: Outcomes of the UNESCO Workshop on GHG emissions from freshwater
reservoirs, Paris, France
on freshwater reservoirs has included the monitoring of greenhouse-gas
(GHG) emissions above the water surface, both within the reservoir
area and immediately downstream of the retaining infrastructure,
using various methodologies.
was convened at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 5-6 December
2006, to discuss the scientific issues related GHG emissions from
freshwater reservoirs. At this workshop, government officials,
scientists, and reservoir managers reviewed research and field
measurements concerning GHG emissions, assessed a common understanding
on this topic, identified knowledge gaps and research needs, and
discussed roles for future actions. At the end of the workshop,
participants approved a joint statement.
rationale [PDF format - 28 KB] : http://typo38.unesco.org/index.php?id=655
Participants statement [PDF format - 100 KB] : http://typo38.unesco.org/index.php?id=655
: Dutch Government Approves EUR14 Billion For Water Defenses,
(AP)--The Dutch Cabinet Friday approved a EUR14 billion increase
in spending on water defenses and water quality improvements over
the next 20 years, part of an accelerating push to keep up with
problems caused by climate change.
of the country's population of 16 million lives below sea level,
and the government already spends EUR500 million annually on maintaining
the intricate system of sea and river dikes that keep the Dutch
In a statement,
the Cabinet said it would split the money between water defense
improvements needed for safety reasons, and water quality improvements
agreed by the European Union, but it would prioritize the safety
wouldn't complete all the work required by the E.U. guidelines
by the target date of 2015, in order to save money by combining
some of it with other building projects, the statement said.
will stick to (our) plan for preventing water damage. That means
that in 2015, the risks of damage will be less," the statement
said. "Carrying out these measures has a high priority, considering
future climate change."
makers work on assumptions made by their own Royal Weather Institute,
which predict an increase in average temperature in the Netherlands
of 1-2 degrees Celsius by 2050, compared with 1990, and a rise
in sea level of 15-35 centimeters.
spending comes on top of EUR3 billion in extra projects this decade
against the threat from river floods, as Dutch climate models
predict global warming will lead to more abrupt showers in the
Rhine catchment area, whose water ultimately funnels through the
Netherlands on its way out to the sea.
on water defense in the past decade has gradually shifted away
from just strengthening dikes and dunes - though that remains
crucial - to a concept termed 'living with water' which looks
at how to absorb or divert sudden influxes of water, and being
more ready for coping with floods when they occur.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
: Kurdish Mayor Demands Dam Project Halted (AP)
VIENNA , AP
A Kurdish-Turkish official appealed Thursday for the cancellation
of a dam project in his country, saying it would destroy cultural
heritage and do little to boost economic development.
"Of course we want economic and social development ... but
development should not disregard people, nature and history,"
said Osman Baydemir, president of the Union of South Eastern Anatolia
Municipalities and mayor of Diyarbakir. The Ilisu dam, on the
Tigris River 30 miles north of the Syrian border, will be one
of the largest dams in Turkey and is scheduled to be completed
by 2013. A ground breaking ceremony took place in August.
Opponents of the project say it will flood dozens of towns and
destroy archaeological treasures including the medieval fortress
city of Hasankeyf, which overlooks the Tigris.
"The cultural and historic heritage of Hasankeyf is indescribable.
It is not comparable with other places and we have a large responsibility,"
Baydemir, speaking through a translator, said at a news conference
organized by WWF.
Baydemir was in Vienna to lobby with the WADI NGO against project
participation by an Austrian company, Andritz Va Tech Hydro. The
company, whose financial involvement totals some $319 million,
still needs an export guarantee from the Republic of Austria.
Baydemir argued that funding for the roughly $1.6 billion project
should be invested in the region's cities, the construction of
an international airport, restoration of cultural heritage sites
In prepared English remarks provided later, Baydemir added that
98,840 acres will be affected and that people would be evacuated
"without a proper and effective resettlement plan".
Those in favor of the dam say it will create jobs and improve
thousands of lives.
Some 40,000 people would benefit from it directly, said Yunus
Bayraktar, Turkish project coordinator at a separate news conference
at the Turkish Embassy.
Nihat Eri, a Turkish parliamentarian, said Turkey has no choice
but to exploit its water resources.
"We have no oil, we have no gas ... the only thing we have
is water," Eri said, noting that hydroelectric power was
WADI e.V WIEN
more information on
the Ilisu project
: Danube / Tisza : EU Solidarity Fund: Commission proposes €
15 million of aid for regions in Hungary hit by severe floods
Commission today proposed to grant aid from the European Union
Solidarity Fund (EUSF) totalling € 15.06 million to help
to deal with the consequences of the flood disaster that severely
hit Hungary earlier this year. The money will be used to reimburse
a part of the cost of emergency measures such as rescue services,
the cleaning up of disaster stricken areas and the restoration
of basic infrastructures to working condition.
