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Water in Central Asia: An increasingly scarce resource

12-09-2018

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian ...

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian countries have to share limited resources fairly, while balancing the needs of upstream hydroelectricity generation and downstream agriculture. For this reason, cooperation is vital. However, competition for water has often been a source of tensions, particularly between Uzbekistan and its upstream neighbours. The situation has improved recently, now that Uzbekistan's new president has taken a more constructive approach to resolving these regional water-related problems. Water use also has many environmental implications. Soviet engineers succeeded in turning deserts into fertile farmland, but at the expense of the Aral Sea, a formerly huge inland lake that has all but dried up. Intensive agriculture is also polluting the region's rivers and soils. Leaky irrigation infrastructure and unsustainable greening projects are wasting huge amounts of water. In future, more efficient water use and closer cooperation will become increasingly necessary, as population growth and climate change pile pressure on the region's scarce water resources. The EU has made water one of the main priorities of its development aid for the region. Among other things, EU funding supports regional cooperation and improvements to water infrastructure.

Transboundary water management: The Rogun Dam in Tajikistan

21-08-2013

In more than 260 trans­boundary watercourses around the world, the closely linked issues of energy, water and agriculture cause difficulties. Tensions between energy-starved Tajikistan and cotton-producing Uzbekistan over the planned Rogun hydro-electric dam illustrate the continuing 'water versus energy' debate. At the same time, the scarcity of water resources in Central Asia is often caused by mismanagement.

In more than 260 trans­boundary watercourses around the world, the closely linked issues of energy, water and agriculture cause difficulties. Tensions between energy-starved Tajikistan and cotton-producing Uzbekistan over the planned Rogun hydro-electric dam illustrate the continuing 'water versus energy' debate. At the same time, the scarcity of water resources in Central Asia is often caused by mismanagement.

Sustainable Management of Natural Resources with a Focus on Water and Agriculture (Study, Annex, Summary and Options Brief)

15-05-2013

Water is a key natural resource targeted within resource efficiency policy of the European Union, as well as globally. This study has focussed on research, technologies and options for sustainable water use and water efficiency; agricultural land management with soil and water benefits; and measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to address sustainable management of water and soil resources. Six key areas for improvement have been identified: (1) The legislative framework currently ...

Water is a key natural resource targeted within resource efficiency policy of the European Union, as well as globally. This study has focussed on research, technologies and options for sustainable water use and water efficiency; agricultural land management with soil and water benefits; and measures within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to address sustainable management of water and soil resources. Six key areas for improvement have been identified: (1) The legislative framework currently in place to protect Europe’s waters needs to be implemented fully and effectively as well as adequately enforced; (2) Water priorities that have been articulated at the EU level need to be more fully integrated and well implemented within the sectoral policies at EU, national and regional levels; (3) Water losses should be reduced and water savings and efficiency should be increased, in particular in agriculture and water scarce areas; (4) Land and soil management approaches aimed at combating soil erosion, preventing loss of soil organic matter, sequestering soil carbon and improving water retention are critical for long-term sustainability of farming and healthy ecosystems and should be promoted at all levels; (5) EU funds, including CAP, allocated to water priorities should be used in an efficient and effective way; and (6) improved data and decision support tools relating to water and soils are essential for making informed decisions that support sustainable management of water and soil.

Parlamendiväline autor

Jana Poláková (Project Leader, IEEP), Andrew Farmer (IEEP), Sandra Berman (BIO Intelligence Service), Sandra Naumann (Ecologic Institute), Ana Frelih-Larsen (Ecologic Institute) and Johanna von Toggenburg (Ecologic Institut)

The Challenge of Deterioration of Agricultural Land in the EU and in Particular in Southern Europe

15-09-2009

Soil degradation is a natural process accelerated by human activities and involves both the physical loss (erosion) and the reduction in quality of topsoil associated with nutrient decline and contamination. It has been caused by a number of factors many of which are tied to human development as deforestation, overexploitation, overgrazing, and industrialization. They have both localised and widespread impacts and affect soil quality for agriculture. This study aims to present the current situation ...

Soil degradation is a natural process accelerated by human activities and involves both the physical loss (erosion) and the reduction in quality of topsoil associated with nutrient decline and contamination. It has been caused by a number of factors many of which are tied to human development as deforestation, overexploitation, overgrazing, and industrialization. They have both localised and widespread impacts and affect soil quality for agriculture. This study aims to present the current situation of the European agricultural land and examine the possible options to stop or recover soil degradation.

Parlamendiväline autor

José Arnáez (University of La Rioja, Spain), C. Kosmas and O. Kairis (Agricultural University of Athens, Greece) and Maria da Conceição Gonçalves (Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos, Portugal)

The Impacts of Biofuels on the Environment and on Food Security in Brazil

30-04-2008

This note analyzes the impacts of biofuels on the environment and on food security in Brazil. The Brazilian biofuels industry is a world leader and currently 40% of vehicle come from ethanol from cane. Since 1990 over 42 M Ha of Brazilian forest have been lost but it cannot be on account of biofuel. In other hand, there is little evidence that biofuels cause hunger: prices of most food in Brazil have been falling compared to the general price since 1994. In addition, the biofuel industry provides ...

This note analyzes the impacts of biofuels on the environment and on food security in Brazil. The Brazilian biofuels industry is a world leader and currently 40% of vehicle come from ethanol from cane. Since 1990 over 42 M Ha of Brazilian forest have been lost but it cannot be on account of biofuel. In other hand, there is little evidence that biofuels cause hunger: prices of most food in Brazil have been falling compared to the general price since 1994. In addition, the biofuel industry provides jobs to 800.000 persons at wages above the average in farming.

Parlamendiväline autor

Mr Leo Peskett1 Overseas Development Institute

Workshop Assessing Commission's Communication on "Water Scarcity and Droughts" Consolidated texts

17-04-2008

Parlamendiväline autor

Dr Mr. Luis Bulhão Martins (Portuguese farmers confederation - CAP - COPA/COGECA) Dr Jürg Gerber (Managing Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD) Dr Jeff Huntington (European Environmental Agency, Copenhagen) Dr Sergiy Moroz (WWF Global Freshwater Programme - Europe) Mr Andrew Farmer, IEEP London

climate change–induced water stress and its impact on natural and managed ecosystems

07-01-2008

Parlamendiväline autor

Jason Anderson (ed.), Kathryn Arblaster, Justin Bartley, Tamsin Cooper, Marianne Kettunen (IEEP) Timo Kaphengst, Anna Leipprand, Cornelius Laaser, Katharina Umpfenbach (Ecologic) Esko Kuusisto, Ahti Lepistö, Maria Holmberg (SYKE)

The World's Water Crisis: Present Conditions and Future Developments

01-10-2003

The world water scarcity problem - recently discussed at the 3rd World Water Forum (Kyoto, 16 to 23 March 2003) - is the cause of illness among more than 1 billion people and of the death of millions every year, through both the lacks of drinkable water and adequate sanitation. This report tries to address this world water scarcity problem, the most important human problem of the XXI century and will describe the position of international organisations and institutions, will describe the situation ...

The world water scarcity problem - recently discussed at the 3rd World Water Forum (Kyoto, 16 to 23 March 2003) - is the cause of illness among more than 1 billion people and of the death of millions every year, through both the lacks of drinkable water and adequate sanitation. This report tries to address this world water scarcity problem, the most important human problem of the XXI century and will describe the position of international organisations and institutions, will describe the situation of water distribution in selected regions of the world and will discuss how various water policies may influence the situation.

Parlamendiväline autor

Flavia Camilleri (ex-Ramón y Cajal scholar)

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