the sector institutions and the ‘enabling environment’. Yet getting all levels to operate in a coherent manner is challenging, and requires vision and leadership. A special issue of Water Policy seeks to further the understanding of leadership in knowledge and capacity development in the water sector. However, its theoretical and methodological insights will be of interest beyond that arena. The special issue resulted from selected papers presented at the 5th Delft Symposium on Water Sector Capacity Development held in Delft, The Netherlands. The best thing: they are free to download!

 
UN-Water’s technical advice on a possible Water Goal: «Securing sustainable water for all»

What should be to role of water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda? This was one of the questions in the expert consultation process that UN-Water undertook all year during 2013 to help UN Member States in their forthcoming intergovernmental negotiations. The outcome – an evidence-based paper and an Executive Summary – recommends a prioritization of water through a dedicated goal with five interlinked targets, that builds on and extends existing commitments such as the Millennium Development Goals and the priorities agreed at Rio+20. But what is the goal? Securing sustainable water for all!

 
Improving food security in the Sahel is difficult, but achievable

Africa’s Sahel suffers from degraded soils, erratic rainfall, and an exploding population – all of which hold huge implications for the region’s food security. This year the situation is especially dire. Valerie Amos, the United Nations coordinator for emergency relief, estimated that 20 million people in the Sahel will face hunger this year, requiring $2 billion in food aid. WRI’s Chris Reij writes about it. 

 
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