Water Wars

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by HectortheInspector, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. The latest Bellingcat report suggests that it was a regime bomb that hit the springhead building and accidentally spilled diesel into the stream that supplied most of Damascus water.
    The rebels had wired the plant for demolition, but the damage appears to all be on the surface structure.
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  2. We don't know much about the water infrastructure there or the current positions of the various forces, but it's possible that the bombing was intended to collapse the roof over the spring to block access from there to the tunnel so the rebels couldn't blow it up. The surface structure could be quickly repaired, but major damage to a relatively inaccessible portion of a tunnel would be much more serious. If this was the intention, then it may not have achieved its desired effect if the bombs missed.

    This could have been intended as a prelude to a major push to take the rebel pocket around the springs. If so, then an offensive there may have been in the works for some time.

    As for the diesel contamination, we don't know that it is directly connected with what happened at the springs. There are other points at which it possibly could have occurred which may not have received as much press coverage.
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  3. The imagery on the report is quite interesting. It includes what appears to be video of the ordnance hitting the building.

    Wadi Barada - What Happened to Damascus's Water? - bellingcat
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  4. Afghans accuse Iran of hiring Taliban to sabotage water projects in Helmand. So- Militant Shia hiring Sunni fundamentalists to attack Sunni nationalists.

    Afghan Authorities Accuse Iran of Using Taliban to Undercut Water Projects

    Afghan governors in southern and western provinces charged on Monday that Iran is using an increasingly close relationship with the Afghan Taliban to target power and water projects on Tehran's behalf.

    Hayatullah Hayat, the governor of southern Helmand province, told VOA's Afghan service that the Islamic Republic wants the Taliban to disable some of the nation's dams so that Tehran can get a larger share of water from the Helmand River. He cited classified Afghan intelligence reports forwarded to the Afghan palace and the National Security Council.

    “Iran is seeking to undermine the development projects over the Helmand River so that it can continue receiving more water," Hayat said.

    The Helmand governor accused elements in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard forces of providing sophisticated weapons to the Taliban that could be used to attack government installations and infrastructure. He said several unexploded mortar missiles used by the Taliban bore an Iranian manufacturer's mark and were fired at the provincial capital.

    The governor added that Iran's intelligence representatives recently met with local Taliban leaders in Helmand's volatile Garmser district.
  5. Four yearly Global Trends report UNCLASS from the American National Intelligence Council.
    The National Intelligence Council (NIC) serves as the US Intelligence Community's center for the long-term strategic analysis. Since 1979, the NIC has served a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities—as well as a facilitator for outreach to outside experts. The NIC's National Intelligence Officers, drawn from government, academia, and the private sector, are the IC's senior substantive experts on a range of issues and work under the auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The NIC covers the regions of the world as well as functional topics, such as economics, security, technology, cyber, terrorism, and the environment. The NIC coordinates Intelligence Community support for US policy deliberations while producing papers and formal National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) on critical national security questions.

    Prepared before the dawning of the Age of Alternate Facts.
    Letter From The NIC Chairman

    How People Live

    Critical Human Systems at Risk. The increasing incidence of extreme weather events put all people at risk, although those concentrated in dense areas will be especially vulnerable. International organizations will be increasingly stretched to respond to the food, water, transportation, shelter, and health needs of those affected unless states and localities have made provisions to mitigate the risks, such as infrastructure improvements and early warning systems.

    • Soil and land degradation during the next 20 years will diminish land available for food production, contributing to shortages and raising prices. Even more-affluent nations are at risk, to the extent that they rely on the highly efficient global agricultural trade that has developed under stable environmental conditions during peacetime.
    • Water shortages and pollution probably will undermine the economic performance and health conditions of populations worldwide, including those of major developing countries. Economic output would suffer if countries do not have enough clean water to generate electrical power or to support manufacturing and resource extraction. Water problems—added to poverty, social tension, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, gender inequality, and weak political institutions—contribute to social disruptions that can prompt state failures.
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  6. CanteenCowboy

    CanteenCowboy LE Book Reviewer

    During H7 I started to see Int Reps coming in from RC West regarding either Herat or Farah province, as the organisation I was attached to had an implied out of area responsibility, and therefore was very interested in goings on. The Afghan Government was looking at the potential for a Hydroelectric project on one of the rivers which crossed into Iran down river. This caused consternation across the border in Iran with not only political representations made to the Afghan Government but increased reporting of IRGC support for the TB complete with directions to attack specific targets in the area of the proposed project. The ultimate sign of Iranian concern and displeasure was reports of a IRG Brigade sized exercise on the opposite side of the border, these reports were from multiple sources both human and technical. Eventually the Afghan Government appeared to back down from the project citing technical difficulties.
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  7. This should be interesting...
    2017 Is Pivotal for U.S. Leadership on Global Water Security

    2017 promises to be a key year for U.S. government leadership on a variety of issues. Not least among them is global water security. Never have the challenges of global water security been so severe, and never have the opportunities for American leadership in the sector been greater.

    By October 1, 2017, the U.S. president, acting through the U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of State, and many other federal agencies, is required to submit the first-ever Global Water Strategy to the U.S. Congress.

    This whole-of-government strategy, a requirement of the bipartisan Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014, is a unique opportunity to bring U.S. leadership to bear on an issue many agencies are addressing independently and that would benefit from more focus, coordination and cooperation.

