The Emerging Water Wars - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

Allrepparttar lakes around Mexico City have dried and it is now sinking intorepparttar 132308 cavernous remains of its withered reservoirs. Soil subsidence is a major problem in cities aroundrepparttar 132309 world, from Bangkok to Venice. According to "The Economist",repparttar 132310 town of Cochabamba in Bolivia, once a florid valley is now a dust bowl. Some of its residents receive water only a few hours every two or three days. A World Bank financed project attempts to piperepparttar 132311 precious liquid from mountain rivers nearrepparttar 132312 city.

Singapore, concerned by its dependence on water from capricious Malaysia, decided last November to purchase water from private sector suppliers who will be required to build one or more desalination plants, capable of providing it with 10% of its annual consumption.

Singapore is so desperate, it even considers importing water fromrepparttar 132313 strife-torn Aceh province in Indonesia. The cost of Malaysian fresh water skyrocketed following a bilateral accord with Singapore signed September 2000.

Control of water sources has always served as geopolitical leverage. In Central Asia, both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan often get their way by threatening to throttle their richer neighbors, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan - and by actually cutting them off fromrepparttar 132314 nourishing rivers that traverse their territories. This extortion resulted in inordinately cheap supplies of gas, coal, and agricultural products.

To avoid such dependence, Turkmenistan has decided to divert water fromrepparttar 132315 catchment basin of one ofrepparttar 132316 rivers -repparttar 132317 Amu Darya - to a $6 billion artificial lake. This inane project is comparable only to China's much-disputed Three Gorges Dam -repparttar 132318 $30 billion, 180 meters tall hydroelectric plant that will blockrepparttar 132319 fierce Yangtze River.

On January 2000, a Kinshasa-based firm, Western Trade Corporation, and an American partner, Sapphire Aqua, proposed to raise financing for a $9 billion set of 1000-2000 km. pipes fromrepparttar 132320 Congo River torepparttar 132321 Middle East and South Africa. Stratfor justly noted thatrepparttar 132322 water were to be given free, casting in doubtrepparttar 132323 viability - orrepparttar 132324 evenrepparttar 132325 very existence - of such a project.

Con-artists and gullible investors notwithstanding, water is big business. Water Forum 2002, sponsored and organized byrepparttar 132326 World Bank, attracted many NGO's, donors, and private companies. The Agadir conference next month is expected to attract scholars and governments as well. According torepparttar 132327 government of Morocco, it will deal with "views and experiences on water pricing, cost recovery andrepparttar 132328 interactions between micro and macro policies related to water".

T. Boone Pickens, a corporate raider, has bought water rights from Texans during last year's drought. He succeeded to amass c. 200,000 acre-feet worth c. $200 million.

Economic competition coupled with acute and growing scarcity often presage conflict.

"Water stress" is already onrepparttar 132329 world's agenda at least as firmly as global warming. The Hague Ministerial Declaration released on March 2000 identified seven 'water-related challenges'. This led torepparttar 132330 establishment ofrepparttar 132331 'World Water Assessment Program' and UNESCO's 'From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential' (PC to CP) which 'addresses more specificallyrepparttar 132332 challenge of sharing water resources primarily fromrepparttar 132333 point of view of governments, and develops decision-making and conflict prevention tools forrepparttar 132334 future'."

Simultaneously, Green Cross International and UNESCO floated "Water for Piece" project whose aims are "to enhancerepparttar 132335 awareness and participation of local authorities andrepparttar 132336 public in water conflict resolution an integrated management by facilitating more effective dialogue between all stakeholders." In its efforts to minimize tensions in potential and actual conflict regions,repparttar 132337 project concentrates on a few case studies inrepparttar 132338 basins ofrepparttar 132339 Rhine,repparttar 132340 Aral Sea,repparttar 132341 Limpopo/Incomati,repparttar 132342 Mekong,repparttar 132343 Jordan River,repparttar 132344 Danube, andrepparttar 132345 Columbia.

Peter Gleik ofrepparttar 132346 Pacific Institute suggested this taxonomy of water-related conflicts (quoted in

Curbing the Public Nuisance (Part 1)

Written by David Leonhardt

Curbingrepparttar Public Nuisance (Part 1) By David Leonhardt

He's been around sincerepparttar 132306 dawn of humanity. His profession is even older thanrepparttar 132307 world's oldest profession. He's been loathed and reviled by politicians, bureaucrats and hot dog vendors.

I am speaking, of course, ofrepparttar 132308 public nuisance.

He was that slithery dude inrepparttar 132309 Garden of Eden, taunting folks to shoplift. "Go on. Take a bite ofrepparttar 132310 apple. The grocer will never know it's misssssing."

Even in caveman days,repparttar 132311 public nuisance wasrepparttar 132312 one who would always have a practical joke to play on somebody. "Hee, hee. Thag not looking. I go paint his fire green so it look like bush. He no be able to find fire. Hee, hee. OUCH! Ooh. Ooh. Yowwww. That hot!"

He isrepparttar 132313 opinionated loudmouth who can't keep his trap shut. "I told Caesarrepparttar 132314 Coliseum should be built onrepparttar 132315 west side of town. 'Caesar,' I said. 'The Coliseum should be built onrepparttar 132316 west side of town.' But did he listen to me? No-o. Did he buildrepparttar 132317 Coliseum onrepparttar 132318 west side of town? No-o."

"So...that's whyrepparttar 132319 lions are drooling onrepparttar 132320 other side of that door?"

"Ah...well, yes, actually."

The public nuisance is that whiner who can't stop complaining aboutrepparttar 132321 weather. "Aw, c'mon Leonardo. Why don't you invent something useful, for a change? Like better weather."

"What's wrong withrepparttar 132322 weather?"

"What's wrong? What's wrong?! It's too cold when I want it to be too hot. It's too hot when I want it to be too cold. It rains when I work inrepparttar 132323 fields. It gets dry whenrepparttar 132324 crops need rain. And did you see howrepparttar 132325 wind blewrepparttar 132326 other night..."

The public nuisance has been with us throughoutrepparttar 132327 ages, playing music too loud in public places.

"What's that racket?"

"I think some teenagers are playing their lutes a little loud."

"Well how's a middle-aged lady supposed to get any sleep around here?"

"But what can I do?"

"You're a knight, for goodness sake. Get your horse and your lance and run them down. "

But, like all good things, evenrepparttar 132328 public nuisance has been transformed by technological advances. We no longer rely on manual labor to provide public nuisance services torepparttar 132329 population. Machines supply allrepparttar 132330 disturbance we could possibly desire.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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