28 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/31/2004
ASIA
Scientists sound alarm over water crisis

Water use in Asia outstrips rainfall.



Hong Kong (AsiaNews/AFP) – "Farmers are driving Asian countries towards an environmental catastrophe, using tube wells that are sucking groundwater reserves dry," New Scientist writes. According to the British scientific journal "[t]ens of millions of these wells have been drilled over the past decade, many of them beyond any official control, and powerful electric pumps are being used to haul up the water at a rate that far outstrips replenishment by rainfall." The journal goes on to say that "[t]he extraction is providing many countries with a lavish harvest in thirsty crops like rice, sugar cane and alfalfa, but the boom is bound to be short-lived."

The journal is not alone. Its words echo the alarm bells set off at a conference on water resources held last week in Stockholm (Sweden). Scientists attending the Stockholm Water Symposium warned in fact that water resources are being depleted at an alarming rate world-wide. They expect that, in a very short time, some parts of the earth could dry up and turn into desert.

In India, for example, small farmers have already driven 21 million tube wells into their fields and the number of such wells is increasing by a million a year. Half of the country's traditional hand-dug wells have instead run dry pushing many farmers to take their lives out of desperation.

New Scientist reports that in China's northern plain –the country's breadbasket– farmers are extracting 30 cubic kilometres more water each year than are being replaced by rain. In June state-owned newspaper China Daily acknowledged that the country could "plunge into a water crisis" by 2030 when its population is expected to peak at 1.6 billion.

The tube-well revolution has spread to water-stressed countries like Pakistan and Vietnam whose precious underground reserves are being used without much supervision. New Scientist writes that "Vietnam has quadrupled its number of tube wells in the past decade to one million, [whilst] water tables are plunging in the Pakistani state of Punjab, which produces 90 per cent of the country's food." (DS)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/23/2004 CHINA
‘Catastrophic’ drought forecast for China next year
08/03/2007 PHILIPPINES
Water crisis: Manila prays for rain
by Santosh Digal
08/18/2006 CHINA
Drought leaves more than ten million people without water
03/22/2007 UNITED NATIONS – WORLD WATER D
Two-thirds of world to face water crisis by 2025
05/26/2011 CHINA
Three Gorges Dam blamed for China’s worst drought in 50 years

Editor's choices
NEPAL – ASIA
Nepal earthquake: Church and international community coming to the aid of survivorsThe Italian Bishops’ Conference has pledged € 3 million in emergency medical assistance. The South Korean Church has allocated funds for the displaced. India, Pakistan and China are already on the ground. A Chinese airline has hiked ticket fares to evacuate its nationals. Israel is selective in its help, airlifting 25 children of surrogate mothers and gay couples.
VATICAN
Pope prays for Nepal quake victims, hopes they receive "fraternal solidarity"A good shepherd is like Christ, someone who “is a guide, who participates in the life of His flock. He pursues no other interests, for He has no other ambition but to lead, nurture and protect his sheep. All of this comes at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.” When the pope met the crowd at the window of his study, two new priests stood by his side.
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.