: UK - Save The Rain' Campaigns for widespread usage of
vision is to make Rainwater Harvesting a commonplace option in
UK homes - saving precious water resources by capturing millions
of gallons of a freely available resource.
Save the Rain
aims to engender a greater personal sense of responsibility for
water saving measures through an intensive public awareness campaign.
The campaign is being launched in association with British Water,
and is sponsored by Hydro International, the UK leader in sustainable
water management solutions.
welcomes the Save the Rain campaign. Careful and safe use of rainwater
can significantly reduce a building's water consumption. With
the right legislation and promotion, rainwater reuse can help
ensure sustainable resources for the future. Saving water makes
good economic sense and has environmental and social benefits
too.' says Jacob Tompkins, Director of Waterwise.
Save the Rain
is committed to achieving changes in regulations to make Rainwater
Harvesting compulsory on all new buildings within three years.
Save the Rain will also push for a system of grants to be available
for householders to install collection systems.
public awareness campaign, Save the Rain aims to generate growing
public support and interest in water saving measures and increase
pressure to push rain saving initiatives up the political agenda.
Williams, Managing Director of Hydro International: "Hydro
has decided to sponsor this campaign because we feel it is time
to raise the profile of water saving and the potential of rainwater
collection to help manage our water resource challenge which is
likely to stay with us for many years to come.
saving is yet to become a matter of personal environmental conscience
in the same way as, say, paper and waste recycling, in many homes.
If even ten per cent of homes and businesses used Rainwater Harvesting
systems there would be a huge decrease in the demand on the UK's
water resources. There would also be improvements to the sustainability
of urban drainage networks, because these systems would help to
hold back rainwater during peak storm events.
availability per person is lower in the UK than for most other
comparable European countries and is particularly acute in the
South East," says Williams. "The demand for water has
been growing by 1% per year for the past 75 years and now every
person uses 150L/day on average. 30% of this water is used to
flush toilets and a properly installed rainwater collection system
could save all this water."
The Save the
Rain campaign will provide a central source of information for
housebuilders and installers requiring detailed and accurate information
about the correct installation of Rainwater Harvesting systems.
For more information
or a copy of the Save the Rain booklet visit www.savetherain.info
or call 0800 294 0105.
information please email
: Edie News
: India : Sardar Sarovar Dam Work Begins in Total Violation of
4th October 2006 (NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN)
begins the work at Sardar Sarovar dam
In total violation of the Legal and Human Rights of 35,000
Without adjudication on Shunglu Committee Reports.
With no progress on rehabilitation.
wave has started flowing into the river valley of Narmada again.
It is to wipe out a large chunk of the oldest of the worlds
civilization, the habitats of the adivasis and the first farmers
of Asia, the fish workers and boatmen with rights and leases granted
by the kings before centuries
the artisans, laborers and
traders, who continue to reside in the original villages on the
bank of the mother river. They are the living communities, populated
villages even townships today, there will be none tomorrow. No
rehabilitation with an alternative source of livelihood, land
to fisheries, is yet ensured, nor is it in sight by the governments.
All the promises made by them during the 40 days long struggle
in Delhi, believed by the Apex Court, are thrown to the winds.
It is proved once again. The governments of Gujarat and Madhya
Pradesh, the BJP ruled states are dictating the terms for Sardar
Sarovar in contempt of the court, in violation of the legal rights
of the dam-affected, and the Government of Maharashtra as well
as the Union of India Supports without monitoring rehabilitation,
with no representation of, nor protection for adivasis and farmers.
The work at Sardar Sarovar dam is commenced at 119 mts to raise
the height to 122mts, by December 2006, as claimed by Gujarat.
This is done without the Supreme Court hearing the parties on
the Shunglu Committee Report with methodological flaws, manipulation
of data, some conclusions against the mandate, yet many findings
and recommendations indicating incomplete rehabilitation and violation
of the legal rights of the thousands of Project Affected Families.
