Archive for ‘Rivers’

Central Vietnam dries up

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

The outlines of the MARD report were briefed on July 1. Members of a MARD mission just returned from Vietnam’s central region confirmed that nearly 200,000 hectares of rice and vegetables are withering. Half of the area suffers from serious drought. At least 15,000 hectares of rice will be a dead loss.

Drought is also drying up also daily water supply. At least 40,000 households in nine districts of Binh Dinh province, on Quang Ngai’s Ly Son Island, and along the lower reaches of the Thu Bon river (Quang Nam) are living without adequate supplies of clean water.

At a meeting chaired by First Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong on July 1, Pham Hong Quang, head of the mission to the central region, said that drought most serious in the north central region – the coastal provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh.

Quang said that of more than 250,000 hectares of summer-autumn rice, 62,000 are seriously short of water, including 55,000 hectares in the aforementioned provinces. Another 70,000 hectares of ricefields have been left fallow because of drought.

On the central coast, 25,000 hectares of rice and 23,000 hectares of vegetables are reported to lack water. The worst hit provinces are Binh Dinh (6000 hectares), Quang Nam (5000 hectares), Khanh Hoa (5000 hectares), Phu Yen (2000 hectares) and Da Nang (700 hectares).

Quang forecast that if baking sun continues for another five to seven days, losses will rise considerably. Specifically, the north-central region would have to write off another 12,000 hectares rice while losses on the central coast will double to reach 45,000 hectares.

The hot dry weather has persisted for more than two months, drying up rivers, reservoirs and streams in the region.

Major rivers like the Tra Khuc (Quang Ngai), Vu Gia and Thu Bon (both Quang Nam) are all dry. The level of water in reservoir at Quang Ngai’s Thach Nham dam is one meter below the spillway.

“I’ve never seen such a serious drought in my life. Trees can’t live in scorching sun and water shortage like this. Several years ago, the sun was fierce but we still had water,” senior farmer Nguyen Thanh Hung from Dien Ban district (Quang Nam) told VietNamNet.

“God is too cruel! How can we survive in this weather!” lamented senior farmer Le Than.

Most estuaries in the central region have been infiltrated by sea water. As a result, pumping stations are idle.

To save over 500 hectares of rice, Tam Ky city, Quang Nam province, spent over 800 million dong ($42,000) to build a dam against salt water intrusion.

On Ly Son island, twenty kilometers off the coast of Quang Ngai province, 110 families have built tanks to collect rain-water when wells became unreliable. However, their tanks are now bone-dry because there has been no rain since mid-March.

The island’s 20,000 residents must purchase water brought from the mainland on boats. They are being charged as much as 190,000 dong ($10) per cubic meter.

The MARD mission confirmed that central provinces have established steering boards to combat the drought and ordered drastic measures but the situation is not improved. Average temperatures in May and June were nearly 2°C higher than average.

MARD’s Cultivation Department and the General Department of Irrigation have recommended that drought-stricken provinces reconsider where the selection of crops should be changed to cope with drought, dredge canals, redouble efforts to manage irrigation effectively and dig more wells.

MARD will ask the government to mobilize anti-drought assistance urgently for the central provinces.

Source: Central Vietnam dries up – english.vietnamnet.vn

Date: 03 July 2010

Warmer climate makes Baltic more salty

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Science has long believed that a warmer climate will increase river runoff to the Baltic Sea, thus making the inland sea less salty. However, a new extensive study from the University of Gothenburg reveals that the effect will probably be the opposite: climate change will reduce river runoff and increase salinity in the Baltic Sea.

“There could be major consequences for the Baltic’s sensitive ecosystem,” says researcher Daniel Hansson.

Researchers at the Department of Geosciences have been able to reconstruct the flow of freshwater to the Baltic Sea since the 16th century by analysing atmospheric observations from the past 500 years. The study, which has been published in the International Journal of Climatology, shows that in the past, warm periods have coincided with less freshwater in the Baltic Sea. If the climate becomes warmer in future, river runoff may also fall, leading to an increase in salinity.

Source: Warmer climate makes Baltic more salty – physorg

Date: 01 June, 2010

Northern Wisconsin in deep drought

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Lakes in northern Wisconsin are shriveling.

Wetlands are no longer wet. Trout stream tributaries are drying up. Flowages aren’t flowing like they used to. Oak trees are producing fewer acorns.

An eight-year drought is affecting everything from boaters and anglers to walleyes and blackberries, the Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.

