Forging ties



Informing people
Water play
The facilitator
Water Gala

Faulty perceptions
Thirst rises, patience evaporates


Eviction ordered
Join the BIG fight
Citizens pick up cudgels
Solar lakes

South India: Searching for an identity
Thailand: Then came progress....


An eye opener
Naudihi’s revival
Tankas of Badi Ghodan


Sri Aurobindo Ashram’s system


Rice husk ash filter
Clay pot irrigation


Sachidanand Bharti
Madhu Bhatnagar


Naullahs of Kumaon


Kerala, building up its jalanidhi
Schemes or scams?


Saving lives
Rain associations


Drop by drop
Water scramble


Oxfam and water



100 promises, deadline 2006
The landmarks
Changing currents







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Vol. 5                                      No. 2                          April - May 2003

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The landmarks: In recent years, the international community’s
interest in water is growing. It all started in 1987. The Brundtland Commission’s report, ‘Our Common Future’, identified water as a key issue. Again, in 1992, at the Water and Environment Conference held in Dublin, and at the Earth Summit (ES)in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the significance of securing fresh water resources was advocated.

In 1996, the World Water Council, an international think tank, and the Global Water Partnership, an organisation created with the joint support of funding agencies were formed. The first World Water Forum (WWF) in 1987 concluded at Marrakech with a mandate to develop a water vision for the 21st century. In 2000, the 2nd WWF at Hague saw more than 15,000 stakeholders actively deliberating. Later, several tools were initiated to maintain the impetus thus generated.

The ES at Johannesburg, in 2002, pledged to halve the number of people with access to clean drinking water and sanitation by 2015.

3rd world water forum

100 promises, deadline 2006

More than 100 new promises on water were made by participants on the day, the 3rd World Water Forum concluded. Are these goals acheivable within the target period - 2006?

Held in three neighbouring Japanese cities of Kyoto, Shiga and Osaka from March 16 - 23, it held 351 separate sessions and 38 interlocking themes. Some 24,000 participants from 182 countries addressed issues balancing the increased human requirements with health and sanitation; food production; transportation; energy and environmental needs; effective governance; enhancing capacity; and, adequate finances.

The International Flood Network, has been launched, with a capacity to generate the world’s precipitation map every three hours. Asian Development Bank has signed a memorandum to build the capacity of Asian cities to secure and manage pro-poor investments. About the US $ 10 million worth of grants and loans of US $ 500 million would be made available. UNDP has committed to give small grants — US $ 50 million (2003-8) for Community Water Initiative to build on the local community’s capabilities.

While resistance to the global water privatisation is on the rise, the forum promoted the corporate management of drinking water systems around the world.

For instance, the urban water project, which brings in a broad cross section of people from the business sector.

The forum clearly underlined the importance of spreading water literacy to transform these promises into reality.

Changing currents

Produced by TVE International, changing currents is a series of 11 international television documentaries on freshwater issues. Screened during the third world water forum, they portray the science, culture and economics of water resource management in an engaging and non-technical style.

Land of the rising water

This film present Japan as a world leader in civil engineering to control floods and conserve wetlands.

Not a dirty word

It takes us to Sao Paolo, Nairobi and Manila to understand the miseries of the poor people, who are dying from preventable water-borne diseases.

Tell tale signs
It catalogues the impact of climate change in China, Mozambique, South Africa and India, while exploring new strategies to deal with it.

Boiling point
No nation has yet gone to war over water. But this film tells a different tale. Often serious clashs in the US/Mexico border and in Angolo are reported.

Pumping pressure
What impact will the dwindling water resources have on our future ability to feed ourselves? Watch and find out.

Plumbing the rights (I and II)
It is about the local communities ongoing struggle for water in Africa, India and Latin America.

Net profits
Looks at measures underway to sustain the boom in fish farming.

Tunnel vision
Two years in making, this film, records the revival of underground irrigation
system - the qanats in Syria.

Dam dam dam
Case for and against dams is offered.

Water on the brain
This film features on a cross section of experts, ministers and the people, who struggle for clean water, daily. Water are their expectations for the forum.

The complete set of series is available with CSE for sale. Contact: Ashwini
at ashwini@cseindia.org

Water for Food Security and Ecosystem has emerged as a major international concern. "Agriculture is where the real world water crisis is taking place", said the Dutch Crown Prince during the opening ceremony. He echoed the fears expressed by most of the participating delegates. "Of all the water used, 70 % is taken up by agriculture. This will have to reduce to maintain the balance. We need to act now", said Louis Fresco from FAO. Since 2000, over 23 related research projects are in progress to find a sustainable solution. A success has been registered. Water for rice production has been halved. Conservation of ecosystems like wetlands and forests has been mooted to ensure sustainable supply. The main focus in the next WWF would be on wetlands.

Virtual water trade is a major concern. According to the released facts in VWF, global water trade between nations add up to 1,000 sq km / year. This is about 15 per cent of the total water use on earth. This water is consumed unconsciously and is therefore called virtual water. A strong demand was raised to intensively analyse the geo-political importance of virtual water and share the results, widely.

World Bank for More Dams to be built in developing countries to meet the growing demand for water and electricity. Sidelining the fears raised by World Commission on Dams(2000), its position paper says that "affected communities and nature are clear beneficiaries rather than losers due to a hydropower project".

Copyright CSE  Centre for Science and Environment