01.08.01 : Poland: Flood
damages will increase in the future, if we do not reserve areas prepared
for flooding - warned WWF
Warsaw, Poland - WWF, the conservation organization,
urges immediate planning of a modern integrated flood protection system,
which should be based on use of natural retention areas in river valleys.
People living in the areas protected by dykes/flood embankments believed
in full efficiency of these structures. Floods of 1997 and 2001 have
proved that dykes do not give 100% protection against this natural
disaster. Traditional flood protection methods, having been applied
so far, concentrating on preservation and modernization of existing
dykes, which in many cases narrow high water level bed too much, do
not turn out to be useful. "We shouldn't look for individual
people responsible for flood effects. Wrong flood protection strategy
is the cause. It has not changed for more than 100 years." -
said Janusz Zelazinski, water management specialist - "Insisting
on this strategy, without making use of last years' experiences, while
increasing in meantime investment development in floodplains will
result in higher loss during the next flood event."
After the 1997 flood even seriously damaged dykes are being rebuilt
in the same areas, remaining a threat to the same areas that were
flooded. There is no plan to remove these dykes and give more space
for water. Mechanisms to prevent residential development in the most
endangered areas have not been activated.
WWF, having many year's experience from many countries and rivers,
such as Danube, Rhine, Elbe and Loire, considers that knowledge taken
from painful lessons - floods in Vistula and Odra basins, should be
used for preparing and implementing a modern, integrated flood protection
system, with use of both technical and ecological protection methods.
It ought to include: widening of high level water bed by moving embankments
farther from the main river bed as well as introducing floodplain
polders in areas of extensive land development.
To ensure better flood-safety, it is necessary to analyze flood risk
and determine floodplain areas. Flood hazard maps, including places
flooded this year, should be used to work out protection programs
and land use plans. This would help local governments in having real
influence on spatial management, including control of residential
development in the most threatened areas.
"According to a long-term study on the Odra River conducted by
WWF, present floodplain areas are hardly 27% of natural Odra floodplains.
High water level capacity is lower in comparison to natural conditioning."
- said Piotr Niznanski, WWF "Oder" project officer - "To
cope with flood events, it is necessary to prevent residential development
in the most threatened areas and, where possible, restore floodplains
in areas that are still unbuilt."
More information: Piotr Nieznanski - WWF "Oder" project
officer, tel. 0601-817060 Jacek Engel - WWF "Vistula" project
leader, tel. 0608-384242
Hochwasser in Polen: Kein Hochwasserschutz von vorgestern WWF kritisiert
verfehlte Konzepte zum Hochwasserschutz entlang der Weichsel
Frankfurt a. M., 01.08.2001. Nach der Hochwasserkatastrophe
in Polen wird der Ruf nach höheren Deichen und zusätzlichen
Speicherbauten lauter. Nach Einschätzung des WWF ist eine Konzentration
auf rein technischen Hochwasserschutz jedoch der falsche Weg. Solche
Maßnahmen würden das Problem sogar langfristig verschärfen.
Der WWF fordert, die Krise als Chance für eine modernen Hochwasserschutz
zu begreifen. Dazu gehöre ein integriertes Hochwasserschutzkonzept,
das mehr Überflutungsflächen beinhalte. "Das eigentliche
Problem ist nicht das Hochwasser, sondern wie die Menschen damit umgehen,"
betont Piotr Nieznanski vom Polen Programm des WWF. Es bringe nichts,
die Deiche zu flicken und danach zur Tagesordnung über zu gehen.
Das sei Hochwasserschutz von vorgestern. Stattdessen gelte es, Überflutungsflächen
zu schaffen und Deiche zurück zu verlegen. "Der Fluss muß
Platz haben, um sich verbreitern zu können. Das wirkt wie eine
Bremse für Flutwellen, nützt der Natur und mildert die Hochwassergefahr",
so der WWF. Um den materiellen Hochwasserschaden zu begrenzen gelte
es, die Bautätigkeit in Risikogebieten einzuschränken. "Es
macht keinen Sinn, die zerstörten Häuser zu reparieren,
wenn das Risiko hoch ist, dass die Gebäude bei der nächsten
Flut erneut ein Opfer des Flusses werden," erläutert Piotr
Nieznanski. Der WWF-Wissenschaftler, der selbst in unmittelbarer Nachbarschaft
des Flusses aufgewachsen ist, sieht an der Weichsel gute Möglichkeiten
für Deichrückverlegungen. Um Hochwasserschutz er-folgreich
umzusetzen, müsse man Auen wieder als natürliche Rückhalteräume
nutzen. Dies würde zugleich optimale ökologische Verhältnisse
schaffen. Für eine langfristige Vorsorge fordert der WWF, punktuelle
Maßnahmen durch ein integriertes Gesamtkonzept zu ersetzen.
