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Too much, too little: Water crises abound

by Stephen Hesse

After creeping slowly northward for weeks, the rainy season finally hit Tokyo earlier this month. And rain it has.

For days on end the rain can fall, heavy and steady, saturating Tokyo. There’s not much we can do except wait out the downpours, but the rains offer a bit of calm and the trees take on a deep, rich green that is almost surreal.

In terrifying contrast, news from the Middle East has focused on Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Sunni insurgents now sweeping across Syria and Iraq. Heavily armed and loaded in pickup trucks, the militants are shown in images barreling across arid, windswept landscapes, no greenery in sight, with clouds of dust and sand billowing out from behind their vehicles.

The Sunni-Shiite ISIS conflict is not a fight over water, not yet anyway, but one wonders how different the region might be if water were plentiful and the land verdant.

And what of the tens of thousands of refugees now streaming across Syria and Iraq, looking for safety? As they flee to a third country in need of shelter, food and water, might not Japan be drawn into a military conflict, or a humanitarian-aid quagmire?

Do a Google search for “water conflict” and you’ll get nearly 10 million hits. Africa, the Middle East, India and China are the places that pop up most often.

The World Economic Forum has ranked water crises “the third-biggest risk to stability in the decade ahead,” with fiscal crises and unemployment in first and second place, respectively, according to Beth Gardiner in a recent New York Times article (June 2).

On The Guardian website (Feb. 9), Suzanne Goldenberg pointed out how divergent water crises can be. This past winter while Britain was “drowning in misery” from Atlantic storms flooding its southwestern region, 1 billion people on the planet did not have access to safe drinking water, she noted.

James Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine, confirmed that divergence is becoming the norm. The wet areas of the Earth — the northern latitudes, the Arctic and the tropics — are getting wetter, while the middle latitudes — the arid and semi-arid parts of the world — are getting drier and suffering more drought, Famiglietti told Goldenberg.

This is neither a fluke nor a short-term variation. These changes in precipitation reflect steady alterations in the planet’s climate as the biosphere warms.

This means the hydrology of the planet and the availability of freshwater resources are changing, as are marine ecosystems.

Rising sea levels will increasingly push saltwater further up rivers and into coastal groundwater, and more powerful ocean storms will create tidal surges that flood coastal lowlands, notes a 2009 report from the Stimson Center titled “Troubled Waters: Climate Change, Hydropolitics and Transboundary Resources.”

Drought and flooding, “both types of threats can impair food production, endanger public health, stress established settlement patterns and jeopardize livelihoods and social well-being,” warns the report.

In the middle latitudes, less precipitation is not the sole problem. Unsustainable use of rivers and groundwater is rapidly drying up water sources that have fed, clothed and bathed humans for millenniums.

Goldenberg noted that 600 million people inhabit a broad stretch of land across eastern Pakistan, north India and western Bangladesh that is “the most intensely irrigated” land in the world.

“Up to 75 percent of farmers rely on pumped groundwater to water their crops, and water use is intensifying,” she noted.

“Over the last decade, groundwater was pumped out 70 percent faster than in the 1990s. Satellite measurements showed a staggering loss of 54 cu. km of groundwater a year. Indian farmers were pumping their way into a water crisis,” she added.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are already touchy neighbors at best. Lack of water could push hungry and thirsty villagers into water conflicts across state and national borders, and especially into confrontations over groundwater, which can be extremely difficult to quantify and share equitably.

In the Middle East, where armed conflict is already all too common, leaders are taking water shortage concerns very seriously.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called water “a national security issue,” and Goldenberg wrote that “shortages are so severe in the United Arab Emirates that the country is using non-conventional resources, including desalination, treated wastewater, rainwater harvesting and cloud seeding.”

UAE Crown Prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan has said, “For us, water is (now) more important than oil,” she added.

Here on Japan’s main island, Honshu, we’re lucky. The closest we get to a fight over water is trying to decide who will get the last umbrella left outside the pub on a rainy evening.

But Japan, too, will have considerable changes to deal with, according to a 2008 WWF report, “Nippon Changes: Climate Impacts Threatening Japan Today and Tomorrow.”

Looking forward, projected climate changes include, temperature increases of 2 to 3 degrees Celsius over the next 100 years; an increase in mean precipitation by more than 10 percent over the 21st century and an increase in summer precipitation by 17-19 percent; and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, heat waves and heavy-rainfall events.

The report projects a rise in sea level of 5 mm per year throughout the 21st century, which will pose a threat to 46 percent of the population and 47 percent of industrial output. The authors also expect an increase in the likelihood of inundation and intrusion of seawater into groundwater aquifers and increased erosion of coastal zones.

