: Les Tchèques remontés contre les crues
par Alexis ROSENZWEIG
Prague de notre correspondant, mardi 04 avril 2006
La République tchèque est, une nouvelle fois, l'un
des pays d'Europe centrale les plus touchés par les crues
du début de printemps. Rapide fonte des neiges et fortes
précipitations font monter le niveau des cours d'eau depuis
la semaine dernière, avec des conséquences telles
que l'état d'urgence a été proclamé
dans sept régions du pays. Idem en Hongrie, où le
Premier ministre a décrété hier l'état
d'urgence dans certaines zones, alors que le Danube en crue égalait
son plus haut niveau historique, menaçant la Serbie et
la Roumanie voisines.
En République tchèque, les crues ont fait au moins
cinq victimes et des milliers de personnes ont été
évacuées. Un cinquième de la ville d'Olomouc
(sud-est de Prague) s'est retrouvé sous les eaux après
l'effondrement d'une digue sur la Morava. Dans le nord-ouest de
la Bohême, la situation est tendue, même si le niveau
de l'Elbe pourrait baisser à partir d'aujourd'hui. Hier,
il montait encore d'un centimètre par heure et paralysait
la ville d'Usti nad Labem, menaçant, en aval, la ville
allemande de Dresde. Par prévention, l'usine de Spolana,
située en bordure de l'Elbe à une vingtaine de kilomètres
de Prague, a été fermée. Réputé
pour les matières toxiques qu'il renferme, ce site fait
partie des "fardeaux écologiques" laissés
par le régime communiste. Déjà menacée
par les grandes crues de 2002, une partie de cet ancien fleuron
de l'industrie chimique tchécoslovaque a récemment
été confiée à un joint-venture franco-britannique,
qui doit dépolluer le bâtiment.
En moins de dix ans, c'est la troisième fois que les Tchèques
sont confrontés à de telles inondations. En 1997,
l'est du pays avait été durement touché ;
en 2002, la Vltava avait enseveli plusieurs quartiers de Prague
ainsi que le métro sous ses eaux boueuses, faisant plus
d'une dizaine de victimes et causant plus de 2,5 milliards d'euros
de dégâts. Cette année, les autorités
ont déployé dans la capitale un système de
barrières amovibles pour contenir l'eau. "Dans beaucoup
de localités, les niveaux des rivières ont atteint
leur maximum, mais il reste de grandes quantités de neige
dans les régions montagneuses, a prévenu le Premier
ministre Jiri Paroubek. Si la fonte se poursuit, cela pourrait
déclencher de nouvelles inondations." A deux mois
des législatives, ce problème récurrent est
devenu l'un des thèmes de la campagne. Autorités
régionales et centrales s'accusent mutuellement de ne pas
avoir tiré les leçons des précédentes
catastrophes. Peu des villes touchées par les dernières
inondations ont fait les travaux requis. Grâce à
des fonds régionaux, nationaux et européens, les
habitants de Terezin (nord-ouest de Prague) sont les rares à
être protégés par un système de canalisations.
Le gouvernement a promis une aide de plus de 13 millions d'euros
aux communes sinistrées. Et annoncé qu'une partie
des dégâts serait réparée grâce
à des fonds de l'UE, dont la République tchèque
fait partie depuis le 1er mai 2004.
Source : Libération, 04.04.2006
03.04.06 : Chine : le coût de la protection du fleuve
1,2 milliards de dollars : cest le coût que va
représenter les travaux de protection du fleuve Songhua,
au nord de la Chine, après sa contamination par du benzène
à lautomne dernier. Le programme, qui va au-delà
de la dépollution, comprend 200 projets pour réduire
la pollution industrielle, améliorer le traitement des
eaux usées, etc. Le Bureau dEtat de la protection
de lenvironnement a aussi annoncé quil punirait
plus sévèrement les responsables de pollution. L'épisode
de 2005, dû à lexplosion dune usine de
chimie, a privé deau potable 3,8 millions de Chinois
habitant le nord-est de la province de Jilin, et aussi 500.000
Russes qui se trouvent à la frontière sino-russe.
Source : le
Journal de l'Environnement, 03.04.2006
: Large public hearing held at the Narmada dharna site today :
eminent people come together to condemn the illegal height raise
and support the fearless Andolankaris
March 2nd, 2006
As the indefinite fast continued into its 5th day, and the health
of the three Andolankaris: Jamsingh Navgave, Medha Patkar, and
Bhagwatibehen Patidar worsens, a large public hearing was organised
at the dharna at Jantar Mantar to protest against the unjust and
illegal displacement and lack of rehabilitation inflicted on the
families affected by the Sardar Sarovar dam.
The Public Hearing was attended by over 500 people including those
of the Narmada Valley who have now been here for 17 consecutive
days. They were joined by people fighting against unjust displacement
and brutal slum demolitions in cities like New Delhi and Mumbai.
Experts, supporters, academicians and activists came in full force
to take part in this Public Hearing. The panel consisted of eminent
persons such as Arundhati Roy, CPI National Secretary D. Raja,
noted socialist Surendra Mohan, Shri B.D. Sharma, human rights
activist S.A.R. Geelani, actress Nandita Das, JNU Professor Jayati
Ghosh, journalist Praful Bidwai, DU Professor Achin Vinaik, film-maker
Sanjay Kak, writer Jai Sen, Nandini Sundar, CPI(ML) leader Kumudini
Pati, Anupam Mishra, Ramaswamy Iyu, Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Prashant
Bushan, S.P. Shukla, Kavita Shrivastava, Prabhash Joshi, Anil
Chandhary, Bharat Ghandhi, Rajni Tilak, Retd. Jst. Rajindra Sachar,
Prem Kishen Sharma, Prabhir Purakayastha from the CPI(M), and
Shri D. Raja, whose party has extended support to the UPA government,
clearly stated that the CPI supported the government based on
its promises in the Common Minimum Program (CPM), which clearly
state that eviction and displacement will not be done. He has
promised to talk to the Prime Minister immediately.
The testimonials of the people exposed the injustices constantly
perpetrated on the families affected by Sardar Sarovar, detailing
the violations in the current clearance to raise the dam height,
NBA^Òs struggle for the past 20 years. What cannot be denied
is the clear message delivered people that we will not sit quiet
as democracy and peoples^Ò rights are trampled on.
Speakers, including displaced people from the Narmada Valley,
raised the following issues: In Maharashtra, contrary to state
government claims, over 3000 families have yet to be rehabilitated,
according to the report of the monitoring & evaluation body
appointed by the state of Maharashtra. The M.P. government has
not distributed even one inch of land to those who are entitled
to it. Instead, illegal cash compensation is being rampantly distributed,
which is a violation of Supreme Court orders. The Gujarat affected
families face a host of problems at the resettlement sites, with
serious violations such as bad land allotted, land not allotted
to many eligible families, and lack of proper amenities at the
sites. All in all, the situation of rehabilitation in all three
states is appalling, with 35,000 families affected under 122 metres
who have not been rehabilitated ! Hence the construction of the
dam should be stopped right away and people rehabilitated.
Today marks the 17th day of the indefinite dharna to protest against
the illegal decision to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar
dam to 121.92 metres in complete violation of the Narmada Tribunal
Award and Supreme Court judgments, and of the constitutionally-guaranteed
fundamental rights of the people. Each step of further construction
of the dam is in direct violation threatens the lives and livelihoods
of thousands of families.
Dipti Bhatnagar Clifton Rozario Kamla Yadav
Bawa Mahariya Pinjaribai Pavra Yogini Khanolkar
Kailash Awasya Ashish Mandloi
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Source : www.narmada.org
on Narmada River :
Save the Narmada : http://www.narmada.org
information : http://www.rightlivelihood.org/recip/narmada.htm
: Ost Europa versinkt im Hochwasser
Dresden bereitet Evakuierungen vor
Entwarnung in Sicht: Noch immer steigen die Pegel der Elbe; die
Bürger von Dresden werden bereits auf Evakuierungen vorbereitet.
