The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century. Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined. The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates.
ALBUQUERQUE — The muddy Rio Grande isn't much to look at as it meanders through southern New Mexico to the Texas border, but its waters are a high-stakes prize in a new legal row unfolding between the neighboring states.
Pressure on the world's resources is becoming so great the situation could trigger a proliferation of hunger and warfare hugely damaging to the global economy, according to an analysis published today.
Water is essential to life but in such places as India, Pakistan, China, and Thailand deluges have once again caused misery. Typhoon Nesat hit the Philippines earlier this week on its way to south China.
Water has become a risk rather than an opportunity in our cities and that must change.
At Ecobuild, Professor Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, spoke about the steady progression up the agenda of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) in Australia. Successive years of flooding and some of the worst droughts in history have threatened the health and wellbeing of the population and nearly brought industry grinding to a halt, prompting the government to think differently about water.
A new report published in March reinterprets the WSUD concept and its concludes: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in.
For example, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – the creation of ponds, wetlands, swales and basins that mimic natural drainage – can be a cost-effective way to prevent surface flooding while creating valuable public amenities. But we need to go further and join the dots between flood risk management and water resource management, and put water at the heart of discussions about what makes places great to live...
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