Als erstes sei eine sorgfältige Bestandsaufnahme möglicher
Überflutungsgebiete notwendig. Es gelte transparent zu machen,
welche Gegenden mit welcher Wahrscheinlichkeit von zukünftigen
Flutwellen betroffen sein könnten und dies bei Bauvorhaben zu
Für die Oder liegen bereits erste Konzepte vor. Der WWF hat in
einem "Oder-Auen-Atlas" die Ufereregionen entlang des Flusses
erfaßt und Naturflächen, Landnutzung und Hydrologie detailliert
beschrieben und kartographiert. Der Atlas liefert den Gemeinden entlang
des Flusses die Grundlage für einen effektiven Hochwasserschutz
und für eine Natur verträgliche Entwicklung der Region.
Von der Umsetzung der Konzepte sei man jedoch noch weit entfernt,
und das gelte auch für die Weichsel. Der WWF sieht beim bestehenden
Hochwasserschutz erhebliche Mängel. Man habe sich zu sehr auf
Speicherbauten in der oberen Weichsel verlassen.
Weitere Informationen: Piotr Nieznanski, WWF Polen Programm, Mobil.:
0048 601 81 70 60 Jörn Ehlers, Pressestelle WWF Deutschland,
Tel.: 0 69/7 91 44-1 45, Fax:
01.08.01: EPA upholds plan
to dredge Hudson River
By Cat Lazaroff
WASHINGTON, DC, August 1, 2001 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency has decided to go ahead with plans to force the General Electric
company to spend more than $500,000 to clean up contaminated sediments
in the Hudson River. GE has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent
lobbying to overturn the Clinton era plan, which would dredge as many
as 2.65 million cubic yards from the river.
text and graphics
01.08.01: Iran drought turns
lakes to scorched earth
By Ali Raiss-Tousi, Reuters
DASHT-E ARJAN, Iran - The cool waters of Lake Arjan in southern Iran
were once a haven for migrating birds, wild animals, and diverse plant
Now the sun beats relentlessly on the dried and cracked lake bed,
and nomads, who could once depend on pastures further afield, have
brought their goats and sheep to forage for the last scraps of greenery.
"There is agricultural water here for our livestock, but we have
sold a lot," said Mohsen Rostami, a member of the Qashqai tribe,
as he stood next to his tents in the middle of the scorched landscape.
After three years of extreme drought, which the United Nations has
said is the most severe in Iran for 30 years, most of the country's
wetlands have dried out, and many farmers are struggling to survive.
Iran's nomads have been badly hit. Lands which once supported their
livestock no longer have sufficient vegetation.
"They have sold around 80 percent of their livestock," said
Mohammad Aqa-Rezaei, an expert at the Environment Protection Organization.
"There is not enough fodder to go around."
Some 800,000 head of livestock died last year. Officials said millions
of sheep, goats, cattle, and even traditionally resilient camels are
threatened this year.
Iran's natural biodiversity is shriveling under the heat.
"The affect of the drought on the area's flora and fauna has
been devastating," said Alamdar Alamdari, a senior environment
researcher in Fars province, where Lake Arjan is located. "More
than 90 percent of our wetlands have completely dried up," he
said, adding that besides natural vegetation, animals such as wild
cats, foxes, and mountain goats are suffering.
Almost all of Iran's 28 provinces have suffered sharp drops in rainfall
for the third consecutive year. In Sistan-Baluchestan in the southeast,
there has been 78 percent less rain than last year's total, which
was already low. In Fars, rainfall has been 47 percent less than last
year. Only one freshwater lake in the province has survived the drought,
but water levels in Lake Parishan are also retreating.
"This year we did not even have 50,000 birds," Alamdari
told Reuters. "This is down from up to a million birds from 160
species who nest here in normal years."
Lake Hamoon on Iran's border with Afghanistan was a vital water source
for local herders and a dynamic ecosystem, despite its parched desert
surroundings. Now, the lake bed is a short cut for smugglers in a
region where the trafficking of drugs and other contraband is rife.
Irrigation channels which once transferred water to farms have run
dry, and villagers, who have not yet abandoned their dwellings, face
a daily routine of fetching drinking water from far-off wells. A United
Nations report said many villagers in drought-hit areas had given
up their homes and headed to towns where water is available.