Für das Wochenende sind weitere heftige Niederschläge
Dresden/Schöna/Pirna - Zumindest das Tempo der steigenden
Wassermassen hat sich verlangsamt. In Dresden verharrte der Wasserstand
heute früh zunächst bei 6,89 Metern, erklärte eine
Sprecherin der Stadt. Kritisch wird die Lage in der Regel ab einem
Pegel von 7 Metern - dann gilt Alarmstufe 4. Mit einer möglichen
Evakuierung von Häusern in elbnahen Stadtteilen rechnen die
Behörden nicht vor Morgen. Dafür müsse ein Pegelstand
von 7,50 Metern erreicht werden, hieß es.
Anders die Situation in Schöna: Hier verzeichnete der Katastrophenschutz
einen Wasserstand von 7,85 Metern. Für heute Abend wird an
dieser Messstation mit einem Höchststand zwischen 8,30 bis
8,50 Metern gerechnet.
Neben dem Tauwetter ließen ergiebige Schauer in die Morgenstunden
die Flüsse zusätzlich anschwellen, meldete der Wetterdienst
Meteomedia. Zwischen Mitternacht und 6 Uhr fielen in Dresden 8,3
Liter, in Pirna 7,9 Liter Regen pro Quadratmeter. Und es ist kein
Ende abzusehen: Ab morgen Mittag rechnen die Meteorologen mit
In Pirna und Dresden sollen ab heute die ersten Gebäude in
flussnahen Gebieten geräumt werden. Zunächst herrschte
aber noch die mittelstarke Alarmstufe drei, wie ein Sprecher des
Lagezentrums der Polizei auf Anfrage mitteilte.
In Bad Schandau mussten in der Nacht rund 150 Bewohner ihre Häuser
verlassen. Sie wurden bei Bekannten und in der Stadthalle in Sebnitz
untergebracht, sagte eine Sprecherin der Einsatzleitung heute.
Die Evakuierung der Häuser erfolgte, nachdem in großen
Teilen des Stadtkerns der Strom abgeschaltet worden war.
in Tschechien, Erdrutsche in der Schweiz
Im Osten Europas führen wegen Regenfällen und Schneeschmelze
neben Elbe und Donau auch Moldau und March Hochwasser. Angesichts
der starken Überschwemmungsgefahr haben die tschechischen
Behörden gestern Abend in der Region Südböhmen
Katastrophenalarm ausgerufen. Betroffen waren die Bezirke Tabor
und Jindrichuv Hradec.
Der Fluss Luznice, der ohnehin schon Hochwasser führe, werde
in den kommenden Stunden vermutlich noch um einige Dutzend Zentimeter
ansteigen, sagte der Chef des regionalen Sicherheitsrates. In
der südlichen Region Mähren wurde Katastrophenalarm
ausgerufen. Mehrere tausend Menschen wurden dort evakuiert.
Im Schweizer Kanton Solothurn lösten heftige Niederschläge
zwei Erdrutsche aus. Über das ganze Kantonsgebiet verteilt
seien Keller überschwemmt worden. Zudem führe die Emme
warnt vor Elbausbau
Bundesumweltminister Sigmar Gabriel hat im Hinblick auf das erneute
Hochwasser an Elbe, Donau und Main vor einem weiteren Ausbau der
Elbe gewarnt. Im ZDF-"Morgenmagazin" warnte der SPD-Politiker
heute davor, wirtschaftliche Interessen gegen den Hochwasserschutz
auszuspielen. "Vorbeugen ist besser, als Schlamm auszubaggern",
sagte Gabriel. Wenn das Gedächtnis ein bisschen nachlasse,
setzten sich wirtschaftliche Interessen letztlich gegen die Hausbesitzer
durch, kritisierte er.
: Der Spiegel, 31.03.2006
: l'Europe de l'Est sous les eaux
A Pirna, dans l'est de l'Allemagne. L'état d'alerte
a été décrété dans la Saxe
en raison de la crue de l'Elbe. Certains habitants ont dû
être évacués, comme à Pirna, à
20 kilomètres de la frontière tchèque. Intempéries:
état d'alerte décrété en raison de
la crue de l'Elbe. A Bad Schandau, un millier d'habitants ont
quitté leur maison dès mercredi soir. L'électricité
a été coupée à certains endroits,
par mesure de sécurité.
A la frontière germano-tchèque, le niveau
de l'Elbe a franchi dans la nuit la barre des sept mètres,
tandis que dans la principale ville de la région, Dresde,
il a atteint 6,45 mètres - contre 2 m seulement en temps
normal. La Saxe a connu en 2002 de terribles inondations, le niveau
de l'Elbe dépassant à certains endroits les 12 mètres.
A l'époque, une partie de la vieille ville de Dresde et
ses trésors architecturaux baroques avaient été
engloutis sous les eaux.
La région autour de Passau, en Bavière, est menacée
par des inondations en raison de la crue du Danube.
La République tchèque connaît également
des crues importantes provoquées par un temps pluvieux
et un brusque redoux qui a suivi un hiver très enneigé.
Les autorités locales ont décrété
l'état d'urgence en Moravie où des milliers de personnes
ont été évacuées en raison des inondations
liées à la crue de la rivière Dyje, dont
le débit est trente fois supérieur à la normale.
L'alerte de niveau 3, la plus élevée, a été
déclarée dans 78 localités du pays jeudi
matin, alors que les eaux de l'Elbe, la Vltava, la Morava et d'autres
rivières du pays ne cessaient de monter. A Prague, où
le souvenir des terribles inondations de 2002 hante encore les
mémoires, la municipalité a fait monter des barrières
mobiles pour tenter de juguler la montée de la Vltava dont
les eaux ont déjà envahi les quais.
La Slovaquie et le sud de la Pologne sont également
en état d'alerte à cause de la fonte rapide des
neiges liée au redoux.
source : Libération.fr, 30.03.06
East Europe under waters
Pirna, East Germany. The alarm was given
because of the Elbe river swelling. Some of the people had to
be evacuated, like in Pirna, 20 km far from the Czech border.
In Bad Schandau, a thousand inhabitants left their home as of
Wednesday evening. Electricity was cut off, as a security measure.
At the Germano-Czech border, the Elbe level passed the
height of 7 meters during the night, while in Dresde, main city
of the region, it reached 6.45 meters (during the normal period,
it is only 2 m high). The Saxe knew in 2002 terrible floods, the
Elbe level being over 12 m in some places. At that time, a part
of the old town of Dresde and its architectural baroque treasures
had been submerged by waters.
The region around Passau, in Bavaria, is also threatened by floods
due to Danube river rising.
The Czech Republic is also going through important floods
caused by a rainy weather and an abrupt rise in temperature that
followed a quite snow-covered winter. Local authorities decreeted
the emergency state in Moravia, where thousands of people were
evacuated, because of floods linked to the Dyje river rising.
The discharge of this river is indeed 30 times higher than normally.
The 3rd level alarm, the highest one, was decreeted in 78 communes
of the country Thursday morning, while the Elbe, the Vltava, the
Morava rivers and other rivers of the country were still rising.
In Prague, where the souvenir of the floods of 2002 still haunts
the memories, the municipalities made mobile barriers be settled,
in order to try to control the Vltava's rising, whose waters already
invaded the quays.
Slovakia and South Poland are also in state of alert because
of the quick thaw linked to the rise of temperatures.
Source : Libération.fr, 30.03.06, translation :
: Washington State to Revise Water Quality Standards
Olympia, WASHINGTON, March 28, 2006 (ENS)
The Washington state Department of Ecology plans to revise a portion
of the water quality standards it submitted to the federal Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) for approval in 2003.
This decision, announced Thursday, follows an EPA ruling that
Ecology's 2003 standards did not sufficiently protect salmon and
bull trout to satisfy the requirements of the federal Clean Water
Act (CWA) and the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The upcoming revision by Ecology will redesignate a number of
stream and reach segments to more stringent temperature and dissolved
"We are committed to developing standards that are protective
of fish, especially those species that are threatened or endangered,"
said Jay Manning, Ecology director. "We have worked closely
with EPA and will soon propose revised rules that make habitat
designations more accurate."
One change in the 2003 standards is a shift to a system that identifies
the beneficial uses such as fish habitat, drinking water or recreation
of each water body, and the standards needed to protect those
Ecology had planned to enact the standards in a two-step process,
by first adopting the standards needed for different uses, and
then spending the following two to three years going basin-by-basin
examining whether the fisheries uses were as accurate as possible.