The Prime Minister, in his letter to the Court, promised a review
of rehabilitation in the first half of October before the construction
would commence, which has not been carried out as yet. No monitoring
agency, either R&R sub group or NCA has visited the affected
areas to assess the R&R status. The court cases are not settled
and the detailed data in the affidavits not replied to by the
governments of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat as the
parties. Can this happen? Will the Court listen to the aggrieved,
the damned? Will the Prime Minister intervene, even at this hour?
All the questions are in limbo.
Its more than proved today that the Governments that promised
to complete rehabilitation of all the affected families up to
122 mts by June or August 2006 have failed to do so. Whether M.P.
or Maharashtra, they have not located land for allotment to the
oustees where MP is all out to distribute cash in lieu of land
against legal provision for land-based rehabilitation to the severely
affected agriculturalists. Gujarat has been ruthlessly denying
any balance number of families yet to be rehabilitated when there
are hundreds suffering due to land or no land.
What is already witnessed is that the dam, stopped at 119mts,
submerged the lands and houses of hundreds of adivasi families
in hilly areas of each of the tribal districts- Nandurbar (Maharashtra),
Jhabua and Badwani (M.P) during this monsoon. All of them are
without land and entitlement as per the rehabilitation policy.
They continued to stay put and supported only by the Andolan and
its supporters, but the governments remained almost absent even
in the worst of crisis and absence of food, health, transport
and other services. The much trumpeted relief proved to be a drama.
Thousands of other families in large villages and townships like
Dharampuri did not face submergence although a large majority
of them do reside in the 119 mts affected area zone and all together
35,000 families continue to stay in the 122 mts affected area.
Their houses and fields remained threatened but got saved this
year due to no highest rainfall and the heavy rains mostly occurring
in parts of the valley, at different points of time.
With the floods devastating Gujarat, the government didnt
release dam-water into canal for most of the monsoon period and
even today, very little water is in the canals and hence the raised
height and filled reservoir hasnt came to be used. Much
water is still flowing into the sea
unused. The drinking
water could be supplied to all the thirsty villages at 110 mts.
But this has not happened. Nor is there any need to take distant
Narmada water to areas where rivers overflowed this year and the
reservoirs are still full. The Kutchis have had to go to the Supreme
Court to seek justice in water distribution so there is no question
of the promise to provide water for 365 days/year to Rajasthan
coming true. The much promised power was not generated in the
canal head power house since the waters were not released much
into the canals, nor could the targets be reached since transformers
in the river bed power house failed. It is, therefore, unjustifiable
to take the dam ahead at this point of time at the cost of peoples
On this World Habitat Day the Narmada Bachao Andolan appeals to
all those concerned about the serious scale of evictions by force
or flood, inhuman displacement without rehabilitation in the Narmada
Valley and all over the country, may it be for SEZs, or airports,
urban renewal or mining.
- To condemn the brutal decision to raise the dam height again,
without rehabilitating 35,000 families i.e. 1.75 lakh people in
- To demand a complete and fair review and detailed reports by
the concerned Ministries and monitoring agencies, on rehabilitation,
village by village, family by family to be made public.
- To stop all work at the dam site
- To expeditiously rehabilitate all the adivasis who have lost
land and/or houses from all the three states with alternative
land and rehabilitation sites
- To make the comparative data on the planned and promised vis-à-vis
actual benefits of Sardar Sarovar at 100 and 119 mts.
Kailash Awasya, Yogini Khanolkar, Ashish Mandloi, Medha Patkar
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
62 Gandhi Marg, Badwani, M.P. Ph. 07290-222464, 09893204498, email@example.com
Maitri Niwas, Tembewadi, Dhadgaon, Nandurbar, Maharashtra.
C/o B-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Vadodara-390023
: New Improvements Proposed for the Water Framework Directive
Framework Directive (WFD)1 aims to achieve "good status"
for all European waters by 2015. The WFD requires Member States
to carry out an analysis to characterise and monitor all national
surface water bodies, including rivers, coasts, and lakes. The
identified bodies must be differentiated and classified according
to their natural characteristics. In particular, the EU WFD has
defined abiotic descriptors (non-living factors, both physical
and chemical factors) to classify stream types. These descriptors
include catchment area, ecoregion, catchment geology and altitude.