Lake Bakhtegan, which once covered more than 370,700 acres, was a
major source of humidity and an important barrier against the desertification
of Fars, Alamdari said. It has become a short cut for truck drivers.
"The threat of desert encroachment from the east will be serious
if Bakhtegan remains dry," he added.
NO RAIN, NO GRAIN
The U.N. report, published earlier this month, said damage to agriculture
and livestock was estimated at $2.6 billion this year, up from $1.7
billion in 2000.
"Some 7 million hectares of farmlands and 1.2 million hectares
of orchards have been affected," said Abbas Jazayeri, head of
the disaster task force at the interior ministry.
Farmers are expecting reductions of 35 to 75 percent in wheat and
barley produce. Last year Iran imported a record 7 million tons of
wheat, partly because of reduced domestic production due to the drought.
"There has been no rain," said one farmer near the southern
city of Shiraz, as he labored to separate grain from chaff from a
sharply reduced harvest.
Drinking water has been rationed in more than 30 major towns and cities.
The capital Tehran, with a population of 10 million, has been divided
into six districts, each of which face a 12-hour water cut once a
The U.N. report called for international donors to provide some 12,000
mobile water tankers to deliver drinking water to drought-stricken
urban, rural, and nomadic populations as well as to supply livestock,
wildlife, and orchards. Also needed are 12,000 stationary tankers,
some 2,500 electric and diesel water pumps, 1.5 million tons of barley
feed, and 35 tons of multivitamins and mineral supplements for livestock,
the report said.
The 12 most severely affected provinces are already relying on water
tankers to transport drinking water.
"The vulnerability of the natural flora and fauna and also agriculture
to pests and diseases has greatly increased because of the drought,"
The intensity of the damage has been such that authorities are paying
farmers $25 for each 2.2 pounds of pests and pest larva collected.
In the eastern town of Gonabad alone, some 624 pounds of larva have
been bought by the state, the U.N. report said.
Copyright 2001, Reuters
All Rights Reserved
Deadly flood in Poland
WARSAW - A surge of floodwater yesterday breached
another dyke on Poland's Vistula river, but no new casualties were
reported after flooding in the south killed 10 people last week.
Although the weather had turned fine, flood defences - soaked by record
river levels - collapsed early in the morning near Kamien, two hours'
drive southeast of Warsaw, forcing the evacuation of 1,300 people.
Further upstream, a 40-metre (yard) breach on Sunday near Sandomierz
led to villages and 4,000 hectares (10,000 acres) of land being swamped.
As of Sunday night, 15,000 people had been evacuated due to flooding,
the national fire service said.
Although the Vistula had peaked on its flatland reaches south of Warsaw,
thousands of rescue workers and civilians were battling to shore up
sodden dykes. The capital was bracing for the river to crest early
"The dykes are as soft as butter and as soaked as sponges,"
said Lech Sapula, head of the anti-flood operation in the southern
state of Swietokrzyskie region.
WARSAW ZOO WORRIES
In Warsaw, halfway down the Vistula's 1,047 km (650 miles) course
north to the Baltic sea, emergency workers were reinforcing dykes
where a bridge is being built over the river.
Riverside beer gardens below the old town were already awash and the
city zoo, across the river to the east, was also preparing a Noah's
Ark-style operation to evacuate its animals."The zoo is located
in an area where the embankment of the Vistula is lowest, so we have
to be prepared for a catastrophe," zoo official Wlodzimierz Konrad
National fire service spokesman Witold Maziarz said that was unlikely.
"The weather is very good, so we don't expect any further dam
breaks downstream," Maziarz told Reuters.
Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek met regional leaders in Warsaw to discuss
flood relief efforts, noting that massive investment in flood defences
on the Odra river had prevented a repeat of serious flooding there
in 1997 which killed 55 people.
He also slapped down a government official who estimated this year's
flood damage at three billion zlotys ($700 million) - or around a
quarter of the cost of the floods four years ago.
"There is no way we can talk about such losses," Buzek said.
"I do not want us to name sums that cannot be confirmed later."
Story by Douglas Busvine
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
30.07.01: Nature has answer
to global warming in France
PARIS - While environment ministers have struggled
to salvage the 1997 Kyoto accord on global warming, nature has found
its own answer in France, Le Figaro newspaper reported last week.
Abnormally abundant winter snows have boosted production of hydroelectric
power, allowing France to cut emissions of harmful carbon dioxide
from traditionally fuelled power stations by eight million tonnes
in the first half of the year.
"By June 30, our dams had supplied 10,300 gigawatt hours more
than during all of 2000," Claude Nahon, director of hydroelectric
production at Electricite de France (EdF), told the newspaper.