The EPA concluded that the standards failed to accurately designate
fish habitat in a number of rivers and streams. Now, Ecology intends
to propose rules to fix these problems. The formal rulemaking
process will begin in early April.
The rule revisions will affect major rivers that drain into Puget
Sound, such as the Nooksack, Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish,
Green, Puyallup and Nisqually Rivers. These rivers include important
spawning, rearing and migration habitat for ESA threatened species
of Chinook salmon and bull trout.
Many activities contribute to water temperature problems. Over
the last century, trees that provide shade along river banks have
been removed due to forestry and agricultural practices and urban
development. Rivers have been altered by dams to store water and
levees for flood control.
Industrial and municipal discharges can warm a stream. Although
some programs are already in place to restore temperatures and
meet existing standards, the more protective water quality standards
will help focus needed improvement.
In addition to concerns about the temperature standards, the National
Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
have expressed concerns that even the dissolved oxygen standards
that apply to the revised uses may not be protective enough. Ecology
will engage in further study in coordination with federal fish
agencies and EPA to determine the most appropriate standards for
dissolved oxygen to protect salmon during spawning and egg and
fry development. Ecology will share the results with the public
in a series of technical workshops.
If results of the study and workshops indicate that the dissolved
oxygen criteria should be corrected, Ecology will begin a follow-up
rule-making process by summer 2008.
"We believe Washington did a fine job in revising the majority
of their standards in 2003, and we anticipate moving these through
our approval process, including ESA and tribal consultations,"
said Michael Bogert, administrator for EPA's Region 10. "Today's
partial disapproval is narrowly targeted to specific water bodies
where additional work is needed to ensure the protection of known
salmon and bull trout populations."
Source : ENS, 28.03.2006
23.03.06 : NBA dharna continues on the seventh day in front
of Water Resources Ministry
Minister says he sticks by his statements, his secretary says
he is helpless !
India, March 23th, 2006
For the 7th consecutive day and night, the families affected by
Sarovar Project have been sitting on indefinite dharna (sit-in)
the Ministry of Water Resources in New Delhi. Over 300 people
sitting in front of the Ministry, all day and all night, to demand
the dam construction be halted immediately until full rehabilitation
People from organizations and movements in Delhi and from around
are here at the dharna to provide support to the andolankaris
sitting in front of the Ministry. Several eminent persons such
Rajinder Sachar, noted journalist Kuldip Nayyar, Advocate Sanjay
former Scheduled Tribes Commissioner Shri B.D. Sharma, socialist
and ex-MP Shri Surendra Mohanji, noted novelist Shri Kamleshwar,
President of the All India Democratic Women's Association Mrs
Ali, noted Hindi journalist Jitendra Kumar, veteran Gandhian Shri
Subbarao, and noted Members of Parliament (MPs) Shri Abani Roy,
Bhattacharjee, Shri Baburao, Shri Vinod Kumar and others have
the dharna to pledge their support. Mrs Brinda Karat and Mrs Suhassini
from the CPI(M) and members of the All India Democratic Women's
Association also stopped by to show their support.
Today, the people of the Valley commemorated Shaheed Diwas, Martyr's
the 75th death anniversary of revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev
Rajguru. These young freedom fighters were hanged by the British
for their radical anti-imperialist. The people of the Valley were
by a street theatre group called Nishant who put up street plays
trio's times and tribulations.
Shri Baburao, an MP from Andhra Pradesh and a member of the Communist
Party of India (Marxist) raised a question about the Sardar Sarovar
Project during the Zero Hour of Parliament 2 days ago. An excerpt
strong statement is below:
"In view of the enormity of the human misery involved, it
is time that the
Hon'ble Prime Minister himself to lead a Parliamentary Delegation
project site to assess the situation and halt construction pending
visit and the appropriate follow up. Other points apart, first
most is that the grievances and genuine apprehensions of thousands
families have to be attended and resolved. I urge the Hon'ble
Minister to respond generously to mitigate this human misery."
was also raised in the Parliament demanding answers from
the government on the issue of rehabilitation. We demand that
government provide quick and satisfactory answers to these pertinent
questions BEFORE raising the height any further.
Yesterday, a delegation met with the Water Resources Minister.
stated that he stands by his statements that rehabilitation has
done and that the clearance was premature. He said that he has
official communication to Gujarat is this regard, but is yet to
response. However, his Secretary Shri Harinarayan who gave the
as the Chairman of the Narmada Control Authority stated that he
helpless. He said that even though the NCA opposes the cash compensation
being distributed in Madhya Pradesh, it has been accepted by the
Redressal Authority and by the Rehabilitation Sub-Group of the
must be noted that this is the same GRA who has always interpreted
Narmada Award to benefit the M.P. government, including his negative
position on the issue of both major sons and temporary displacement,
of which were struck down by the Supreme Court in its verdict
On March 20th, the adivasi (tribal) families met the Chairman
National Commission on Scheduled Tribes, who had visited the Valley
April last year. At that time, the Chairman had held large meetings
submergence areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and in the
resettlement sites of Gujarat. Everywhere the message that rang
clear was that rehabilitation had not been done and was ripe with
violations. The Chairman informed us that his report of last year's
will be presented to the President of India in April. He was surprised
that the NCA had given clearance to raise the dam height when
it was a
clear violation of the Supreme Court verdicts. We urge the Chairman
issue a statement stating the non-compliance and lack of rehabilitation
that he saw in the Valley.
Additionally, in the evening on 21st of March, a meeting was held
Members of Parliament who are concerned and sensitive to the issue.
MPs pledged their support to the movement and promised to help
At present, the dharna continues in front of the Ministry. The
women of the Valley are determined to fight for their rights till
PLEASE JOIN US. ALSO PLEASE WRITE to the Water Resources Minister,
Saifuddin Soz and the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh (details
Sitaram Patidar, Pinjaribai, Mohan Patidar, Madansingh
Rukhdusingh, Dipti Bhatnagar, Chetan Salve, Clifton Rozario, Medha
Prof Saifuddin Soz
Minister of Water Resources
Shramshakti Bhavan, Rafi Marg, New Delhi
Residential phone and fax: 011- 23782032
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister's Office, South Block, New Delhi
Ph: 011- 23016857, 23012312
Fax: 011- 23019545, 23016857
Res: 011- 23015603
numbers at dharna site :
Narmada Andolan, 23.03.06
: Global Warming Will Make Water Crisis Intolerable
City, MEXICO, March 22, 2006 (ENS)
An international meeting on the future of the world's fresh water
resources is marking World Water Day today with a renewed effort
to ensure that more clean drinking water reaches the 1.1 billion
people who do not have access to safe water, but the crisis is
complicated by the impacts of a warming climate, an world renowned
atmospheric chemist told delegates.
In addition to drinking water scarcity, about 2.6 billion people,
four out of every 10, lack access to sanitation. This situation
is a humanitarian crisis - dealing with it must move to the top
of the global agenda say ministers and water experts meeting here
for the 4th World Water Forum.
In his keynote speech to the Forum Tuesday, Nobel Prize Winner
in chemistry Mario Molina warned that climate change and inappropriate
water management might intensify global warming by the end of
this century, creating "an intolerable risk."
Chemist Mario Molina told delegates that the complex relationships
in the water cycle are still poorly understood. He predicted that
the water cycle will intensify, causing extreme weather events
such as hurricanes and increasing the frequency and severity of
droughts and floods.
If the current global warming trend is maintained, the temperature
of the planet will rise eight degrees Celsius during this century,
"an increase of historic proportions," said Molina,
who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the
destruction of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons.
Molina said intensifying rains and droughts are related to climate
change and to the melting of glaciers. Climate change has exacerbated
flooding and water scarcity, he said.
The year 2005 "was the warmest in the last thousand years,"
Molina pointed out, showing charts of "paleo-climate data,"
extracted from drops of water encapsulated within glaciers and
information from the outer rings of trees in ancient forests.
Director-General of UNESCO Koïchiro Matsuura says the
theme of Water and Culture is of particular significance for UNESCO,
which is leading the activities surrounding this year's World
"To achieve sustainable solutions that contribute to equity,
peace and development, water management and governance need to
take proper account of cultural and biological diversity,"
Matsuura said. "For this reason, UNESCO believes that the
cultural dimension of water deserves further exploration so that
its many ramifications may become better understood."