Furthermore, Member States are required to identify the ecological
status of water bodies by comparing current status with near natural
or reference conditions. These two initial steps are necessary
in order to determine environmental conservation objectives, programmes
of measures and river basin management plans. Therefore, a precise
and adequate classification and determination of the water quality
status are essential.
A recent study
has tested whether the current classification established by the
Water Framework Directive for rivers adequately represents the
major water course types in Europe. To this end, the most comprehensive
data from the EU-funded research projects AQEM2 and Start3 was
used. It provided 1660 samples of 48 types of water courses sampled
all over the major geographical gradients in Europe, including
reference condition samples as well as bad water quality samples.
The main findings of the study are:
Not all the abiotic descriptors included in the WFD for rivers
appear to fit the distribution patterns of the organisms present
in European water courses, which could indicate that they are
not the most relevant determinant of the biological conditions
in the river. In particular, the geographic descriptors (e.g.
ecoregion) did not fit well.
The results suggested that climate (temperature), gradient (current
velocity) and size are the three major parameters that decide
and define freshwater organisms and communities in European water
As previously suggested by other studies, human damage diminishes
the natural differences between water course communities. Therefore
typologies should be based on reference conditions, and should
not consider degraded sites.
Neither temperature, elevation, stream order nor latitudinal position
is solely the cause of differences in species distribution over
study suggests that some of the current descriptors included in
the WFD for water course typology should be reconsidered or changed
in order to improve the way we classify and represent the major
types of water courses in Europe. The author proposes to interpret
the WFD descriptors in such a way that temperature, gradient and
size constitute the basic parameters for defining the different
types of water courses.
1The EU Water
Framework Directive on Europa website: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/index_en.html
(http://www.aqem.de/index.phpl), supported by the European Commission
under the Fifth Framework Programme and contributing to the implementation
of the Key Action "Sustainable Management and Quality of
Water" within the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development
3 STAR project:
Standardisation of River Classifications (http://www.eu-star.at/frameset.htm),
supported by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework
Programme and contributing to the implementation of the Key Action
"Sustainable Management and Quality of Water" within
the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Programme.
Piet F.M. Verdonschot (2006) « Evaluation of the use of
Water Framework Directive typology descriptors, referebce sites
and spatial scale in macroinvertebrate stream typology »,
Source: "Science for Environment Policy" a service
from the European Commission
: UK: Thames plans UK's 'biggest reservoir for 25 years'
infamous as Britain's leakiest water company, plans to build the
nation's biggest reservoir for 25 years to provide for the growing
needs of an ever-thirstier London. The new reservoir would hold
as much water as half of Lake Windermere. The proposed £1bn
reservoir near Abingdon in Oxfordshire would go some way towards
easing water shortages in the capital, faced with a fast-growing
population and worsening drought. It
would increase supply at a cost to water customers, who would
have to pay higher water charges. With
a capacity of 150bn litres - equivalent to half the volume of
Lake Windermere - the reservoir would supply an extra 350m litres
a day, most of it to be used by Londoners.
But the additional
supply does not match up to the 900m litres of water lost daily
through Thames Water's leaky Victorian pipes in the capital -
a third of the entire supply. The
company was already planning to spend over £1bn on replacing
old pipes to cut down leakage, and was recently ordered to spend
an £150m more by Ofwat after missing its leak targets, instead
of paying a fine (see related story).
only plans to cut leakage down to 720m litres a day, as it says
a more ambitious target would be too expensive to implement. Even
if it reaches the 720m target, the company would still be losing
about a quarter of its entire supply through leaks. Thames
Water has continues to face strong criticism over its leakage
record. Commenting on the reservoir plans, Liberal Democrat environment
spokesman Chris Huhne said:
Water would get a much more sympathetic hearing for its plans
to build a new reservoir if it tackled the atrocious problems
with its existing infrastructure, instead of wasting money on
expensive advertising campaigns. "Thames
Water has missed its leakage targets for three successive years
while announcing record profits and failing to ensure the security
of water supply, which is its core purpose.