As for specific impacts on humans, here are a few to consider: Increased likelihood of infectious and vector and water-borne diseases; expansion of dengue fever into Hokkaido; increases in allergies and allergy-related diseases; increased cost of living and protection from more extreme weather events; deteriorated freshwater systems; 1.2-3.2 percent increase in the demand for water supply (with a 3-degree warming); negative impacts to fruit crops and an increase in abnormal fruits; and a 40 percent decrease in rice yields in central and southern Japan.

Japan will clearly have its hands full with climate-change impacts.

Could climate change and water crises abroad also draw Japan into a military conflict? What about the ISIS conflict?

With the third-lowest water reserves in the region, Jordan is struggling to cope with an influx of Syrian refugees, Goldenberg noted in her Guardian piece. And that was before the ISIS insurgency got into full swing.

Assuming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets his way and the Diet approves a reinterpretation of Japan’s Constitution, we might soon see Japanese troops empowered to join collective security activities abroad, using military force in an international dispute.

What then if a Japanese ally joins efforts to contain the ISIS insurgency or provide humanitarian assistance?

Much sooner than anyone imagined, Japanese forces could find themselves in a war zone, or dealing with the spinoff from a water crisis very far from home.

Stephen Hesse is a professor in the Law Faculty of Chuo University and associate director of Chuo International Center. He can be reached at stevehesse@hotmail.com.

  • PaulFelixSchott

    Father is that day of wrath near for them that destroy the Earth? KJV Rev 11:18

    Father look another fish near the top of the water Young Eagle soon there will be many as the water goes down.
    Father and when the water is gone what will we eat Young Eagle that is foretold in Revelation 19:17-18
    Have no fear young Eagle, those who are faithful to our Father in Heaven to the end will be saved.

    Father and the wicked and lost Young Eagle Most of them will die in the desert because they did not believe
    and were not faithful as did more then 3,000 years ago.

    Satan’s Sin City “Las Vegas” very soon to die like a fish out of water.

    World Leaders Pay Close “ATTENTION”.

    This Planet Earth Cannot And Will Not Support Life As We Know It Without Its FOREST.
    Soon all will take note to the sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes and Earthquakes Around Earth that are Waking Up at a Alarming Rate.
    Just as they did in 1883 from Krakatoa.

    LEADERS PLANT TREES WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

    Read well and study on your own after you have read this.

    This is not a game or joke our Sun gives off a Solar Wind all day year round. If you live in the State of Alaska you see it in the
    sky above what a sight it is going through our Earth’s Magnet Polls of the North and the South, North Poll. It’s called the
    Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. The day will come when you will be able to see it all over Earth as in the year 1859 Solar Flare,
    It was the largest in 500 years. Two Astronomer’s Hodgson and Carrington told the World that the Solar Flare made a Geomagnetic
    Storm reach Earth in hours not days. Back then it gave new meaning to “Reach For The Skies” from Telegraph Operators.
    For hours sparks flew from the key board. Even after the Batteries were disconnected. Nov 3 and 4, 2003 had a X40+ Class Solar Flare,
    Thank GOD it was not coming at Earth this time.

    Our Sun’s UV Rays will get stronger as each passing day goes by, read and i will tell you why. The Great big FOREST have be stripped
    from most of the Earth for Greed of Money by the Wicked. The trees our are Main Source of Oxygen on this Plant. The Forest Trees scrubs
    the Pollution out of the air and makes Oxygen from the rain and dirt that it grows in. The Forest Trees do more than just make Oxygen
    they stop Soil Erosion, just Look at the 1930 Dust Bowl. Greed by our wicked Government leaders to bleed from us as much money as they
    could out of us thru taxes led farmers to clear cut all their Forest, and farm all the land they were being Tax on.
    They had to farm it to pay for the Taxes. Why leave the Trees when food crop makes Money.

    This Did not Help the Depression that effected most all Worldwide. More than 100 million in the coming years will suffer from Malnutrition
    and Dehydration. Going without Food and Safe Drinking Water to drink many will die!

    One country can see clearly and knows already the World’s food and safe drinking water supply is running out at a record pace. With one of
    the world’s largest Population it has taking steps to no longer let anyone in its country, export any of its farmland grown food or grain
    from INDIA to any other country Nov 2013.

    China is trying to buy up all the world’s grain it can and the future harvest of framers. Future Commodities of Food Stocks soon will climb
    like a rocket because of this. China is also right now working on passing laws on its farmers. China Rural Reforms On Farming Jan 2014.

    It to soon will become a country that will not export any of its food or grain to any other country. In the United States of America alone
    more than 46+ Million Americans Received Food Stamps and that number is going up every day every year since 2009.
    The number of Homeless is growing worldwide in America 20,000 in the once known to the world as
    “Motor City” Detroit Michigan.

    The bread and food lines are growing Worldwide. 100 to 300 in Sioux Falls S.D. Every Friday stand in the cold waiting to get food at the
    Military Armory. The same once a month in Hawaii in front of a Stone that dwarfs any man that reads…….