"Since our reservoirs are full, and unless the autumn is very
dry, production over the full year should reach record levels,"
Hydroelectricity at present makes up 20 percent of total French electricity
production, compared to 15 per cent at the beginning of the year.
Building more dams, however, is not necessarily the answer to global
warming, according to Nahon.
"In France, we have exhausted our development capacities. Since
1946, EdF has installed dams at almost all possible sites," she
Environment ministers agreed on Monday at an international meeting
in Bonn, Germany, to finalise the Kyoto climate change treaty, which
the United States rejected in March as unworkable.
Kyoto seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by industrialised countries
to an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
The Bonn agreement is restricted by the fact that the United States,
the world's biggest producer of the greenhouse gases held responsible
for global warming, did not take part.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
Source : Planet Ark
27.07.01: Meeting on Globalization
and Water Management
The Final Program of the American Water Resources Association (AWRA)
and university of Dundee International Specialty Conference "Globalization
and Water Management: the Changing Value of Water" which will
be held on August 6-8, 2001 in Dundee, Scotland is now available on
the AWRA web site at <www.awra.org>. The meeting, cosponsored
by 16 organizations, including the Water Environment Federation (WEF),
the international Water Resources Assoication (IWRA)Inter-American
Water Resources Network (IWRN), and the Organization of American States
(OAS) is a joint venture of AWRA and the International Water Law Research
Institute (IWLRI), Department of Law, University of Dundee. The program
includes 93 presentations representing on going work in 32 countries.
Of particular interest are keynote presentations by Prof. Michael
Hamlin, former Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of
Dundee and Dr. Jon Hargreaves, Chief Executive, East of Scotland Water,
a half-day workshop on "The Essential of Private Sector Participation:
From Structuring the Project to Regulation," a session on UNESCO's
and WMO's new Hydrology, Environment, Life, and Policy (HELP) Programme,
and short presentations on the World Water Council and the Third World
Water Forum. Proceedings will be distributed on CD-ROM at the meeting
and later posted on AWRA's web site. Registration is available on
line at the AWRA web site.
For further information visit the AWRA
David W. Moody
AWRA/University of Dundee International Speciality Conference "Globalization
of Water Resources and Water Management" Dundee, Scotland August
American Water Resources Association International Activities Committee
P.O. Box 717 Alstead, NH 03602-0717
Tel: (603) 835-7900 Fax: (603) 835-6279 E-mail: email@example.com
The Agroecology Summit On August 10, 2001 At Willow Lake Farm (Near
A Local Discussion of Challenges and Opportunites
for Agriculture and the Environment with a focus on: Agriculture and
Water Quality & Quantity Agriculture and Wildlife Habitat &
Recreation Agriculture and Climate Change, Energy & Technology
- DRAFT AGENDA -
Friday, August 10, 2001 6:00 AM Early Registration/Sunrise
Field Walk (optional)
8:00 AM Registration/Coffee & Rolls
8:15 AM Welcome/Introduction: Agroecology:What
is it and why should a farmer be interested? The case for Willow Lake
8:40 AM Agroecology and Water Can we reduce
flood dangers while optimizing water quality and grain yields? - Agriculture
and Water Quality in SW MN (John Moncrief, UM - tentative) - State
& Federal Policies to Assist Landowners in reducing water pollution
and flooding risks (Dave Bucklin, Cottonwood County SWCD) - Public/Private
Partnerships for conservation (Derek Fisher, BWSR) - Local Discussion/Q&A
Session Gerald Tumbleson, Minnesota Corn Growers Association (invited)
Paul Turner, farmer Tom Muller, farmer Steve Sodeman, United AgTech
Lowell Busman, UM Extension/Waseca Research Station
10:40AM Agroecology & Wildlife Can We Farm
Successfully And Promote Wildlife Habitat And Recreation Opportunities?
- Wildlife and Agriculture in Southwest Minnesota (Ecologist to be
determined) - Landowner Incentives for Wildlife Habitat Protection
- federal/state policies (Gregg Pattison, US Fish & Wildlife Service)
- Local Discussion/Q&A Session Lance Craighead, Montana State
U. Diane Debinski, Iowa State U. John Tester, U. of Minnesota Jerry
Raedeke, North Heron Lake Game Producers Association
12:00PM Lunch (Bruce Maxwell as speaker)
1:00PM New Directions for Agriculture? Can We
Reduce Global Warming Through Farming Practices? - Climate Change
and Agriculture (Donald Reicosky, USDA ARS Morris) - The Farmer's
Perspective on Climate Change (Martin Kleinschmit, farmer/Center for
Rural Affairs) - - Local Discussion/Q&A Session
2:00PM Can Agriculture Be A Source Of Energy
Production? - Farming Energy (Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient-Economy)
- Switchgrass Production for Energy (Alliant Energy representatives)
- Local Discussion/Q&A Session
3:10PM What Is The Role Of Technology In Agriculture?
