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Water Wars

China has resorted to blowing up a dam in Anhui province to try and relieve flooding.
The Yangtze river basin has been seriously flooded since June, but I suspect that it isn't over yet.
I also suspect that the enforced relocation of population is a Covid breeding ground waiting to happen.
 
The following is an interesting story on how solar power is transforming opium production in Afghanistan. Cheap solar panels and electric pumps are being sold in quantity in Helmand province. This is cheaper and more reliable than diesel pumps. Tens of thousands of systems have been installed.

The result is that farming is being expanded, and opium production along with it. New land is being put into production which was just desert before.

The downside (aside from the increased opium supply) is that the water table is dropping by up to 3 metres per year. In a decade or so the boom will be over as the water supply is sucked dry, and the people there will have to move elsewhere. Some of them will go to other parts of Afghanistan, but many others will head to Europe.

 
The following is an interesting story on how solar power is transforming opium production in Afghanistan. Cheap solar panels and electric pumps are being sold in quantity in Helmand province. This is cheaper and more reliable than diesel pumps. Tens of thousands of systems have been installed.

The result is that farming is being expanded, and opium production along with it. New land is being put into production which was just desert before.

The downside (aside from the increased opium supply) is that the water table is dropping by up to 3 metres per year. In a decade or so the boom will be over as the water supply is sucked dry, and the people there will have to move elsewhere. Some of them will go to other parts of Afghanistan, but many others will head to Europe.


And after all that effort to fix their hydroelectric dam...
 
The downside (aside from the increased opium supply) is that the water table is dropping by up to 3 metres per year. In a decade or so the boom will be over as the water supply is sucked dry, and the people there will have to move elsewhere. Some of them will go to other parts of Afghanistan, but many others will head to Europe.


Well, that's progress for you!:(
 
There is a surprising lack of coverage in the media, but China is continuing to suffer extreme flooding.
I suspect that there may also be Covid knock on effects when large numbers of relocated refugees are moved around.
So far, the heavy infrastructure of a chain of dams on the Yangtze is holding. Any failure of the Three Gorges dam would be a real Black Swan event.

 
Although it seems there may be an accommodation between Egypt and Ethiopia on the Upper Nile, the issue of water rights between an ever more assertive Turkey, civil war-ridden Syria and semi-basket case Iraq aren't going away.

'One of the historic rivers of humanity, the Tigris, in Iraq, is losing its vigor little by little due to dammed waters in Turkey, the media in this capital are denouncing today.

'According to reports, this waterway is flowing now at very low levels. Turkey, the upstream country, started to fill the Ilisu dam a year ago and, as a result, the Tigris halved its volume.

'The common level is 600 cubic meters a second, and after the construction of the Turkish dam, it went down from 300 to 320,' said Ramadan Hamza, expert in water policies and strategies of the Iraqi University of Dohuk. 'Hamza said that if this pace continues, there will be a lack of water in the Iraqi towns of Dohuk, Mosul, Salahaddin, Baghdad, and al-Kut. Director of the Water Department in Dohuk, Hezha Abdulwahed, commented that the volume of the rivers in this area decreased, despite rainfall and ice melting. With a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters, the Ilisu dam will be another means of Turkish control of its neighbor Iraq, Hamza said.'


 
I have taken a moment to have a look back through my feed reader to catch up on stuff I inteded to read earlier.

There was this recent story....

,,,and this older story.

Also this...


...and this...




Meanwhile.....


...which was preceeded by...

 
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Oh and this from August but I think @HectortheInspector has an interest in such things...

 

Sevastopol to run out of water in three months.

Crimea Drills For Water As Crisis Deepens In Parched Peninsula​


October 25, 2020 08:30 GMT
Drilling crews in Russia-controlled Crimea have begun digging new water wells near the Salhyr River in hopes of easing the severe drought on the peninsula. Environmental groups, however, worry about the ecological impact. Crimea's water crisis came after Ukraine shut down a 400-kilometer canal that carried water to the region following Russia’s 2014 annexation of the peninsula.

Crimea Drills For Water As Crisis Deepens In Parched Peninsula
 

Sevastopol to run out of water in three months.

Crimea Drills For Water As Crisis Deepens In Parched Peninsula​


October 25, 2020 08:30 GMT
Drilling crews in Russia-controlled Crimea have begun digging new water wells near the Salhyr River in hopes of easing the severe drought on the peninsula. Environmental groups, however, worry about the ecological impact. Crimea's water crisis came after Ukraine shut down a 400-kilometer canal that carried water to the region following Russia’s 2014 annexation of the peninsula.

Crimea Drills For Water As Crisis Deepens In Parched Peninsula
Do I not recall that the Russians were putting in alternative infrastructure for water supply from outside the peninsula? What happened there?

ETA A quick search reveals that what I recall seems to be @HectortheInspector and @terminal discussing Russian proposals.
 
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Do I not recall that the Russians were putting in alternative infrastructure for water supply from outside the peninsula? What happened there?
Interesting. According to this Ukranian article, Putin made promises and various outlandish schemes were proposed which were impractical. Rather than prioritise people the occupiers are prioritising industry. The previous article said that despite localised measures to reduce consumption in Sevastopol, water levels are decreasing. Drought, increased industrial use and dependency on rainwater, since the canal feeding water to Crimea from Ukraine was closed following it's annexation. The Russians are blaming Ukraine for shutting the canal in the hope they are embarrassed in to conceding. However:

"The position of the Ukrainian government remains unchanged: establishing economic relations between Ukraine and occupied Crimea would be beneficial for the Kremlin’s scenario – to facilitate the recognition of its annexation by the world community. Even though such an agreement may be reached, the canal needs a major refurbishment. Moreover, making deals with the occupation administration will turn it into the negotiation entity and, therefore, legitimate the annexation. In other words, only a strong influence through international sanctions may reduce Russian colonial ambitions and return water to Crimea."

Russia can’t solve Crimea’s water problem
 
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Do I not recall that the Russians were putting in alternative infrastructure for water supply from outside the peninsula? What happened there?
They were going to build a pipeline across the straits of Kerch, on the eastern side, but I don't think that project has gone anywhere yet. There was also talk about desalination plants.

The water infrastructure built by the Soviets in the 1960s was based on taking water from the Dnieper River southwards. That doesn't match current water usage patterns, which means that all new water infrastructure was needed once the Ukrainians cut off the supply.

The current problem however is a multi-year drought which has dried up existing water supplies within the peninsula. The area is naturally arid, with the mountains along the southern edge getting most of what rain there is. Some measures have been taken to build new water pipelines to redistribute existing supplies, but that isn't intended to be a long term solution.

During the Soviet era water was imported from the mainland and used to irrigate land across the central plains of Crimea that had previously been used to graze livestock. When Ukraine cut off water supplies, a lot of that irrigated land had to be abandoned. Farmers started pumping lots of ground water to try to compensate on the remaining land, but that isn't a long term solution either as there simply isn't enough rain to replenish the groundwater.

Unless a large pipeline is built to import water from across the straits in Russia, I suspect that the big irrigated farms will all have to go back to livestock raising. The southern mountains have been a wine producing region for thousands of years, so those can probably continue, but growing crops like rice is probably history.
 

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