By MIRIAM ACZEL A new study conducted by researchers at Duke University shows a dramatic increase in the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ to...
Archive for category: Water
By MIRIAM ACZEL The Mekong River, one of the longest river systems in Asia—and twelfth longest in the world–flows through six countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand,...
All over the state, Virginia residents have been quick to condemn this year’s especially wet summer. But those torrential downpours might be why you have fewer mosquito bites on your arm. As the climate grows steadily warmer, the risk of increased illness from heat-loving insects like mosquitoes grows with it. The research group Climate Central released a report earlier this month detailing how so-called mosquito disease danger days are rising. There are more days in spring, summer and fall with an average temperature between 61 and 93 degrees, the prime temperature for mosquitoes to spread diseases like West Nile virus.
Water funds are a collective investment vehicle in which stakeholders collaborate to implement nature-based source water protection. Downstream water users invest in upstream land and water management practices, compensating upstream land managers for restoration activities and better management of agricultural land. Rural landowners and communities can benefit economically from these investments as well. Mutual benefits are the hallmark of successful water funds.
The United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 produced 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), designed as a blueprint to improve the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. The MDG target date came and passed at the end of 2015. After analyzing the successes and shortcomings of the MDGs, the UN followed with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—agreed to by 193 countries, including Cambodia—to replace and expand the MDGs, as well as highlight additional areas of global concern. One of these SDGs is the new goal of bringing “affordable and clean energy” to all nations.
In line with this objective, Cambodia’s government has embarked on an ambitious plan to provide reliable and inexpensive energy to its entire population. Cambodia has made great strides in meeting the energy demands of its population. But what remains uncertain are the environmental and social costs of the dams and fossil fuel plants being built. But it is hard to turn down the funding and support in Cambodia’s drive to develop its lagging infrastructure. This is a dilemma faced by the poorest nations—not just Cambodia—as they look for paths to improve the lives of their people. If Cambodia is to move up the economic ladder and attract more international business investment, it needs to continue improving energy access and stability. In rural areas this may mean looking at a combination of on-grid and off-grid solutions. It also needs to protect its valuable resources and look for more sustainable approaches to energy access.
The World Economic Forum is sounding the alarm – water crises are the top global risk over the next decade. Competition for this essential and highly localized resource is aggravating geopolitical conflict in already stressed environments. This was one of the key messages from Sandra Postel of National Geographic, who delivered the keynote address at the April 25 Northern Virginia Community College Green Festival.