Modern approaches to water resource management have tended to
be overwhelmingly technology-driven in their attempt to solve
the world's urgent water problems, he said.
Water-related extreme events, such as floods and droughts, kill
more people than any other natural disaster, and water-borne diseases
continue to cause the death of thousands of children every day.
Because of its growth and development, the human population increasingly
alters the quality and distribution of water. "But the amount
of fresh water on Earth, to be shared among all forms of life,
remains the same," said Matsuura. "This situation imposes
on humankind a responsibility to develop ethically sound systems
of water governance."
But, he said, technology alone will not lead us to viable solutions.
Koïchiro Matsuura is Director-General of the UN Educational
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
"Traditional knowledge alerts us to the fact that water is
not merely a commodity," Matsuura said. "Since the dawn
of humanity, water has inspired us, giving life spiritually, materially,
intellectually and emotionally. Sharing and applying the rich
contents of our knowledge systems, including those of traditional
and indigenous societies, as well as lessons learned from our
historical interactions with water, may greatly contribute to
finding solutions for today's water challenges."
"The nexus between culture and nature is the avenue for understanding
resilience, creativity and adaptability in both social and ecological
systems. In this perspective, sustainable water use and, hence,
a sustainable future depend on the harmonious relationship between
water and culture," the UNESCO director-general said.
"Consequently," he said, "it is vital that water
management and governance take cultural traditions, indigenous
practices and societal values into serious account."
The global water crisis is growing, UNESCO said in a statement
to mark World Water Day. The water crisis threatens the security,
stability and sustainability of the planet and consequently, humanity
itself. This is why the period from 2005 to 2015 has been declared
the International Decade for Action Water for Life.
Reiterating that lack of access to water is a major source of
death and disease in the world, World Water Council President
Loïc Fauchon announced the launch of the Council's Water
for Schools initiative, which seeks to provide access to water
in 1,000 schools in 10 countries.
Water, the essential liquid of life
During the Forum's plenary session on Tuesday, the director of
the National Water Commission for Mexico Cristóbal Jaime
announced an agreement by which an office of the World Meteorological
Organization will be established in Mexico.
Jaime reiterated an "urgent call" to the UN Secretary
General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation to reduce by
half the average number of deaths associated to water related
disasters that will take place between now and the year 2015,
as compared to the figures recorded for the decade from 1991-2000.
Jaime said emergency aid funds should be established for preventive
measures against disasters. "The international community
might approve financing early warning systems and educational
programs for the most vulnerable countries," he suggested.
The representatives of Asian countries Tuesday announced the creation
of the Asia Pacific Water Forum in a region particularly hard
hit by disasters. A recent UNESCAP study showed that the Asian
and Pacific region accounted for 91 per cent of the world's total
deaths due to natural disaster. The average annual economic damage
has increased from US$10.6 billion over the past five decades
to US$29 billion over the past 15 years.
Ryutaro Hashimoto, former Prime Minister of Japan and president
of the Japan Water Forum, and chair of the UN Advisory Board on
Water and Sanitation, supported the agreement creating the Asia
Pacific Water Forum. He reminded the audience that 60 percent
of the world population lives in the Asia Pacific region and explored
how to obtain financing for local water projects in his keynote
Kim Huk Su is executive secretary for the United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Kim Huk Su, executive secretary for the United Nations Economic
and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), said
that there are two major priorities for the new regional forum
- the need for tools to support Integrated Water Resource Management,
and "radically" more effective risk management and risk
Asia and the Pacific is also the world's most disaster-prone region.
A recent UNESCAP study showed that the region accounted for 91
percent of the world's total deaths due to natural disaster. The
average annual economic damage has increased from US$10.6 billion
over the past five decades to US$29 billion over the past 15 years.
Kim said that although the Asia-Pacific region has the highest
economic growth rates in the world, it also has the lowest per-capita
fresh water availability, and the highest number of people living
below the poverty line.
North America has had its share of water disasters. At the plenary
conference Tuesday on Risk Management, Carl Strock, chief of engineers
of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), told delegates that
a critical report on the performance of the government concerning
Hurricane Katrina recognized that communication among different
levels of government, logistics to deliver aid, and local warning
systems did not perform as expected.
Carl Strock, chief of engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
explained some of the failures that worsened the effects of Hurricane
"Disasters are now globalized phenomena," said Strock,
"that require intervention from everyone."
Tropical storms in 2006 are expected to be even stronger than
in 2005, the year hurricane Katrina and storm Stan wreaked havoc
on the Mesoamerican region, said Max Campo, executive secretary
of the Central American Regional Committee for Water Resources
during a session of the IUCN-World Conservation Union at the Forum.
Campos emphasized that, "We must integrate existing knowledge
and technology in a systematic way so that citizens, with or without
internet access, can receive information on time so that people
and their families can escape from catastrophic events."
The African continent has to date developed only 3.8 percent of
its water resources for supply, irrigation and electrical power,
according to the Regional Document on Africa, "Water Resources
Development in Africa: Challenges Response and Prospective,"
prepared for discussion at the Forum.
Africa's situation implies the need for hefty investment in various
areas, and this investment must go hand in hand with changes in
regional and national policy and capability, the document states.
Investment in water will spur progress in meeting the Millennium
Development Goals. It will mitigate the scourge of malnutrition,
food scarcity, poverty and disease that has led African nations
to be counted among the poorest of the world, said the Regional
Many developing countries are looking to the World Bank for water
investments, and the bank is interested in funding water-related
New investments in water management and development are essential
for growth in developing countries, and they need to be sustainable
- achieving the right balance between water security, and social
and environmental protection - said a new World Bank report, Water
for Growth and Development, presented at the Forum.
"Simply constructing new infrastructure projects is not enough
on its own," said Kathy Sierra, World Bank Vice President
for Infrastructure. "It is essential to manage and govern
water resources effectively. Such water investments will lead
to responsible growth, embracing both environmental sustainability
and social development."
Public financing for basic water security has been and will remain
essential, but the scale of needed investments cannot be provided
by public funds alone so the private sector will have an important
complementary role to play, said the World Bank report. "All
investment, whether public or private, should be complemented
by robust regulatory and monitoring frameworks, designed with
the active participation of water users and civil society."
But privatization of water is just what many people fear, because
the essential liquid could be priced out of their reach. Some
10,000 people marched in the streets of Mexico City on Saturday,
demanding that water services not be privatized.
Source : ENS, 22.03.2006
22.03.06 : Oroville Dam Agreement Benefits Feather River, Fish,
California - USA, March 22, 2006 (ENS)
Salmon and steelhead of the Feather River, along with the many
people who fish and boat there, will benefit from an agreement
covering operations of the Oroville hydroelectric project, that
was signed Tuesday in Oroville. The agreement forms the basis
of a new 50 year operating license for the project.
The agreement is the result of two years of negotiations among
over 40 parties including American Rivers, federal and state agencies,
local governments, water providers and Native American tribes.
It will now be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
At 770 feet high, Oroville Dam is the tallest in the United States.
It is the main water storage facility for California's State Water
Project, which supplies water to some 23 million municipal and
agricultural customers from San Diego to Redding.
Owned by the state and operated by the Department of Water Resources
(DWR), the project has a electricity generating capacity of 750MW.
The agreement will remedy some of the impacts caused by the project's
To restore salmon and steelhead habitat, downstream of the dam,
DWR will improve flows and water temperatures, add spawning gravels
and large woody debris, and restore floodplain and side-channel
The DWR will add river access points and campsites to create a
15 mile long Feather River bluewater trail. A new park with trails,
picnic areas, an interpretive center and boat launching areas
will be constructed. DWR will also fund a study to determine the
feasibility of constructing whitewater recreation facilities in
Community benefits include $50 million that DWR will allocate
to river-related projects to stimulate economic activity in the
area and reconnect the community with the river.
To mitigate for the loss of upstream spawning habitat, DWR and
Pacific Gas & Electric, which operates dams upstream on the
Feather and in other river basins, will work with agencies and
other stakeholders to evaluate fish passage opportunities in the
Feather and surrounding river basins and implement the most promising
"For years the Oroville project has harmed salmon and steelhead
habitat and has limited opportunities for fishing, boating and
other recreation," said Steve Rothert of American Rivers.