The severe floods along the Danube and Tisza rivers in Hungary,
which continued for several weeks during April and May this year,
were caused by unusually high quantities of quickly melting snow
and intensive rainfall adding to the already unusually high levels
of water coming from Austria on the Danube. The flood disaster
caused casualties, extensive damage to public and private property,
as well as disruptions to public services. Total direct damage
is estimated at around € 519 million.
Commissioner responsible for Regional Policy and the Solidarity
Fund, conveyed her sympathy to all the citizens affected by the
disasters. She said: Today's decision to propose to mobilise
the Fund expresses the Union's financial solidarity with the people
affected by the severe floods this spring. The aid will help to
offset the financial costs incurred in cleaning-up the disaster
stricken areas, restoring basic infrastructures and in taking
other emergency measures.
the Commissioner underscored the importance of the Solidarity
Fund and called on the Council for the "acceleration of the
discussions of the revised instrument, which aims at responding
more effectively to disasters of different nature".
The EU Solidarity
Fund, created in 2002, grants emergency aid to Member States and
acceding countries in the event of a major natural disaster. Its
annual allocation amounts to € 1 billion. To qualify for
aid under the Solidarity Fund, countries must provide a documented
estimate of the damage which is examined by the Commission in
the light of specific criteria, which are intended to ensure that
EU funds are used to meet the most urgent needs.
In order to
make the credits available, the Commission is now requesting the
Budget Authority (European Parliament and Council) to adopt an
Amending Budget. The conditions for implementing the aid by the
beneficiary country will then be laid down in an agreement between
the Commission and the beneficiary country.
On 6 April
2005, the Commission adopted a proposal for the new and improved
EU Solidarity Fund (for 2007-2013), which would cover disasters
other than those arising from natural catastrophes and with improved
eligibility criteria and delivery mechanisms (see MEMO/05/111).
After a largely favourable vote of the European Parliament the
proposal is still on the table of the Council.
For more information please consult the following website:
source : EU
: Climate Change may affect Delivery of WFD objectives
Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to achieve good status for
all European waters by 2015. It establishes a framework for water
management and policy based on the principle of integrated river
basin management. The possible direct and indirect impacts of
climate change on freshwater ecosystems are not well understood
and have received relatively little attention to date. In particular,
the Directive does not mention risks posed by climate change to
the achievement of its environmental objectives. Nevertheless,
the time scale for its implementation process extends into the
2020s, when climate models predict changes in temperatures and
A group of
British researchers has recently assessed the main risks posed
to the delivery of the WFDs objectives by climate change
from a UK perspective. The scientists first reviewed the latest
UK climate change projections and the policy and science context
of the WFD. Thereafter, they examined the potential risks of climate
change to key phases of the river basin management process that
supports the WFD, such as the characterisation of river basins
and their water bodies, programmes of measures, monitoring, or
associated management activities.
of the analysis suggest that climate change has the potential
to impact specific aspects of the WFD, including:
of deterioration in the status of water bodies. Changes in the
flow regime and physical-chemistry conditions in rivers could
have significant impacts on key species, which in turn would affect
the ecological status, particularly in the protected water bodies.
Moreover, global warming may promote the deterioration of some
water bodies, such as wetlands, that are sensitive to changes
in the water balance.
of good ecological status. With climate change, good surface water
quality may become harder to achieve in some areas at specific
times of the year, while elsewhere there may be a deterioration
of status. For example, severe droughts in the summer could have
long-term impacts on fish populations as associated increased
temperatures, reduction in dissolved oxygen and low flow conditions
increase fish mortality.
of good groundwater status. Coastal aquifers may be threatened
by saline intrusion linked to rising sea levels. Increasing demand
during hot summers would increase water extraction thus reducing
the potential for groundwater recharge.
discharge of priority hazardous substances into surface waters.
Some hazardous substances stored in contaminated sediments may
potentially be mobilised under high river flow conditions resulting
from increased heavy winter precipitation.
of measures options, appraisal and implementation. Climate change
may lead to land use practices/crop types with a significantly
different water needs. If the risks posed by climate change are
not taken into account, the timing and cost of an adapted response
may be adversely affected.
conclude that the WFD provides new opportunities for linking policy
and participative mechanisms introduced for river basin management
plans to the emerging climate change adaptation policies on a
national and regional scale. They also highlight that new guidance,
typologies and screening tools would be needed to identify which
water bodies are most vulnerable to climate change.
R.L. Wilby, H.G.Orr,M. Hedger, D. Forrow and M. Blackmore (2006)
« Risks posed by climate change to the delivery of Water
Framework Directive objectives in the UK », Environment
International, 32: 1043-1055.