But the company
said that the reservoir, which would not be completed until 2018
at the earliest, is needed on top of work to cut leakage and water
saving measures. "These
measures alone will not match demand, particularly in the driest
months, and that is why we need a large reservoir as part of our
plans to provide for our long-term needs," said Thames Water's
environment director Richard Aylard. "Our
current predictions show that by the year 2030 we will need an
extra 280 million litres a day in London and 60 million litres
a day in Swindon and Oxfordshire."
grows, London's water shortages will be further compounded by
an expected population growth of 800,000 over the next decade
and worsening drought in a hotter, drier climate, he said. The
plans are subject to a public consultation, which will last until
November, and will be followed by the design and environmental
impact assessment stages of the project.
If the plans
go ahead, local residents will have to be moved out of the area,
possibly by force through the use of compulsory purchase orders.
: Protecting the future of our rivers (WWF)
Stockholm, Sweden As the Stockholm Water Conference draws
to a close, WWF calls on governments to direct more aid to the
conservation of natural water systems and to invest in sustainability,
not overdevelopment, of remaining waterways.
international aid is needed to conserve and restore the life-saving
functions of freshwater ecosystems such as wetlands, lake and
river basins," said Michael Löfroth, WWF-Sweden's Deputy
by securing safe and accessible supplies of freshwater can we
hope to lift billions of people out of poverty and towards a better
only 12 per cent of the worlds countries have produced effective
water resource management as called for under the UN Millennium
Development Goals. Donor countries are providing ever smaller
amounts of aid to for such planning.
water crisis is increasingly becoming one of the most serious
environmental problems. Over one billion people do not have access
to clean freshwater, more than 2.6 billion people have inadequate
or no access to sanitation services, and millions of children
die every year from water-borne diseases. Plants and animals dependent
on freshwater ecosystems are disappearing faster than those of
tropical forests and coral reefs. In addition, demands for water
for agriculture and hydro-power production are rapidly increasing
As a result
of governments and international aid agencies focusing on large-scale
water infrastructure projects, many wetlands and lakes has been
dried out, and rivers have been dammed. In some rivers, so much
water is being taken out for irrigation and other uses that they
no longer reach the sea.
to WWF, the benefits provided by natural systems and low cost,
lower impact alternatives such as wetlands for natural flood control
and water purification, micro-hydropower, and rain-water harvesting
have been largely overlooked.
best and most economical strategies include conserving and restoring
freshwater ecosystems, the natural systems that gather and deliver
water for human use, combined with adaptations of all land use
to safe water supply in catchments areas, added Löfroth.
conserve our precious freshwater ecosystems for billions of people
in the future."
For more information:
Marie von Zeipel, Press Officer
Tel: +46 8 624 74 03
: ECHR (European court for human rights) to hear Hasankeyf case,
seeks info from Ankara
The New Anatolian
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is asking Ankara for
urgent information on the inundation of an ancient city due to
dam construction after agreeing to hear a case on the controversial
According to recent reports, the ECHR agreed to hear a case on
Hasankeyf filed by academics, attorneys and environmental activists.
Despite government assurances that the ancient city will be saved
from inundation, opposition parties, civil groups and academics
argue that a significant part of Hasankeyf will be lost with the
completion of the Ilisu Dam.
The ECHR also decided to immediately request information from
the Turkish government regarding the present state of the dam
construction and measures planned for the protection of the ancient
city's cultural heritage.
One of the applicants, attorney Murat Cano, said that the ECHR's
agreeing to hear the case is very important as that means the
court considers cultural heritage a fundamental human right.
"The process that will follow is the acceptance of cultural
heritage and related rights and freedoms as a fundamental right
in international conventions and the consideration of crimes against
these rights crimes against humanity and the trial of those responsible
for this," Cano said.