"This agreement restores some balance to the river, and includes
many benefits for clean water, fish and wildlife and local communities."
"We have a responsibility to fix some of the damage dams
cause to our rivers," Rothert said. "It is simple common
sense to bring these old dams up to date with today's science,
technology, and laws. This agreement for Oroville Dam makes both
environmental and economic sense."
Source : ENS, 22.03.2006
18.03.06 Affected families are sitting
on indefinite dharna outside the water resources Ministry in Dehli
behind sardar sarovar exposed !
guarantee of electricity or irrigation, even as thousands of adivasis
and farmers of over 200 villages are being submerged !
March 18, 2006
yesterday, March 17, over 120 representatives from the Valley
sitting on dharna in front of the Ministry of Water Resources
Marg. We met the Water Resources Minister yesterday and he has
that he indeed thinks the decision to clear the raising of the
the Sardar Sarovar Dam is premature. We are going to continue
to sit on
indefinite dharna until this latest construction of the dam is
the decision is reviewed.
the decision to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was
not only were the Gram Sabhas of the various submergence villages
but also the Cabinet and the Vidhan Sabha were not even informed
decision. This truth has now been uncovered in Maharashtra. Bureaucrats
and officials, on the basis of their false reports and secretive
procedures, without consulting the concerned ministers, have played
politics to illegally submerge villages where thousands of people
to be resettled.
2004, the Maharashtra government decided that any further
decision to raise the height of the dam would be taken by the
Cabinet. When we spoke to Shri Patangrao Kadam, Rehabilitation
and other Ministers regarding the 8th March 2006 clearance by
the NCA to
raise the dam height to 121.92 metres, we were told that there
clearance by the Cabinet and that this decision to raise the dam
would be opposed. The Minister also said that the clearance for
construction would only be given after all affected families were
rehabilitated. However, the Rehabilitation Secretary of Maharashtra
that the clearance from the Cabinet had already been given! A
meeting has been called on the 20th of March in the Mantralaya
The truth of the matter will be known then.
Maharashtra, even Madhya Pradesh, despite the criticism it faces
for having illegally and inhumanly submerged Harsud affected by
upstream Narmada Sagar Project, is quite prepared to repeat hundreds
Harsuds by submerging the thickly populated villages in the Sardar
BJP government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to go hand-in-hand
the Gujarat governments gross violation. In fact, two months
Chauhan, Chief Minister of M.P., made a statement that M.P. would
rehabilitate 14,000 families within 15 days! But the only thing
in those 15 days were to send people ex-parte (one-sided) notices
uncultivable land. The uncultivability of these lands is proved
M.P.s own affidavit dated 11.4.2000 before the Supreme Court.
some of the lands offered to families as alternative agricultural
fall in the submergence area of the Maheshwar dam!
in Maharashtra there remain more than 1000 families who are yet
be rehabilitated and another 2000 families who are yet to be officially
declared but are eligible. The ongoing dam construction is going
only submerge families in Maharashtra but also tens of thousands
families in M.P. The Central government should take a truthful
asking the state governments to refrain from violating the Narmada
and Supreme Court verdicts which require complete rehabilitation
submergence. The Central government should, at once, stop the
construction and rehabilitate families.
Raiji Deva, Kamla Yadav, Madan Rukhdiya, Norji Padvi,
Yogini Khanolkar, Ashish Mandloi, Pema Bapu, Dipti Bhatnagar,
Narmada Bachao Andolan
- C/o B-13 Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Baroda, Gujarat 390023.
0265-2282232 - 62 M.G. Marg, Badwani, Madhya Pradesh 451551. Ph:
- Maitri Niwas, Tembewadi, Dhadgaon, dist Nandurbar, Maharashtra.
: World Water Forum Promises New Wave of Action
Mexico City, MEXICO, March 17, 2006 (ENS)
Urgent actions are needed to guarantee the present and future
supply of water for all humanity, Mexican President Vicente Fox
said Thursday, welcoming some 11,000 participants from 120 nations
to the 4th World Water Forum. Water usage increased six-fold during
the 20th century, twice the rate of population growth.
"Humanity depends on a deep change of attitude that encourages
a new culture based on shared responsibility for the care and
distribution of this vital liquid with fairness," the President
Delegates gathered at the Banamex Convention Center to discuss
and adopt public policies for the management of fresh water. Held
once every three years, the Forum is an initiative of the World
Water Council, which aims to raise awareness of water issues worldwide
through seven days of forums, panels, and networking.
President of Mexico Vincente Fox welcomes some 11,000 delegates
to the opening of the 4th World Water Forum.
Mexicans share with all the nations of the world the challenge
of restoring the worldwide water balance, President Fox said.
"We know that unique solutions do not exist that can be applied
indiscriminately to the international problem of the water. Today
the great solutions take place in the local scope," he said,
emphasizing the conference theme, Local Actions for a Global Challenge.
Within that overarching theme, Forum participants will address
the issues through five framework themes - water for growth and
development, implementing integrated water resources management,
water supply and sanitation for all, water management for food
and the environment, and risk management.
A ministerial conference to be held later in the week has attracted
the participation of 121 ministers, conference organizers said.
The Water Fair, and the World Water Expo will also take place
during the week-long event.
"For Mexico, this experience will facilitate progress in
the formulation of appropriate public policy and in the adoption
of concrete solutions that have proven to be successful in other
latitudes," said Cristóbal Jaime Jáquez, Director
General for the National Water Commission of Mexico.
At a supper for dignitaries at the Palace of the Castle of Chapultepec
Thursday night, President Fox told his guests, "Mexico recognizes,
along with all you, the urgency to engage in a dialog and to make
right agreements on the present and the future supply of water."
"We have decided to center the attention of the world on
battles of local significance, convinced that thanks to them we
have approached the objectives and commitments of the Millenium,"
President Fox said.
"Humanity cannot permit one of every five inhabitants on
Earth to lack fresh water, clean and sufficient," President
Fox told his guests, who included Moroccan Prime Minister Driss
Jettou, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan; Prince Willem-Alexander
of the Netherlands, heir apparent to the Dutch throne; and President
of the World Water Council Loïc Fauchon.
In his opening address to the Forum earlier in the day, Fauchon
said, "Water, which has brought us together here, is a topic
of major subject of concern, a subject of worry, and sometimes
even a subject of discord."
"Water is endangered, and with it, so are we," said
Fauchon. "For the situation made for water in the world is
"Unacceptable is the lack of water or its poor quality which,
last year, caused 10 times more deaths than all the wars waged
on the planet together."
Since March 2005, Loïc Fauchon of France has presided
over the World Water Council based in Marseille.
"Unacceptable are the hundreds of millions of women and children
who, each morning, must walk many hours in search of water that
is too scarce, distant or contaminated," he said, calling
for old animosities to be laid aside and everyone to join in securing
sufficient supplies of water for all.
The World Health Organization/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme
estimates indicate that 1.1 billion people still do not have access
to an adequate supply of drinking water and some 2.6 billion do
not have access to basic sanitation. These people are among the
world's poorest, and over half of them live in China or India.
In addition, seven million people die of waterborne diseases every
Still, on a global scale the world has plenty of freshwater, although
it is unevenly distributed, according to a United Nations World
Water Development Report released last week in advance of the
A joint effort of 24 UN agencies and entities involved in water
resources management, the report says it is governance systems
that "determine who gets what water, when and how, and decide
who has the right to water and related services."
Governance, as used in the report, means not only formal government
bodies, but local authorities, the private sector and civil society.
They make decisions on the full range of issues connected to water
- health and food security, economic development, land use and
the preservation of the natural ecosystems on which water resources
Although there is plenty of water on Earth, "mismanagement,
limited resources and environmental changes mean that almost one-fifth
of the planet's population still lacks access to safe drinking
water and 40 percent lack access to basic sanitation," the
Ryutaro Hashimoto, chair of the newly established UN Advisory
Board on Water and Sanitation, said the world is experiencing
a water crisis that demands immediate action, and that most of
the Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved without solving
The triennial report is the most comprehensive assessment to date
of freshwater resources. Entitled "Water, a shared responsibility,"
this edition focuses on the importance of governance in managing
the world's water resources and tackling poverty.