- Precision Agriculture (UofM Precision Agriculture Center staff)
- Practitioner Perspective (TBD) - Local Discussion/Q&A Session
4:10PM Group Discussion: What have we learned
-- what can we take home? How do we promote Agroecology as a viable
and profitable function of farming? Bridges (incentives/opportunities/policies)
5:30PM Concluding Remarks (Tony Thompson)
6:00PM DINNER/POST-CONFERENCE SOCIALIZATION
Saturday, August 11, 2001 The Coot Caterwaul!
Saturday will be a day of experiential learning
(field walks, birdwatching, tours), relaxation, and socialization
at Willow Lake Farm culminating in the Coot Caterwaul, a gala event
of good music, food and friends. There will be optional tours of the
new Fish and Wildlife Service office and other local sites of interest
from the agroecology perspective. Numerous campsites are available
on the farm and other lodging possibilities are available in nearby
Windom -- participants are encouraged to stay for this day of celebration
of rural life, the Willow Lake Farm and its friends.
****For information about the Agroecology Summit,
go to http://www.workinglandscapes.org
or contact: Jim Kleinschmit firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 612 870 3430
Dams and Investments (Vision 2025)
LAHORE, July 23: Lt-Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan, the Water and Power Development
Authority chairman, said on Monday the Vision 2025 programme was an
excellent opportunity for investment in Pakistan.
The general was addressing a large assembly of investors, contractors,
suppliers and stake holders at an international seminar on Wapda's
Vision 2025 at a hotel here.
The programme, he said, included short term, medium term and long
term projects to be taken up in three phases. The first phase would
start with the ground breaking ceremony of Gomal Zam Dam and Mirani
Dam projects on Aug 14. Other projects in the first phase were raising
the Mangla storage level, Kachhi Canal in Balochistan with a barrage
at Mithankot, the Greater Thal Canal in the Punjab, the Rainee Canal
in Sindh and Satpara Dam in the Northern Areas. He also gave details
of the projects and mentioned their estimated costs.
He said the Vision 2025 hydro-power projects included the 96 MW Jinnah
project in the Punjab, the 81 MW Malakand III, 121 MW Allai Khawar,
72 MW Khan Khawar, 130 MW Duber Khawar, 106 MW Golen Gol, 84 MW Matiltan
and 10 MW Pehur projects in the NWFP, 97 MW New Bong, 963 MW Neelam-Jhelum
and 740 MW Kohala projects in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Besides,
he said, a series of small hydel plants were planned to be installed
at 591 sites along various barrages and canal falls throughout the
country with a potential generation capacity of 650 MW.
The Wapda chairman said out of the 77 million acres of land available
for cultivation about 36 million acres were canal irrigated. Pakistan,
he said, had an additional potential of bringing about 22.5 million
acres of virgin land under cultivation. As a result of a three-fold
increase in the population during the past 50 years, he said, per
capita availability of irrigation water in Pakistan had dropped from
5,650 cubic metres to 1,400 in 2000. Unless additional storages were
built, by the year 2012, the figure would be around 1,000 cubic metres
and Pakistan would be a country short of water.
He said the existing reservoirs at Mangla, Tarbela and Chashma were
fast losing their capacity due to heavy sedimentation and by the year
2010 would lose about 5.9 MAF, equivalent of gross capacity of Mangla
Dam. He said more than 39 MAF water escaped below Kotri annually which
could be saved by building additional storages.Sardar Muhammad Tariq,
Wapda's Member (Water), further explained details of the projects
included in the programme with particular reference to the social
problems of resettlement, payment of compensation to those affected
by the projects and the environmental issues.
Nespak managing director Asif Saleem pointed out that the proposed
hydro-power stations were planned to be constructed in far flung areas
and that Wapda would be incurring extra cost on extending its grid
system to the power stations. He also said that the Irrigation and
Power Departments of the provincial government should also be associated
in the construction of the Vision 2025 projects.
Mr Vince Harris, the Hubco representative, said through its recent
actions the government had created a climate conducive for investment.
Development VISIONS, 48 A, Shalimar Colony, Bosan Road, Multan- Pakistan
Contact : email@example.com