Water, climate change and energy
: Publication of the first ever Action Guide for Communities Affected
by Dams (IRN)
Rivers Network is
very proud to announce the publication of our first ever Action
Guide for Communities Affected by Dams.
guide, Dams, Rivers and Rights, is the perfect tool for anyone
threatened by dam construction. Written for a low-literacy audience,
the guide provides general information about dams and their impacts,
and gives concrete ideas about how to challenge dams. Filled with
case studies of real dam struggles and helpful illustrations,
the guide offers practical suggestions on how to campaign to protect
your rivers and rights.
contact Riam at International Rivers Network (E-mail: email@example.com)
for English versions of the guide. Copies of the guide are available
free of charge for social movements, NGO's and community organizations.
contact Ann Kathrin at International Rivers Network (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
if you are interested in translating the guide into your local
we can stop destructive dams and defend people's rights. Together,
we can meet people's energy and water needs without hurting communities
and the environment.
: Battling Over Bubbles: Big Hydro Hides its Role in Global Warming
A bitter debate
has broken out in the scientific community over hydropowerís
contribution to global warming. A leading Brazil-based climate
calculates that startlingly high levels of greenhouse gases are
water is released from the turbines and spillways of tropical
dams. But hydro
industry-backed researchers have fiercely attacked his work. In
an effort to
settle the debate, International Rivers Network is releasing a
just prior to the UN Climate Change conference in Nairobi (Nov.
on a UN science panel to determine hydropowerís culpability
in global warming.
may seem counterintuitive, but tropical hydropower reservoirs
can have a
far greater impact on global warming than even their dirtiest
fossil fuel plant
rivals,î says Patrick McCully, IRN Executive Director and
author of the report.
ìThe big-hydro lobby has consistently underplayed the scale
emissions and sought to discredit and silence independent scientists
researching dams and global warming.î
one of the worldís most frequently cited scientists on
warming, estimates that in 1990 hydropower dams in the Amazon
caused between 3
and 54 times more global warming than modern natural gas plants
same amount of energy.
between Fearnside and the hydro industry-backed researchers pivots
on what happens to methane dissolved in reservoir water when it
is released at
a dam. Imagine a reservoir as a vast bottle of Coke. Everyone
happens when you shake a Coke bottle and open it. The same thing
water jets out of dam turbines and spillwaysóas with opening
a Coke there is a
sudden release of gas bubbles.
of reservoirs also emit greenhouse gases. Emissions of carbon
dioxide and methane have been measured from the surfaces of over
around the world. These gases come from the rotting of flooded
from organic matter that flows into reservoirs over time.
researching this issueómost of the relevant work is sponsored
Brazilian and Canadian hydropower utilitiesóagree that
reservoir surfaces emit
greenhouse gases. But the hydro-backed scientists downplay the
ìdegassingî releases and assert that the overall
impact of tropical hydropower
on global warming is not significant compared to fossil fuel power
is as if Phillip Morris were in control of all lung cancer research,
Exxon Mobil controlled climate research,î declared McCully.
ìThere is far too
much at stake in this debate to allow Big Hydro to control the
Hundreds of millions of dollars in climate subsidies and carbon
be spent on projects which would both worsen global warming and
is at http://www.irn.org/pdf/greenhouse/FizzyScience2006.pdf
* Patrick McCully, Executive Director, IRN, Berkeley, California:
+1 510 213
1441 (mobile) +1 510 848 1155 (office), email@example.com
* Philip Fearnside, National Institute for Research in the Amazon
Manaus, Brazil: +55 92 3643 1822 (office), firstname.lastname@example.org,
* Tim Kingston, Communications Manager, IRN, Berkeley, California:
+1 510 290
7170 (mobile) +1 510 848 1155 (office), email@example.com
: SPAIN - Drought-hit Spain looks to penalize heavy water use
- Spaniards who use "excessive" amounts of water may
have to pay more for it in future, the government said on Monday,
seeking ways to curb water use after two years of drought.
After the worst drought on record in 2005 and below average rainfall
again in the year ended on September 30, the country's reservoir
levels dropped to their lowest in a decade.
Environment Minister Cristina Narbona said she was planning to
guarantee a minimum amount of clean water for everyone and would
raise prices above that limit.
"In principle, in line with a proposal made by Ecologists
in Action, we suggest a minimum of 60 liters (13 gallons) a day
per person," she said.
"(There will be) a reform of the water law to penalize excessive
consumption via tariffs charged," Narbona said at the start
of a national water council meeting, which is due to debate several
A ministry spokeswoman denied household consumers would face higher
prices if they used more than the 60 liters a day allowance. The
onus may fall on other users.
Narbona did not say how the reform would affect farmers, who use
77 percent of Spain's water. Urban consumption accounts for 18
percent and industry the remaining 5 percent.
Spaniards now use an average of around 170 liters a day and water
In some towns it is practically free and farmers often sink illegal
wells and obtain water from aquifers for no more than the cost
of pumping it.
Water News Watch