At the current rate of progress, regions such as sub-Saharan Africa
will not meet the UN Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of halving,
by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to
safe drinking water. The MDG target of halving, by 2015, the proportion
of people without basic sanitation will not be met globally if
present trends persist.
According to the report "mismanagement, corruption, lack
of appropriate institutions, bureaucratic inertia and a shortage
of new investments in building human capacity as well as physical
infrastructure" are responsible for this situation.
In many places of the world, "a colossal 30 to 40 percent
or more of water goes unaccounted for, through water leakages
in pipes and canals and illegal connections," the report
Although there are no accurate figures, it is estimated that political
corruption costs the water sector millions of dollars every year
and undermines water services, especially to the poor. The report
cites a survey in India for example, in which 41 percent of the
customer respondents had made more than one small bribe in the
past six months to falsify meter readings, 30 percent had made
payments to expedite repair work, and 12 percent had made payments
to expedite new water and sanitation connections.
"Good governance is essential for managing our increasingly
stretched supplies of freshwater and indispensable for tackling
poverty," says UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.
"There is no one blueprint for good governance, which is
both complex and dynamic. But we know that it must include adequate
institutions - nationally, regionally and locally, strong, effective
legal frameworks and sufficient human and financial resources."
It also requires "essential freedoms, like the freedom of
speech and the right to organize," says the report, which
stresses that, "If citizens cannot access basic information
on water quality and quantity, it seriously curtails their chances
of halting environmentally unsound water projects or to hold relevant
government agencies accountable."
"Water, a shared responsibility," will be formally presented
by the UNESCO Director-General, on behalf of the United Nations,
to the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City on March 22, World
Torkil Jønch-Clausen accepts the King Hassan II Great
World Water Prize from Moroccan Environment Ministery Mohamed
Morocco's Minister of Environment Mohamed Eyazghi introduced the
King Hassan II Great World Water Prize and announced that the
international jury had chosen Torkil Jønch-Clausen of Denmark
for his scientific accomplishments and support for international
cooperation in the field of water. Jønch-Clausen is director
for development and innovation of DHI Water & Environment,
a Danish independent research and consultancy organization.
In his acceptance speech, Jønch-Clausen said his award
is a result of cooperation between the Danish government, DHI-Water
and Environment, and the Global Water Partnership. He announced
that the US$100,000 in prize money would be used to fund women
from developing countries to study water issues.
Created in 2000, the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize is
an international award jointly established by the Government of
Morocco and the World Water Council, in memory of his Majesty
King Hassan II of Morocco's leadership and encouragement of cooperation
and sound management of water resources.
At the closing ceremony of the Forum on March 22, the Kyoto World
Water Grand Prize of US$45,000 will be awarded for the first time
to an individual or organization that has carried out activities
on the community level to address critical needs related to water.
Find out more at the World
Source : ENS, 17.03.2006
: A Chance for a Living Danube, Living Rivers and Floodplains
in the Danube River Basin !
14th: World Day against Dams and for Living Rivers
The Danube and its tributaries at the crossroad: On the way
to a good ecological status by real implementation of the European
Water Framework Directive or ongoing deterioration with new dams
and reservoirs, canalizing, heavy dredging and cutting off floodplains?
The Danube Environmental Forum unites more than 170 environmental
organizations in all countries of the Danube River Basin. The
stocktaking for the Danube report to European Commission, the
"Roof Report" on the Danube River Basin of the International
Commission for the Protection of the Danube (ICPDR) has has given
clear evidence that hydromorphological alterations are the most
serious problem of river ecology. Nevertheless a lot of new infrastructure
plannings threaten to destroy or deteriorate remaining treasures
There is planning of new dams in the longest remaining free flowing
stretch of the upper Danube in Germany, in the Austrian alpine
region, at Drava, Sava and Mura river in Croatia and Slovenia,
at Vrbas river in Bosnia and Herzegovina, only to mention some
of the most important ones. We have the huge canalizing project
of the Danube-Oder-Elbe-Canal in the Czech Republic affecting
Austria and Slovakia. We face massive dregding and deepening in
Danube stretches of Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.
This is accompanied by planning new dams on other streams and
rivers for hydropower, new dikes and reservoirs for technical
The Danube Environmental Forum opposes these deteriorations of
river and floodplain ecology. It is obliged to the aim of the
European Water Framework Directive of improving water and river
ecology to reach a good ecological status and to prevent deterioration.
We accept the aim of improving transport, energy supply, climate
protection and flood defence, but there are better sustainable
solutions than destroying and deteriorating river and floodplain
ecology. Before such new infrastructure measures alternatives
should be thoroughly examined. Possibilities are for navigation
improvement of logistics and railroad transport, for hydropower
measures to save energy, energy efficiency and other less developed
renewable energies with minor adverse ecological effects, for
flood defence the re-use of former floodplains, restoring of rivers
and oxbows and different forms of agricultural land use to hold
back and retard water.
The Danube Environmental Forum is willing to contribute to the
actual and ongoing process of implementation of the Water Framework
Directive on the one hand to prevent deterioration and on the
other hand to improve and restore river and floodplain ecology
in the Danube River Basin. We express our solidarity with the
action in Banja Luka on March, 14th, to protect Vrbas river!
information on March, 14th and the Danube WFD Roof Report :
European Rivers Network: http://www.rivernet.org/general/movement/14mars.htm
International Rivers Network: http://www.irn/dayofaction
ICPDR and Danube Basin Analysis (WFD Roof Report 2004) http://www.icpdr.org/pls/danubis/danubis_db.dyn_navigator.show
and information exchange on Danube River Basin hydromorphology
and the Water Framework Directive:
Danube Environmental Forum Water Policy Team
Co-ordinator WG Hydromorphology
Gerhard Nagl, M.A.
Notes to Editors
is DEF ? (The Danube Environmental Forum):
is a Danube River Basin-wide platform of non-governmental, non-profit
and politically independent environmental organisations. DEF fulfils
its mission through encouraging cooperation among governmental
and non-governmental organisations in the Danube River region,
supporting the exchange of information, and promoting public participation
in environmental decision-making.
174 NGOs from 13 countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia
and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine) constitute the
membership of DEF. The DEF Secretariat is located in Bratislava,
Slovakia, and is hosted by DAPHNE - Institute of Applied Ecology.
DEF has its National Focal Points in 13 states and is open to
new members from all Danube countries working towards environmental
protection in water-related issues.
A crucial goal for DEF is to create a Danube River Basin-wide
platform of non-governmental organisations that have a common
understanding in, and approach to, environmental protection of
the Danube River. The core of DEF's effort is to reinforce information
exchange and cooperation among national and international institutions,
the NGO community and the public sector leading to sustainable
development of Danube River Basin.
DEF aims to develop and reinforce partnerships between governmental
and non-governmental organizations, particularly with regards
to the implementation of EU WFD. DEF members utilise the skills
and experiences developed after many years of practice in public
participation activities to support the development of an effective
Public Participation (PP) Strategy for the Danube River Basin.
841 10 Bratislava
Tel. +421 2 654 561 13
Eine Chance für eine Lebendige Donau, Lebendige Flüsse
und Auen im Einzugsgebiet der Donau !
Welttag gegen Staudämme und für Lebendige Flüsse
Die Donau und ihre Nebenflüsse sind an einem Scheideweg:
Auf dem Weg zu einem guten ökologischen Zustand durch wirkliche
Umsetzung der europäischen Wasserrahmenrichtlinie oder weitere
Verschlechterung durch neue Staudämme und Talsperren, Kanalisierung,
umfangreiche Ausbaggerungen und Abtrennung der Flussauen?
Das Danube Environmental Forum (Donau-Umweltforum) vereint über
170 Umweltorganisationen im gesamten Donaueinzugsgebiet. Die Bestandsaufnahme
für den Donaubericht, den Dachbericht" der Internationalen
Kommission für den Schutz der Donau (IKSD), hat eindeutig
ergeben, dass die Veränderungen der Gewässerstruktur
das größte Problem für die Ökologie des Flusses
sind. Nichtsdestoweniger drohen zahlreiche Ausbauplanungen den
verbliebenen Naturreichtum zu zerstören oder zu beeinträchtigen.