The Rainbow Flowage in Oneida County has dropped 13 feet while Deep Lake in Washburn County isn’t so deep anymore – it’s down 15 feet. Most stream levels are down to only about one-third of their normal flow.

There’s not much relief in sight considering the summer outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center is forecasting drought conditions in the North Woods to persist. And even if Wisconsin is deluged with rain for weeks, it will take a long time to recover, said Ed Hopkins, assistant state climatologist.

Source: Northern Wisconsin in deep drought – JSOnline

Date: 25 May 2010

Polish city flooded after dike breaks

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Floodwaters submerged a residential neighbourhood in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw on Saturday after a dike failed, the TVN24 television station reported.

A dike on the Sleza river, a tributary to the Oder, broke as the floodwaters crested through the city of 630,000 inhabitants, flooding the Kozanow neighbourhood.

In the capital Warsaw, authorities appealed to residents in low-lying areas near the Vistula River to be ready to evacuate if necessary. The river has reached 7.8 metres (25 feet seven inches), a level not seen in 60 years.

With the waters not expected to begin dropping before Tuesday, authorities are worried waterlogged dikes on the Vistula may not hold.

Source: Polish city flooded after dike breaks – France24

Date: 22 May 2010

Water crisis due to global warming

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

The most powerful accelerant of Pakistan’s water crisis is global warming and rapid melting pattern coupled with high-intensity precipitation is expected to aggravate river flooding, Federal Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi said here on Tuesday.

Talking to Ajay Chibber, assistant secretary general of the UN and director of UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Bureau, he reiterated Pakistan’s resolve in taking concrete measures to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Many of Pakistan’s glaciers are already receding by up to one metre per year. Once the glaciers start melting, river flows would be expected to decrease dramatically. Glacier Lakes Outburst Floods (GLOF) is among the imminent examples of the environmental hazards being faced by Pakistan,” he said.

He said the Indus River Basin, a sole water source for Pakistan, obtains its water stocks from the snows and rains of the western Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindukush mountain ranges.

Source: Water crisis due to global warming – theNews

Date: 13 May 2010

The changing face of Uganda’s glaciers

Friday, May 7th, 2010

The ice caps of the Rwenzori Mountains are shrinking fast.

Scientists predict that at the current rate of reduction, these glaciers will have disappeared within 20 years.

The river Semliki defines the border between Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo. The course of this river has changed so much that 51.7 square kilometres of Uganda now lies in the Congo, leading to conflict over this oil rich land.

Source: The changing face of Uganda’s glaciers – euronews

Date: 22 Feburary 2010

Source: Rwenzori ice cap faces extinction in 40 years - allAfrica

Date: 7 May 2010

Rivers in England and Wales face drying out because of climate change

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) fears that the growing population will mean more water from Britain’s rivers is needed for washing and drinking in future.

They are already running low and climate change could make the situation even worse as floods and droughts become more frequent.

The charity is warning that during a hot summer with little rainfall, a third of rivers could almost completely dry out because so much water is being taken by utility companies. This would have catastrophic consequences for wildlife.

The charity wants new restrictions so that water companies can no longer take too much water from areas where wildlife is endangered. Also households need to cut their water use by more than 10 per cent over the next 20 years, it says. (more…)

World’s largest rivers drying up due to climate change

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

About one-third of the world’s mightiest rivers including the Ganges, the Niger and the Colorado, have been drying up over the last 50 years due to change in climate.

This poses a threat with dangerous consequences for the most populous regions in West Africa, South Asia, China and the Western USA.

The city of Adelaide in Australia could run out of water within 2 years.

The number of people impacted by extreme weather events has doubled within 30 years and is likely to increase by a further 54% by 2015.

Source: Study warns global rivers are drying up – BusinessGreen

Date: 22 April 2009

60-90% of Colorado River supply to be lost by 2050 due to global warming

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Reduction could leave the Southwest short of 500 million cubic metres of water by 2025. There is a 50% probability of Lake Mead, the reservoir on the Colorado River, drying up in 20 years.

Source: Climate Change Means Shortfalls in Colorado River Water Deliveries – Science Daily

Date: 27 April  2009

Beijing to run out of water by 2030; 16 Philippine rivers and lakes already dry

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

One out of five people in Asia do not have access to safe drinking water. Climate change will increase frequency of droughts and floods. Beijing will have used up all their available water supplies by 2030. China has 7% of the planet’s water resources, yet they need to supply one fifth of the global population. 16 Philippine rivers and lakes are already dead during summer and only 33% are suitable as a water source.

Source: Water shortage in Asia – Asian Pacific Post

Date: 20 December 2007

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