Join a Discussion on Global Water Issues

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 17, 2011
Live: Conversations With America: Global Water Issues

On Monday, March 21, 2011, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero will hold a conversation with Harriet Babbitt, Co-Chair, Global Water Challenge, on Global Water Issues, in recognition of the international observance of World Water Day on March 22.

The event will be streamed live on www.state.gov and DipNote at 4:00 p.m. ET. You are invited to participate by submitting questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Please submit your questions in the comment section below.

This is part of the "Conversations With America" video series coordinated by the Bureau of Public Affairs, in which the State Department's senior leadership hosts conversations live, online, with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. The discussions aim to provide a candid view of how leaders from civil society engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues.

Comments

Comments

Abhishek S.
|
Nepal
March 17, 2011

Abhishek S. in Nepal writes:

What, in your opinion, needs to be done to ensure adequate supply of water to the population especially the vulnerable ones like the people of south asian region where the main source of water i.e. himalayan glaciers are melting at an alarming rate? What has been done or being planned, by your organisation to answer the challenges due to the threats of climate change and subsequent challenge it posed on the water supply to millions?

Claire N.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
March 17, 2011

Claire N. in Washington, DC writes:

I would like to know .. how can we ensure that more local elected officials in America have a more reasoned worldview on our global commons- such as water, so as go ensure that local public policy does not exacerbate the challenges we face in providing water for all.

Simon O.
|
Virginia, USA
March 17, 2011

Simon O. in Virginia writes:

Would you comment on the status of the Cooperative Framework Agreement that six ountries of the Nile basin have signed with the exception of Egypt, Sudan and DR Congo. Given that Egpyt under Mubarak had been resistant to signing the agreement, do you think there is chance that this will change with regime in power? What is your overall view about the sustainability of the Nile Basin Inititiave?

Simon O.
Virginia Commonwealth University

Project F.
|
Montana, USA
March 17, 2011

Nicole in Montana writes:

How important is encouraging education around water issues (whether that education addresses water, sanitation and hygiene, water source protection or conservation) to solving global water issues?

Project WET Foundation

nurapati k.
|
Nepal
March 18, 2011

Nurapati K. in Nepal writes:

Thank you very much to give me a oppertunity to join this programme. It is very good if globel water issues will be solved in different arias like hydropower,drinking water,polution,useas in agriculter products,and mostly envornment in forest aria.

Sundeep T.
|
Nepal
March 18, 2011

Sundeep T. in Nepal writes:

Environmental degradation is a significant concern in Nepal. Problems such as loss of biodiversity, deforestation, soil erosion, and environmental pollution threaten human survival. Environmental conversation projects should address these issues directly through community education and collaboration and hands-on conservation work. Volunteers should participate in programs to develop medicinal plants, support local farmers with crop development and seed distribution, assist in erosion control planting efforts, or maintain local nurseries. These simple village-based nurseries produce seedlings used to support reforestation efforts through the establishment of community and private forests. All products produced in nurseries go directly to the local people. Volunteers should work with local villagers and help in activities such as sowing, mulching, watering, weeding and farming to encourage people.

Besides this load shedding has been an issue that should be looked over. 36 hours of load shedding has been a major problem to each and every person. The students appearing for the SLC examination have been greatly affected. Although swift rivers flowing south through the Himalayas have massive hydroelectric potential to service domestic power needs, only about 1% of Nepal’s hydroelectric potential is tapped. Several hydroelectric projects, at Kulekhani and Marsyangdi, were completed in the early to late 1980s. In the early 1990s, one large public sector project, the Kali Gandaki A (144megawatts-MW), and a number of private projects were planned; some have been completed. Kali Gandaki A started commercial operation in August 2002. The most significant privately financed hydroelectric projects currently in operation are the Khimti Khola (60 MW) and Bhote Koshi (36 MW) projects. The environmental impact of Nepal’s hydroelectric projects has been limited by the fact that most are “run of river,” with only one storage project undertaken to date. The planned private sector West Seti (750 MW) storage project is dedicated to electricity exports. An Australian company signed a power purchase agreement with the Indian Power Trading Corporation in September 2002 and has the lead on the project. Negotiations with India for a power purchase agreement have been underway for several years but agreement on pricing and capital financing remains a problem. The government of Nepal has taken up the issue of project financing for the West Seti with the EXIM Bank of China. The Department of Electricity Development recently obtained proposals from 14 foreign companies for survey licenses of three projects – 600 MW Buddhi Gandaki, 402 MW Arun iii, and 300 MW Upper Karnali. The Ministry of Water Resources is currently evaluating the proposals and has not awarded the survey licenses. Currently, domestic demand for electricity is increasing at 8% - 10% a year.