Es gibt Planungen für neue Staudämme auf dem längsten
freifließenden Abschnitt der oberen Donau in Deutschland,
in den österreichischen Alpen, an der Drava, Save und Mura
in Kroatien und Slowenien, am Fluss Vrbas in Bosnien-Herzegowina,
um nur einige der wichtigsten zu nennen. Wir haben das riesige
Kanalbauprojekt Donau-Oder-Elbe-Kanal in Tschechien, das auch
Österreich und die Slowakei betrifft. Wir sind mit massiven
Ausbaggerungen und Vertiefungen auf Abschnitten der Donau in Deutschland,
Österreich, Ungarn, Rumänien und Bulgarien konfrontiert.
Das ist von weiteren Staudammplanungen an Bächen und Flüssen
für die Wasserkraft, von neuen Deichen, Rückhaltebecken
und Poldern für den technischen Hochwasserschutz, begleitet.
Das Danube Environmental Forum (Donau-Umweltforum) wehrt sich
gegen diese Verschlechterungen für die Ökologie von
Fluss und Aue. Es ist dem Ziel der Wasserrahmenrichtlinie verpflichtet,
die Gewässer- und Flussökologie zu verbessern, um einen
guten ökologischen Zustand zu erreichen, und Verschlechterungen
zu verhindern. Wir akzeptieren das Ziel, Güterverkehr, Energieversorgung,
Klima- und Hochwasserschutz zu verbessern, aber es gibt dafür
bessere nachhaltige Lösungen, als Fluss- und Auenökologie
zu zerstören und zu verschlechtern. Vor einem Ausbau sollten
gründlich Alternativen untersucht werden. Mögliche andere
Lösungen sind für die Schifffahrt eine verbesserte Logistik
und ein Transport auf der Bahn, für die Wasserkraft Energieeinsparung,
Energieeffizienz und andere noch weniger entwickelte erneuerbare
Energien mit geringeren negativen ökologischen Auswirkungen,
für den Hochwasserschutz die Wiedernutzung der früheren
Auen, die Renaturierung von Flüssen und Altarmen und eine
veränderte landwirtschaftliche Nutzung, um Wasser zurückzuhalten
und zu verlangsamen.
Das Danube Environmental Forum (Donau-Umweltforum) ist bereit,
zu dem zur Zeit beschleunigten Prozess der Umsetzung der Wasserrahmenrichtlinie
beizutragen, um einerseits eine weitere Verschlechterung zu verhindern
und andererseits die Fluss- und Auenökologie im Donaueinzugsgebiet
zu verbessern. Wir erklären unsere Solidarität mit der
Aktion in Banja Luka (Bosnien-Herzegowina) zum Schutz des Flusses
Vrbas am 14. März!
Für weitere Informationen über den 14. März
und den Dachbericht zur Donau nach der Wasserrahmenrichtlinie:
European Rivers Network: http://www.rivernet.org/general/movement/14mars.htm
International Rivers Network: http://www.irn/dayofaction
IKSD und Bericht Donaueinzugsgebiet (Dachbericht WRRL 2004) http://www.icpdr.org/pls/danubis/danubis_db.dyn_navigator.show
Informationen und Informationsaustausch zur Gewässerstruktur
im Donaueinzugsgebiet und zur Wasserrahmenrichtlinie:
Danube Environmental Forum Water Policy Team
Koordinator AG Gewässerstruktur
Gerhard Nagl, M.A.
Erläuterungen für die Presse/Medien:
Was ist DEF? (Danube Environmental Forum
Das DEF ist ein donauweiter Zusammenschluss von nicht kommerziellen
und politisch unabhängigen Umweltorganisationen. Das DEF
erfüllt seinen Auftrag durch die Förderung der Zusammenarbeit
von Regierungs- und Nichtregierungsorganisationen im Einzugsgebiet
der Donau, es unterstützt den Informationsaustausch und setzt
sich für Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung bei Umweltentscheidungen
Zurzeit sind im DEF 174 NGOs aus 13 Ländern (Bosnien-Herzegowina,
Bulgarien, Deutschland, Kroatien, Moldova, Österreich, Rumänien,
Serbien und Montenegro, Slowakei, Slowenien, Tschechien, Ukraine,
Ungarn) Mitglied. Das Sekretariat des DEF ist in Bratislava in
der Slowakei bei DAPHNE - Institut für angewandte Ökologie.
DEF hat in allen 13 Ländern nationale Focal Points",
Organisationen, die ihre Länder im DEF vertreten (für
Deutschland der Bund Naturschutz in Bayern e.V.). Es ist offen
für neue Mitglieder aus allen Donauländern, die im Bereich
Wasser und Gewässer für die Umwelt arbeiten.
Ein wesentliches Ziel des DEF ist es, eine donauweite Plattform
von Nichtregierungsorganisationen mit einem gemeinsamen Ansatz
und Konzept zum Schutz der Donau zu schaffen. Im Zentrum der Arbeit
des DEF steht es, den Informationsaustausch und die Zusammenarbeit
zwischen nationalen und internationalen Einrichtungen und zwischen
Verbänden und Behörden im Sinne einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung
im Donauraum zu stärken.
Insbesondere bei der Umsetzung der europäischen Wasserrahmenrichtlinie
will das DEF die Zusammenarbeit von staatlichen Behörden
und Nichtregierungsorganisationen entwickeln und verstärken.
Die Mitglieder des DEF nützen ihre Fähigkeiten und langjährigen
Erfahrungen im Bereich der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, um auch
zur Wasserrahmenrichtlinie die Entwicklung einer effizienten Strategie
wirklicher und wirksamer Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung im Donau-Einzugsgebiet
841 10 Bratislava
Tel. +421 2 654 561 13
: Bathing water quality : publication of the Directive
This directive was adopted the last 15th February and completes
the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/CE. This new directive is
to be transposed in the national law of each member state before
the 28th March 2008. The previous directive (n° 76/160/CE
of the 8/12/1976) will be definitely repealed from the 31/12/2014.
This new Directive deals with the bathing waters, which include
every part of surface waters where people bath and where it is
not forbiden or inadvisable to bath (are excluded of bathing waters
: swimming pool, treated water or therapeuthic waters, captive
surface waters disjoint from surface or underground waters).
The Directive demands from the member states a strict monitoring
of these bathing waters. This monitoring includes a listing by
the member state of the bathing waters, a definition of the bathing
period, an evaluation of the quality of the bathing waters according
2 parameters (19 in the previous directive of 1976). This new
rule will be enforced from March 2008. After 24th March 2011 at
the latest, waters will be compulsory classified according quality
criteria defined by the annexes of the Directive and profils of
the bathing waters are determined, and then revised and updated
Concerning coastal and continental waters, the new norms are more
understandable and methods use to check water quality are easier
to implement. However, the norms are stronger for marine waters,
and did not change a lot for fresh waters.
Finally, the Directive gives an important part to the participation
and the public information. All information on bathing waters
should be actively spread and available, and this will be a coimpulsory
rule from the 24th March 2008. The information should be transmitted
in non-technical words, during the bathing period, in an accessible
place and near the bathing place. Internet should also be used.
Read the whole
Source : Journal
de l'Environnement, 13.03.2006, summary and translation : ERN
: Conflicting EU Funds - Bad examples for new members in use
of EU funds
Brussels/Vienna - 07 Mar 2006
A new WWF
report, "Conflicting EU funds", shows that despite the
EU commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2010, vast sums of
European Union money are being spent on roads, dams and irrigation
schemes which threaten critically endangered species and key habitats
in Europe. The responsibility lies not just in poor coordination
and decision making in Brussels but also and especially at national
or regional levels.
As and plan their own use of EU funds, they would do well to learn
from mistakes made in and other countries or risk losing some
of their most valuable natural assets. Both and are currently
in the midst of national programming for future use of EU funds
in preparation for formally joining the EU in 2007 or latest 2008.
Decisions being made this year will to a certain extent determine
the future of the prodigious natural wealth both countries will
bring with them to the EU, including Europe's largest populations
of brown bears and wolves as well as the greatest remaining stands
of virgin forest.
EU funds are being used to build roads and dams that are destroying
the habitat of the Iberian lynx, the world's most endangered cat
species. In , the remaining Iberian lynx population - with around
100 individuals left, including just 25 breeding females - is
under major threat due to loss and fragmentation of its habitat
from new construction work.