Another applicant, Ocan Yuksek from Atlas magazine, said that
the court's ruling expanded the scope of the concept of human
rights in Europe.
Atlas magazine recently started circulating a petition entitled
"Loyalty to Hasankeyf" to be sent to the prime ministers
of Turkey, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, asking that the dam's
construction be halted. "No amount of money or energy production
can justify our losing our ties with our history," says the
petition, which so far has been signed by around 35,000 people.
In related news, the Austrian, German and Swiss governments are
planning to send teams to Hasankeyf to assess the claims that
the dam's construction will inundate Hasankeyf, as a step towards
deciding whether to approve funds for the international consortium
to construct the dam.
Arabaslik: Koc: Hasankeyf is already gone
Culture and Tourism Minister Atilla Koc made a statement over
the weekend saying that he's an expert on the ancient city and
there are only "15 or 20" historical artifacts to be
saved there. "Hasankeyf is already gone, it's been erased
from history," said Koc.
Koc also rejected Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Mardin Deputy Muharrem
Dogan's suggestion to construct the dam on a smaller scale to
save Hasankeyf from disappearing beneath the water.
Dogan said that if the dam were to be constructed to a 479-meter
water level plan instead of 510 meters, there would be a $40 million
loss in energy production but Hasankeyf would be saved from inundation.
"We made our decision, we won't construct the dam on a smaller
scale," said Koc.
: Water crisis hits rich countries (WWF Report)
crises, long seen as a problem of only the poorest, are increasingly
affecting some of the worlds wealthiest nations, warns WWF
ahead of World Water Week. The global conservation organizations
report, Rich countries, poor water, is one of the first comprehensive
overviews of water issues in the developed world.
shows that a combination of climate change and drought and loss
of wetlands that store water, along with poorly thought out water
infrastructure and resource mismanagement, is making this crisis
truly global. The report highlights impacts of water problems
in countries such as Australia, Spain, Japan, and the UK, and
riches dont translate to plentiful water, says Jamie
Pittock, Director of WWFs Global Freshwater Programme. Water
must be used more efficiently throughout the world. Scarcity and
pollution are becoming more common and responsibility for finding
solutions rests with both rich and poor nations.
countries on the Atlantic are suffering recurring droughts, while
water-intensive tourism and irrigated agriculture are endangering
water resources in the Mediterranean. In Australia, the worlds
driest continent, salinity is a major threat to a large proportion
of its key agricultural areas.
rainfall in Japan, contamination of water supplies is an extremely
serious issue in many areas. In the United States, large areas
are already using substantially more water than can be naturally
replenished. This situation will only be exacerbated as global
warming brings lower rainfall, increased evaporation and changed
Some of the
worlds thirstiest cities, such as Houston and Sydney, are
using more water than can be replenished. In London, leakage and
loss is estimated at 300 Olympic-size swimming pools daily due
to ageing water mains. It is however notable that cities with
less severe water issues such as New York tend to have a longer
tradition of conserving catchment areas and expansive green areas
within their boundaries.
next group of rapidly developing economies has the opportunity
not to repeat the errors of the past and to avoid the costs of
saving damaged freshwater ecosystems, says Pittock.
it appears that the bulk of these nations have already been seduced
by major infrastructure plans, such as large dams, with inadequate
consideration of whether such projects will meet water needs or
inflict human and natural costs.
despite leading the world with its national water resources plan,
concerns remain over some existing dam proposals. In India, much
of its agriculture is under threat from rampant overexploitation
of water resources. Elsewhere, China has raised international
concerns over the scale and possible ecological and human costs
of some of its massive water infrastructure plans.
crisis in rich nations is proof that wealth and infrastructure
are no insurance against scarcity, pollution, climate change and
drought," adds Pittock. "They are clearly no substitute
for protecting rivers and wetlands, and restoring floodplain areas."
problems affecting rich and poor countries alike are a wake-up
call to return to protecting nature as the source of water. As
we approach World Water Week (being held in Stockholm, Sweden,
from 2026 August), governments must find solutions for both
rich and poor, which include repairing ageing infrastructure,
reducing contaminants, and changing irrigation practices in the
way we grow crops.
