Panel discussion on Pakistan’s Water Scarcity in the 21st century

The aim of the panel discussion was to understand the causes for the severe water crisis prevalent in our country, and discuss the best possible course of action to tackle the imminent threat.
The event was attended by students, faculty, environmentalists and media representatives.
Director KUL and Professor at IBA Dr Nausheen Anwar commenced the event by familiarizing the audience with the purpose of KUL which is to encourage critical thinking of urban issues, out of which water is a major one.
She highlighted the importance of water as a part of the urban landscape that not only connects to the cities but also to other terrains, which include ecology, conflicts, governance and institutional dynamics.
Journalist and Geographer Afia Salam with other esteemed panelists from Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (CST), Hisaar Foundation and NED UET began the panel discussion by focusing on the complex dynamics that have shaped Pakistan’s current state of water scarcity.
The panelists probed into how and why Pakistan has gotten to this stage, what kinds of policies and pragmatic solutions are viable for surmounting the challenge, and what should be a collective ‘water vision’ as we go forward.
An eminent hydrologist from CST, Dr. Hassan Abbas, gave an extensive account of the history of water management and water flow in Pakistan, since the Mughal era and the British colonial rule.
He talked about the historical engineering of the Indus River Basin, and its significance to water supply, distribution and management at different scales.
He also discussed the current policy focus on building dams.
Faisal Hassan, an award winning agriculturalist from Punjab, commented on the significant relationship between agriculture farming, water and climate change.

Pope: Unhealthy drinking water an immense shame in 21st century

Pope Francis sends a message to an International Conference entitled, "The management of a common good: access to drinking water for all" which is taking place in Rome on the 8th November.
The one day International Conference is being held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University and has been organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Intergral Human Development in collaboration with the Embassies accredited to the Holy See of France, Italy, Monaco and the United States.
In his message, the Pope says the fact that in many parts of the world, people do not have access to clean water and often die from unhealthy water, “ is an immense shame for humanity in the 21st century.” He goes on to say that, “unfortunately, in many of the countries where the population does not have regular access to drinking water, there is no shortage of arms and ammunition, which continues to worsen the situation.” Corruption and economic interests The Pope adds, that corruption and economic interests all too often prevail over the needs of those who require clean water.
Pope Francis goes on to express the hope that those who speak and participate at this Conference will be able to stress the urgency, will and determination needed on this issue.
Holy See and Church commitment to clean water The Holy See and the Church, he points out “are committed to the access to clean water for all.
This commitment is manifested in many initiatives such as the creation of infrastructure, training, and advocacy…, he says.” The Pope underlines that “adequate anthropology is, in fact, indispensable for responsible and supportive lifestyles, for a true ecology, as well as for the recognition of access to drinking water as a right flowing from human dignity, and therefore incompatible with the concept of water as a commodity.” From the point of view of faith, he says, in every thirsty man we perceive the same image of God, as we read in Matthew’s Gospel: "I was thirsty and you gave me no drink".
Noting that this Conference appropriately involves representatives of different faiths and cultures, the Pontiff comments that, “the dual spiritual and cultural dimension of water should never be neglected, since it is central to shaping social fabric, coexistence and community organization.” He ends the message by inviting participants to meditate on the “symbology of water in the main religious traditions, exhorting them equally to “contemplate this resource which, as St Francis of Assisi wrote, is "very useful, very human and precious and chaste.”

On The Trail: A new approach to forest management

For nearly 40 years, in conversations with foresters focused on building wildlife populations like, for instance, deer, I have been told that we need young forest and fresh growth.
But now, with climate change and carbon reduction on the front burner, there’s a new school of thought focused on building old-growth forests for the benefit of the earth, its air and waters.
Synonymous with “in the eye of the beholder.” Do we want to manage our forests for economic profit and/or selected fish and wildlife populations important to license sales, or for the health of forests and, in the long run, planet Earth?
That is, can we build forests which simultaneously filter, absorb and store atmospheric carbon to slow earth’s accelerated warming, retain water resources and hold back potential flooding while maintaining adequate wildlife populations for hunting?
We’ve all read about how destruction of South and Central American rain forest removes the earth’s lungs, accelerating global warming and contributing to air and water pollution; however, a glaring misconception about this perilous issue is that such forest destruction is far away and not our doing.
So, both men are forest experts focused on forest and planet health.
Count them among a growing 21st-century fraternity of scientists advocating mature, old-growth forest as a remedy to global warming.
They’re giving us really positive feedback about forests managed for the benefit of the forest and our planet.” The North Maine Woods is a work in progress that’s making gains in the public-perception arena, and in the long run may bode well for a local old-growth forest like that of the Mohawk Trail.
Friends of the Peru State Forest say, “over our dead bodies.” So, it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.
Proponents of the DCR plan say aggressive logging will improve the ecosystem by thinning and clearing forest to stimulate wildlife-friendly regeneration, and in the process remove dangerous forest insect (red pine scale, emerald ash borer) and disease (beech bark disease) threats.

Paper: ‘Defining Ecological Drought for the 21st Century’

Paper: ‘Defining Ecological Drought for the 21st Century’.
Crausbay, S., A. Ramirez, S. Carter, M. Cross, K. Hall, D. Bathke, J. Betancourt, S. Colt, A. Cravens, M. Dalton, J. Dunham, L. Hay, M. Hayes, J. McEvoy, C. McNutt, M. Moritz, K. Nislow, N. Raheem, and T. Sanford, 2017: Defining ecological drought for the 21st century.
doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0292.1 From lines 64 – 72: To prepare us for the rising risk of drought in the 21st century, we need to reframe the drought conversation by underscoring the value to human communities in sustaining ecosystems and the critical services they provide when water availability dips below critical thresholds.
In particular, we need to define a new type of drought—ecological drought—that integrates the ecological, climatic, hydrological socioeconomic, and cultural dimensions of drought.
To this end, we define the term ecological drought as an episodic deficit in water availability that drives ecosystems beyond thresholds of vulnerability, impacts ecosystem services, and triggers feedbacks in natural and/or human systems.

Paper by B. Udall & J. Overpeck: ‘The 21st Century Colorado River Hot Drought and Implications for the Future’

Paper by B. Udall & J. Overpeck: ‘The 21st Century Colorado River Hot Drought and Implications for the Future’.
At least one-sixth to one-half (average at one-third) of this loss is due to unprecedented temperatures (0.98C above the 1906–1999 average), confirming model-based analysis that continued warming will likely further reduce flows.
Recently published estimates of Colorado River flow sensitivity to temperature combined with a large number of recent climate model-based temperature projections indicate that continued business-as-usual warming will drive temperature-induced declines in river flow, conservatively 220% by midcentury and 235% by end-century, with support for losses exceeding 230% at midcentury and 255% at end-century.
These results, combined with the increasing likelihood of prolonged drought in the river basin, suggest that future climate change impacts on the Colorado River flows will be much more serious than currently assumed, especially if substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions do not occur.
Approximately one-third of the flow loss is due to high temperatures now common in the basin, a result of human caused climate change.
As temperatures increase in the 21st century due to continued human emissions of greenhouse gasses, additional temperature-induced flow losses will occur.
Additional precipitation may reduce these temperature-induced losses somewhat, but to date no precipitation increases have been noted and climate models do not agree that such increases will occur.
Good stuff from a couple of bright guys!
"Years of drought and famine come and years of flood and famine come, and the climate.and the climate is not changed with dance, libation or prayer. "