Water Supply

China Bets on Massive Water Transfers to Solve Crisis

Saturday, December 15, 2007
From December 2007 World Rivers ReviewBeneath the booming factories and verdant fields of Northern China, groundwater supplies are rapidly drying up. The water table around Beijing drops five meters each year. Some deep wells around Beijing must be drilled up to half a mile deep before reaching water, according to the World Bank. Chronic water shortages have left cities without adequate drinking water and affected plans for economic development. Scientists now estimate that the aquifers beneath the North China Plain will dry up in 30 years. “There’s no uncertainty,” said hydrologist Rich

Creating a True “Trickle-Down Economy”

Pumping water with a treadle pump.
Monday, December 1, 2003
Low-Cost Drip Systems Bring Income, Food Security to Rural PoorWorld Rivers Review, December 2003 Paul Polak thinks big and designs small. He aims to cut rural poverty worldwide, and he’s using humble $1 micro-irrigation kits to do it. “Water is essential to alleviating poverty,” Polak says. “If you want to do anything about it, you have to start with small farmers and irrigation.” Unlike the big development agencies, which put their faith in “trickle down” economics fueled by mega-projects, Paul Polak is establishing a new kind of “trickle down” economy, based on individual

The Potential for Water Conservation in Southern Africa

Saturday, January 1, 2000
Executive Summary Water conservation and demand management (WC/DM) holds tremendous potential to help the region to meet its water needs. Urban and agricultural water use in southern Africa is highly inefficient. In South Africa, for example, it is estimated that nearly half of urban water is wasted through water loss or inefficiency. Similarly, irrigation in Southern Africa, which represents 69 percent of total consumption, is estimated to be less than 50 percent efficient. If irrigation practices could be made only 10 percent more efficient across the region, 2.5 billion cubic meters would b

Spreading the Water Wealth: Making Water Infrastructure Work for the Poor

Monday, March 13, 2006
International Rivers’s first annual "Dams, Rivers and People" report analyzes the links between water and poverty reduction, and argues for new approaches to water management that are pro–poor and environmentally sustainable. The Grim Statistics of Water More than 1 billion people have no access to clean drinking water. More than 2 million children die each year due to dirty water and poor sanitation. Hundreds of millions of small farmers on arid lands are mired in extreme poverty. A Failed Approach The water strategies of the World Bank and most governments focus on large–scale dams and

Beyond Dams: Options & Alternatives

Saturday, May 1, 2004
By design, dams alter the natural flow regime, and with it virtually every aspect of a river ecosystem, including water quality, sediment transport and deposition, fish migrations and reproduction, and riparian and floodplain habitat and the organisms that rely on this habitat. The purpose of this report is to provide stakeholders and decision–makers with an overview of low–impact and non–structural alternatives to dams. It is designed as a reference for anyone interested in exploring options for replacing a function served by an existing dam or replacing a function to be served by a dam


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