Lisa Hadeed, Communications Manager
WWF Global Freshwater Programme
Tel: +41 22 364 9030
Tel: +41 22 364 9554
en français :
: La crise de l'eau touche aussi les pays riches (rapport WWF)
- Les crises de l'eau, considérées comme un problème
touchant les pays les plus pauvres, affectent de façon
croissante certaines des nations les plus prospères, déclare
le WWF avant la Semaine mondiale de l'eau à Stockholm (20-26août).
L'Organisation Mondiale de Protection de l'Environnement vient
de publier un nouveau rapport « Rich countries, poor water
»* (« Pays riches, médiocres pour l'eau »)
qui donne une vue d'ensemble des enjeux sur l'eau dans les pays
Le rapport montre que la combinaison des changements climatiques,
des épisodes de sécheresse et de la disparition
des zones humides qui stockent l'eau engendre une crise mondiale,
aggravée par l'inadéquation des aménagements
et la mauvaise gestion de cette ressource. Le rapport se base
sur des exemples pris en Australie, en Espagne, au Royaume-Uni,
aux Etats-Unis et au Japon.
Dans les villes
les plus assoiffées au monde, comme Houston et Sydney,
le rythme de consommation de l'eau est bien plus élevé
que celui de la reconstitution des réserves. A Londres,
les fuites dues à un réseau de distribution vétuste
sont estimées à l'équivalent de 300 piscines
olympiques par jour. Dans les pays méditerranéens,
la consommation d'eau à grande échelle liée
au tourisme de masse et à l'irrigation de certaines cultures
gourmandes en eau mettent en danger les ressources disponibles.
En France, « à la veille du deuxième passage
de la loi sur l'eau au Sénat, le troisième épisode
de sécheresse en quatre ans montre bien que la gestion
de l'eau demeure un enjeu majeur et qu'il est indispensable de
mettre en place une politique d'objectifs et de moyens cohérents
visant à préserver le fonctionnement des milieux
aquatiques et la ressource en eau », souligne Cyrille Deshayes,
responsable Eaux Douces du WWF-France.
pays émergents, « ils ont encore la possibilité
de ne pas répéter les erreurs du passé et
de s'épargner les coûts élevés qu'entraînent
la restauration des écosystèmes d'eau douce détériorés
», remarque Jamie Pittock, directeur du programme global
Eaux Douces du WWF. Malheureusement, la majorité de ces
pays a déjà été séduite par
de grands projets d'infrastructures, sans qu'il n'y ait eu de
réelle évaluation des besoins en eau ni de leurs
coûts pour les populations et pour la nature ». Au
Brésil et en Chine, plusieurs projets de barrages suscitent
l'inquiétude quant aux conséquences sur l'environnement
et les populations. En Inde, l'agriculture est menacée
par une surexploitation généralisée des ressources
liés à l'eau, qui touchent aujourd'hui tant les
pays riches que les nations pauvres, sont des signaux d'alarme
qui doivent nous rappeler notre devoir de protéger la nature,
source de toute l'eau dont nous avons besoin. Le bien-être
matériel et la multiplication des infrastructures ne mettent
pas à l'abri contre les pénuries ou les pollutions,
et ne constituent pas des substituts efficaces à la protection
des cours d'eau et des zones humides, ni à la restauration
des plaines inondables.
A la veille de la Semaine mondiale de l'eau, les gouvernements
doivent trouver des solutions adaptées, pour les riches
comme pour les pauvres, notamment en réparant les infrastructures
vétustes, en réduisant la contamination des eaux
et en modifiant les pratiques actuelles d'irrigation des cultures.
: Céline Nebout - Tel. : 01 55 25 84 61 - firstname.lastname@example.org
*Rapport disponible sur demande
14.08.06 : Turkey push for the Ilisu Dam
construction - Strong local international opposition
for more news
: visite the WEED Website
( german and english )