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Viewings: 2332Ecologists, managers and specialists of water management met recently in London Chatham House [Royal Institute of international relations], in order to reflect on the future. Asia is a continent where these problems are most severe at the moment.
"The situation with water in other parts of the world we are also concerned. This is still a very important issue for Africa, but we are still not sufficiently aware that the increase in food demand will come from Asia in connection with economic and demographic growth on the continent. Astronomical scale volumes of fresh water are already used in agriculture. Asia is the most sensitive area [...], and I would say that the first big problem appears to 2020 or 2030," said Pavel Kabat from the International Institute of systems analysis in Vienna.
Seventy percent of the world's consumption of water is consumed in agriculture, and it is safe to say that there are plans crisis. "In India, 75% of water used for irrigation comes from underground sources, " said Kabat, we believe, it will not change". He added that the ground water level falls to five meters per year in some parts of Europe and the US, and that we should pass laws to restrict the use of groundwater in agriculture. In his opinion, the same thing may happen in Asia.
It is also of concern and water quality. While reducing the flow of fresh water rivers, overlooking the Asian coast and sea level rise, the Delta of the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and the Mekong suffer from salt water so that in some areas of traditional culture can no longer be grown due to soil salinity. Some coastal areas of Bangladesh is already unsuitable for agriculture.
Developed countries are not immune from problems. In some parts of the USA receive water from ancient aquifers for irrigation of the desert regions. These stocks "fossil water" is rapidly shrinking, and they are not recoverable. "This perspective is so alarming, he said that "politicians don't want to start it".
On the other side of the border, in an impossible position is Mexico city. Capital is suffering from acute water shortage, aided and decrease of precipitation by 30%. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the utilities in the capital subsidized by the government.
The situation in India, Bangladesh, in arid regions of the USA and Mexico is similar to a terrible scene when, for example, a car accident unfolds in flashback in slow motion. But politicians have no power to create such subtle. "We know that this must happen, " said Kabat. Scientists have conducted numerous studies have development scenarios for 10, 20, 30 years ahead. But it's too late time for today's government officials".
At the conference in Chatham House made proposals for the solution of problems connected with water. Questions were raised about the tariffs and the establishment of a water market, where the right to water consumption it is possible to buy and sell.
Such a market already works quite well the Murray-Darling basin in Australia. The government has divided the" right to land and the right to water. The source of the water on their land, be it a river or aquifer no longer gives the owner an automatic right to use it. During a severe drought that swept across the region in recent years, farmers stopped growing plant unprofitable and have high water requirements, such as rice. Water allocated to them as farmers, were sold to those who grow the most profitable and less need watering plants as vines, for example. The income earned in this way, helped them to stay afloat during the dry period, until they were able to return to the traditional agricultural activities.
Discussions at the rates showed that in many countries people do not generally pay for water consumption, and that some governments have followed a strategy of reduction of prices that was beneficial to large consumers of water.
China, which is traditionally sold water at very low prices, began to practice higher tariffs and adopted a progressive scale of fees: the more water is used, the higher the cost. Consumption fell sharply in Beijing, where prices are higher and progressive taxation is even aggressive nature, but in other cities water consumption continues to grow.
As for consumption in General, the participants of the conference noted that the water was "everywhere and nowhere", and applies to many other issues. However, there is no single UN Agency, which would deal only with the problem of water, which may reflect the fact that there is a unified atmosphere and climate, and systems of watersheds and aquifers are many: some of them are exploited excessively and others constantly replenished.
The system of contracts
Water system beyond political boundaries and, while water scarcity increases, its use should be subject to negotiations. Tariq Karim, the Ambassador of Bangladesh in Delhi, has a great experience of holding talks on joint use of water resources, said: "Speaking about sharing, I mean the separation of something. Like the division of the spoils. This gives rise to disputes. In addition, it is impossible to divide the river or to separate a piece of it. It makes sense to speak about joint river management".
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