Many NGOs and INGOs have been trying to help Nepal in many ways. Nepal has established friendly relationship with many countries among the United States is one. The U.S. established official relations with Nepal in 1947 and opened its Kathmandu Embassy in 1959. Relations between the two countries have always been friendly. U.S. policy objectives toward Nepal center on helping Nepal build a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society. Since 1951, the U.S. has provided more than $791 million in bilateral economic assistance to Nepal. In recent years, annual bilateral U.S. economic assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has averaged $40 million. USAID supports agriculture, health, family planning, environmental protection, democratization, governance and hydropower development efforts in Nepal. USAID is also supporting Nepal’s peace progress, as well as its preparation for Constituent Assembly elections. The U.S. also contributes to international institutions and private voluntary organizations working in Nepal. To date, U.S. contributions to multilateral organizations working in Nepal approach an additional $725 million, including humanitarian assistance.

Progress has been achieved in education, health and infrastructure. A countrywide education system is under development. Although eradication efforts continue, malaria has been controlled in the fertile but previously uninhabitable Terai region in the south. Kathmandu is now linked to India and nearby hill regions by an expanding highway network. These issues discussed above are of great importance not only to me but each and every individual who desires the welfare of this country.

Paras P.
|
India
March 19, 2011

Paras in Pakistan writes:

Thanks for giving us an oppertunity to share our thoughts with world. Manchhar Lake, one of the important environmental and major flood affected sites in Pakistan. The Lake is located at 30 kms from Sehwan Sharif town and 15Kms from Johi town (Sindh. It is famous that this lake is biggest sweet and fresh water lake in the Asia sub continent and it has 32 kinds of fish species. Manchhar Lake spreads over parts of two talukas - Johi and Sehwan Sharif of Dadu and Jamshoro Districts, respectively. It is spread over 270 square miles and, before flood, it was estimated that, there are 20,000 to 25,000 inhabitants (Mohanas or Fishing community) living there who have about 2,500 boats in total.

Before flood, this lake was used as dumping site of Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD), the major route of RBOD (Right Bank Outfall Drain). This contained all sorts of toxic effluents and saline water and resulted in drastic change in the ecology of the lake. The environmental degradation and continuous reduction in the production of fish due to disposal of effluents into the lake are main causes of destruction of this otherwise sweet-water lake.
The fishermen indicated that due to increased “eutrophication” in lake, the production of freshwater fish such as rohu, thaili and morakhi has been reduced significantly. This is mainly due to the ecological changes and lack of restocking of major carps.

Manchhar Lake is an important lake not only for the local population but also for the region. The lake is very old and is believed to have originated in the Cenozoic era. The Mohanas, the fisherman caste of the Manchar area, are one of the oldest inhabitants of Indus region and are known for their unique lifestyle of residing on boats.

Before flood, it was estimated that 80 percent of all men and 95 percent of all women at the Manchar Lake have been living below the poverty line since last twenty years, owing to the fact that the main source of income for fisher community is fishing, bird hunting, net making, boat making and farming. The community has very poor or no access to health facilities. Poor housing, uncontrolled population, growth and poverty have ensured the prevalence of hepatitis, tuberculosis, anemia, malnutrition and gastroenteritis besides plethora of other common diseases. The morbidity rate in the area is high as safe drinking water is not available. Infant and maternal mortality are also high due to illiteracy and immense poverty.

After long time, Manchhar has received sweet water in huge quantity due to flood in Indus, which is also one of the natural sources of water flow into the Lake. Flood has been the cause of huge destruction around the inhabitants of Lake, but also changed the water quality of Manchhar Lake after 20 years.

We need your support for the poor fishermen of Manchhar Lake.

mike j.
|
Mississippi, USA
March 20, 2011

Mike W. in Mississippi writes:

We must orbit a satellite around the sun on this side of the half way mark.it always between at full sun to magnify light in winter & filter light in summer.so plant live & produce oxygen longer,replenish the pole, & in general reverse greenhouse effect.

Dennis W.
|
Virginia, USA
March 20, 2011

Dennis W. in Virginia writes:

Given the current trend towards reduced USG budgets for international development assistance, it is ever more important that development aid, and especially aid in support of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act and WASH services in general, be focused to reach the poor and most vulnerable populations in the developing world. How can the NGO community work effectively, with diminishing resources, with the State Department and USAID to focus our mutual concerns on real development needs and achieve the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation in as many countries as possible? Can State and USAID provide the necessary leadership for a true cooperative effort?

Evangelist D.
|
Nigeria
March 28, 2011

Joshua D. in Nigeria writes:

I know you agree that water is one of the most essential ingredients of life and for our daily living. what further effort or thinkable system to help combat water pollution and shortages affecting domestic needs and other uses even in rural areas - because looking at the soaring price of water and consumption rate globally generated especially by climatic condition it seems that this vital ingredient of life and good living will be out of the reach of the poor masses and low income earners in future.

2. Is it unthinkable for United Nations in association with all the non-governmental agencies to work closely with United States of America in the global water issue to ensure a far reaching effect.

BY EVANGELIST JOSHUA O. DAVID

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