united nations

UN GEO-4 Report Released, Outlook for Water Dire

No, not a radical environmental group sounding the call this time around. It is the United Nations – Environment Programme with the recent release of the report: UNEP Global Environmental Outlook: Environment for Development (GEO-4). This report assesses the state of the planet since 1987, and was drafted by over 390 experts in the field of environmental studies. It was just released Thursday, October 25, 2007.

Sadly, the outlook on the world’s water is dire. The report warns that a combination of rises in global population, unsustainable agricultural practices, increased degradation of water quality, and climate change will decrease water availability worldwide. Two billion people could face water scarcity by 2025.

A continuing challenge for the management of water resources and aquatic ecosystems is to balance environmental and developmental needs. It requires a sustained combination of technology, legal and institutional frameworks, and, where feasible, market-based approaches. – GEO-4

To order a paperback copy of the report, see Earthprint.com or download a copy for free on-line at this UNEP web-page.

climate change

Climate Change and Global River Flow: How Will Countries Prepare or Adapt?

A recent posting on Science Daily highlights research in collaboration with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences on climate change and river flows.

The article, Climate change and the world’s river basins: anticipating management options, is coauthored by authors from the United States, Sweden, Germany and Australia. This work was supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Global Climate Change Program, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Research Council Formas, Land and Water Australia, Water CRC Australia, the DFG – German Research Foundation and the International Water and Climate Dialogue.

Their research states global river flow could change drastically with the advent of climate change as early as the 2050’s depending on geographic location. Some basins could experience bouts of increased flooding while other basins will face decreased water supplies. Their research also identifies specific watershed management techniques to lessen negative effects of such widespread river flow regime changes.

A presentation was also recently given on this same research at the 3rd International Symposium on Riverine Landscapes in Queensland, Australia from August 27 to September 1, 2007. Christer Nilsson, Leader of the Landscape Ecology Group at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science of Umeå University in Sweden, provided this abstract and talk on the issue of climate change and international river management.