    President-elect Trump will submit the first-ever U.S. Global Water Strategy to Congress in October
    The Global Water Strategy must address how the U.S. government intends to increase access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); improve management of water resources and watersheds; and prevent or resolve water-related conflicts between and within countries.
  8. Although not conflict related, the problems the Americans are having with the Oroville Dam are interesting ( especially for residents of California).
    This is a middle aged dam in good repair in the richest nation in earth.
    Yet, a sudden change in local rainfall ( and the opinion of most climate scientists is that high intensity,' flash' weather events will increase) and the emergency systems in place begin to fail, possibly due to oversight, but possibly due to subsidence, and California has a lot of groundwater depletion and earthquake activity.
    The Americans are now having to evacuate 130,000 people.
    The question is, if this is one is the better dams in the world, and it is suffering this badly from a 'black swan' event, what risk do the worse ones present?
    Landslides Mudslides
  9. Seems to be an own goal.

    Lot of the press coverage is misleading, blabbering about "Auxilliary Spillway" whilst showing images of the Main Spillway. This is clear:

    Main Spillway is concreted but now has the vast erosion hole in it.

    Auxilliary Spillway is just an earth slope which eroded fast when dam overtopped. That is what they are shitting themselves about, not least of all because in 2005 The Emperor Mong seems to have made an appearance ;

    "Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.

    The groups filed the motion with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They said that the dam, built and owned by the state of California, and finished in 1968, did not meet modern safety standards because in the event of extreme rain and flooding, fast-rising water would overwhelm the main concrete spillway, then flow down the emergency spillway, and that could cause heavy erosion that would create flooding for communities downstream, but also could cause a failure, known as “loss of crest control.”

    "Federal officials at the time said that the emergency spillway was designed to handle 350,000 cubic feet per second and the concerns were overblown

    On Sunday, with flows of only 6,000 to 12,000 cubic feet per second — water less than 5 percent of the rate that FERC said was safe — erosion at the emergency spillway became so severe that officials from the State Department of Water Resources ordered the evacuation.!

    State was warned about inadequacy of emergency spillway
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  10. That seems to be the sum of it.
    And they expect more rain later this week.

    California can probably afford it, but it shows up how much infrastructure requires replacing and repair.
  11. What is going to go first: Mosul or Kariba dam?
  12. Well, the Mosul dam is at least getting some repair work done on it. That might extend its life by a few years.

    The Kariba was possibly only saved from collapse in recent years by drought that lowered the reservoir and reduced pressure., and the amount of water going through the spillways and into the riverbed.

    Unlike the Mosul, which is at daily risk from sinkholes opening up and literally dropping the dam foundations into them, the Kariba just has a bloody great hole eroded in front of the thing where falling water from the spillways has scoured a pit 90 Metres deep.

    It is also old, the concrete is decaying, and it appears to be causing earthquakes through an effect called Reservoir Induced Seismicity (RIS)
    Induced seismicity - Wikipedia
    (Basically the changing weight of water in an unstable region, and the lubrication effect of water under pressure forcing itself into faults in the rock).
    Concerns About Kariba Dam’s Stability

    A contract has been signed to repair it in just the past few days but
    1) This is Africa (TIA)
    2) Work hasn't started yet
    3) One of the contractors is Zimbabwe. 'Nuff said.
    Zambia, Zimbabwe pick French firm to shore up Kariba Dam's wall

    At present, I'd still rate the Mosul as rather more dangerous, in terms of structural stability, because of the more frequent stress from the constant subsidence. The Iraqis rate it as a 1-1000 chance of failure. This sounds nice, but it doesn't mean very much. If you spin the wheel often enough, then statistically that 1-1000 comes up every thousand times.
    It might go on the first spin, it might go on the last. It might not go at all.

    What you need to know is the frequency you spin the wheel. If it is once a year, then, fine. If you spin it every day, then you can expect it to go sometime within four years. If you spin it every hour...

    However, one unusually heavy rainy season, and the Kariba could fail very quickly indeed. The Mosul could flood and kill over a million people in one country. The Kariba could take out most of the power system of four nations, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
    The Kariba Report of 2015 is worth reading. https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/irmsa.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/2016_Case_Studies/Kariba_Report.pdf

    1. What will happen if the Kariba Dam fails?
    a. The water flow from Kariba will continue down the Zambezi River, impacting people, property, animals and plant life until it reaches the Cahora Bassa Dam at which stage the flow will cause this dam to be breeched and the cycle of damage will continue downstream. This will occur over a period of 8 to 10 hours until the flow dissipates.
    b. The reduction in the supply of electricity to various countries in the region will be significant and immediate. Some countries rely totally on hydropower and their economies will be seriously impacted, both for industries that rely on electricity to operate and in terms of revenue generated from the sale of electricity. South Africa will lose 1,500 MW of imported power as the Cahora Bassa Dam fails.
    c. Access to water for people in the Kariba and Cahora Bassa Dam areas for drinking, food and agriculture will be severely restricted.
    d. Transportation and access to the areas affected will be curtailed, alternative routes across the Zambezi will need to be sourced, leading to increased cost and time for deliveries.

    Saying that, there are a LOT of dodgy 19th and 20th Century dams worldwide that could go at any moment. (Ask the Californians...)

    Mosul is 'Oh My God!' dangerous, Kariba is 'F*****G Hell!' dangerous, and there are a dozens of 'Oh Shit...' dangerous.
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