The WWF report presents eight case studies where competing plans
funded by the EU are damaging biodiversity. In , for example,
while the EU Commission Directorate General (DG) responsible for
the environment is supporting a LIFE project to protect brown
bears, the DG Regional Development is funding the planned Egnatia
Highway, which directly threatens these animals.
EU plans to promote inland shipping on the Danube River, including
the most valuable stretches of the Lower Danube between and and
the Danube Delta, could seriously impact wetland areas along up
to 1,000 km of the river. Removing "bottlenecks" on
the Danube has been identified as one of 30 priority projects
for the EU as part of its Trans-European Network for Transportation
(TEN-T). Specific sections have been identified as priority areas
for action, and it is feared that adaptations such as dredging,
river training, canalisation and damming (to increase depth) will
affect floodplains and affect species such as the Beluga Sturgeon
along with the many bird species that utilise the Danube.
To avoid repeating past mistakes, WWF recommends that existing
and future EU Member States develop good national programmes that
contribute to the 2010 goal of halting biodiversity loss, including
strong support for nature conservation objectives as well as safeguards
e.g. through effective application of Environmental Impact Assessments.
Member States should also inform and involve interest groups and
stakeholders, especially environmental advocates like WWF and
other organisations, in developing plans for use of European funds.
Luminita Tanasie, Communications Manager, WWF Danube-Carpathian
Programme, Tel. + +40 744 163 283
Source : http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/europe/news/index.cfm?uNewsID=62640
: "Water's situation changed faster than expected"
of Loïc Fauchon, president of the World Water Council, before
the World Water Forum. 03.03.2006
The 4th World
Water Forum in Mexico is already a success : more than 9.000 people
are registered (among them some 800 reporters), and many alternative
events will take place around the official Forum. Getting people
together is a begining, but it doesn't prevent the disagreements
between the numerous water actors, that remain important.
are still growing, since the last Forum in Tokyo in 2003 and the
Johannesburg's Conference in 2002. The demographic development
and the growth of the biggest cities are more important than expected,
and this results in disruptions in the planning of the water facilities
and in increasing pollution problems. We have to add to these
problems the ones created by climate changes.
others topics, should be discussed the theme of the water access
in developed and developing countries and the one of financing
the water access through the world.
Read the whole
: Journal de l'Environnement, 03.03.2006, summary in english :
: Baïkal Lake threatened by a giant pipeline
Lake is the older lake in the world, that appeared 25 millions
years ago. 600 km long and 60 km wide, it reaches a depth of 1637
m and shelters a unique and remarkable fauna.
patrimony is threatened by a pipeline project planned by the Russian
State Company Transneft. That pipeline will be a giant one : 4200
km long (from a place near Vladivostok to Irkoutsk, near the Baïkal
Lake), a transportation capacity of 80 millions tons oil per year,
a cost of 15 billions €. The Transneft Company already has
President Poutine's support. The problem is that Trnasneft plans
to run the pipeline 800 m from the Lake, and the pipe could pollute
the Lake if any accident or breaking occured.
ecologists and scientists are mobilizing against this project
and recently received the support of Unesco. The scientists studied
the case for the Russian State Organism for Environment and Technologyand
concluded to the important potential danger the pipeline represents
for the Baïkal. The State Organism already published an advice,
asking to modify the arrival of the pipe near Vladivostok, because
of the existence of a nature reserve, that shelters the last leopards
of the Far-East.
also studies and showed that the pipeline is crossing seismic
zones on 66% of its course. Well, the Transneft Company already
was involved during the last 15 years, in differents cases of
major petroleum pollutions. If the pipeline was built, Unesco
could classify the Baïkal Lake as an "endangered site",
and this classification could have important consequences in terme
of touristic frequenting of the place for Russia.
Read the whole
Source : Le
Monde, 01.03.2006, summary in english : ERN
:The myths and facts of freshwater - Conserving freshwater ecosystems
is a vital building block for eradicating poverty
By Jamie Pittock
one billion people worldwide do not have access to clean freshwater.
More than two billion do not have adequate sanitation services
and the annual death toll from water-borne diseases is estimated
than five million. In addition, the past 30 years have seen a
50 per cent decline in populations of freshwater species, the
fastest rate of decline as compared with species living in marine
and forest ecosystems.
like this, its time to be worried. With so many people around
the world experiencing water shortages, its time to act
to preserve whats left of our freshwater resources.
of participants gather in Mexico to attend the fourth World Water
Forum, a multi-stakeholder meeting aimed at raising the awareness
on international water issues and influencing water policy makers
at the global
level, they should know the myths and facts, and more importantly,
practical solutions in addressing the planets water crisis.
will reduce the water crisis by storing water and generating hydro-electricity,
and will not have a negative impact on the environment.
are over 48,000 large dams in operation worldwide. Many of these
dams, as well as those under construction, are threatening the
worlds largest and most important rivers. A recent scientific
report shows that over 60 per cent of the worlds 227 largest
rivers have been fragmented by dams, leading to the destruction
of wetlands, a decline in freshwater
species including river dolphins, fish, and birds
and the forced displacement of millions of people. While dams
can be an important provider of hydro-power, they do not always
guarantee reliable supplies of water and electricity. Moreover,
they are very expensive to build, vastly more expensive than measures
to reduce demand by using water and electricity more efficiently.
In some places money spent on dams would provide more socio-economic
benefits if used to restore wetlands. Governments should opt for
non-infrastructure alternatives to dam building, but if they are
built, they should follow stringent guidelines set forth by the
World Commission on Dams in 2000 in order to mitigate risk.
need more water to grow more food.
Fact: We are
already withdrawing 54 per cent of the worlds accessible
freshwater sources, with the agriculture sector alone using up
to 70 per cent of that. Of that 70 per cent, more than half is
wasted through inefficient irrigation methods. In countries where
some of the worlds thirstiest crops cotton,
rice and sugar are grown, new farm practices
ensure that scarce water resources are being used in more productive
ways. In South Africa, for example, better practices such as cooperative
farming for smallholders, farm planning and drip irrigation schemes
have seen water
productivity rise significantly and downstream erosion and pollution
decrease. In India, farmers have developed an efficient rice irrigation
system that is increasing yields by 20-50 per cent, while drawing
much less water from the environment. High priority should be
given to using water more wisely and supporting farmers and irrigation
managers to use farm
practices that enable them to produce more food with less water.
habitats are being conserved at the expense of people.
case studies from Colombia, Brazil, South Africa and China have
shown increased income, employment, and fish yield in conjunction
with nature conservation projects by local communities. More than
a third of the
worlds 100 biggest cities including New York, Jakarta,
Tokyo, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Nairobi
and Melbourne rely on fully or partly protected forests
in catchment areas for much of their drinking
water. Well-managed natural forests minimize the risk of landslides,
erosion and sedimentation. They also substantially improve water
purity by filtering pollutants, such as pesticides, and in some
cases capture and store water.
Countries would do well to adopt a forest watershed protection
strategy as this can result in massive savings in the cost of
water supply, as well as improve the health of local populations.
of the facts, one would think responsible governments would be
quick to implement cheaper, long-lasting solutions to managing
their water supplies. Sadly, many still perceive large-scale infrastructure
like dams, as delivering results quicker than more efficient small-scale,
community-based efforts. Governments have also failed to implement
previously agreed upon national and global frameworks for sustainable
The fact of
the matter is that water is a finite resource, a supply that is
quickly being exhausted and cannot be sustained by grandiose projects.
Rather, we should be concentrating our efforts on equitable water
allocation, watershed and wetland restoration, pollution reduction,
and sustainable fisheries management. Conserving freshwater ecosystems
some lofty goal preached by the environmental movement but a practical
and vital building block for eradicating poverty. Conservation
of freshwater ecosystems can result in clean drinking water and
more effective agriculture
and fisheries for the poor.
wetlands and rivers must be a priority for governments pursuing
water security and poverty reduction. The 4th World Water Forum
could be an important turning point if governments focus on the
missing link: better
management of rivers, wetlands and other freshwater bodies as
the source of water for people and nature.
* Jamie Pittock
is Director of WWFs Global Freshwater Programme, Gland,