    (“IN MEMORY OF WAIALU – KAHUKU WORLD WAR II HEROES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD MAY LIVE IN PEACE”)
    it list the names of many

    (“DEDICATED BY THE WAIALUA LIONS CLUB JULY 4, 1947″)

    Through the years many of us have help cook and feed the poor and needy in Hawaii and around the World, most of us USA Military or work or
    did work or Volunteered for Uncle Sam.

    And GOD willing may we be able to do so till our LORD returns.

    The Pollution and CO2 Carbon Dioxide go into the Tree Bark as a shield from most bugs so they do not eat the tree. Less Forest less Oxygen this
    is why the Moon. That has no Oxygen is very cold on the side without Sun Light, And hot as ever on the side with Sun Light. Way too cold and too
    hot to live there. You would need at least 10 times the Energy we use on Earth to even live there and life on the Moon would be very short.

    With no blank of Oxygen to lessen or reduce the Sun’s UV Rays and Solar Wind they are deadly there on our Moon. Every Mt. Climber and
    Aircraft Pilot knows the higher you go the thinner the Oxygen and colder it gets.
    Just spend a night on a Mt. top above 13,000 feet with no Sun Light and you will see or should i say feel the cold stinging any of your
    exposed skin. If you are new to Mt. Climbing stay below 10,000Ft. The Astronauts and the Cosmonauts and Fighter Pilots that i have been
    with for years know this very well, and the Radiation Hazards to humans at High Altitudes.

    Soon the Sun’s Solar Wind and UV rays will be way to strong for most to go out in the Sun Light for even a short time.

    The Geomagnetic Storm to come and the Bad Weather Storms well you have not seen nothing yet and the Sea Level is Rising the Oceans.
    Many Millions have been affected by Floods in China and Pakistan and around the planet.
    Every year there is more storms and they are stronger of greater magnitude and bigger.

    In 2005 Over a Thousand dead in New Orleans Flood, and the list is going on.
    Homes without Electric power are in the hundreds to 1,000 all over earth every year now from storms.
    Pray you are ready to be without power for a week or two in the cold winter or hot summer.

    GREENLAND Ice sheet took more than 3,000 years to get its mass size and weight.
    Greenland’Ice sheet is one of the largest ice sheets on this Planet Earth it is the second in mass. People on Earth are putting an end to it in
    less than 50 years.

    There is a very simple point to this. Dams all over the planet have had
    a Earthquake when filled too fast or let out a lot of water in a short time.

    GREENLAND Ice sheet Weight is a unbelievable amount as it gets lighter,
    GREENLAND ICE sheet WILL give a Earthquake no one will forget.
    Coastal cities LOOK OUT a Mt. Wall Of Water will come, from one of these Earthquakes. KJV Rev 6:12
    If you live by the coastline now is a good and smart time to move you might not get another chance to do so in time. History has recorded times of coastal
    towns, cities and coastline being inundated by sea water 5 to 10 miles inland.

    In the past 50 years Earth has had more FLOODING then in the last 1,000 years. 1014AD VERY LARGE TIDAL WAVES THE LARGEST EVER RECORDED FROM IMPACTS,
    ALL OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AFTER PASSING THROUGH COMET’S LONG TAIL.
    LEVELING WHOLE CITIES AND TOWN THAT WERE MILES INLAND.

    And there shall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes, in divers places such as was not from the beginning of the Creation.

    Scientist Dr. Katharine Giles had done many experiments investigating “Sea Ice Thickness”, and showed it to governments around the Earth how the
    Sun rays and winds affected the newly exposed Arctic Ocean. Some of Scientist Dr. Giles research focused on using satellites to better understand
    the physics of the ice covered Polar Oceans.

    Scientist Dr. Giles to all Warning Water will warm faster than ICE covered water or water with ice in it.

    The last 30 years On Earth we have broke all High Temp Records and the temp it is still going up.

    All the Worlds Ice Glacier are melting at an Accelerating Rate. The Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps store more water than all the Fresh Water Lakes on Earth.
    Look to the (US Gov web site “USGS U.S. Geological Survey” Repeat Photography of Alaskan Glaciers USGS)

    The Bad Weather Storms now are Babies compared to what is to come.

    They will get even bigger and worse less Oxygen the more UV Rays to the Earth and more Water molecules will evaporate and go up into the Earth’s
    Atmosphere. Less Oxygen the Colder without sun light and Hotter with it.
    Record cold and record hot temps, highs and lows will now be broke every year.

    The Sky full of more water vapor molecules, more snow in the winter and more Flash Floods in the Summer. All earth will see way more fires and the
    Deserts are growing larger and have been for the last 75+ years.
    The water Springs in the desert that once made the place a oasis to support life are long gone.

    Satan’s Sin City “Las Vegas” very soon to die like a fish out of water.

    The Governor of California Jerry Brown has declared a State Of Emergency due to the driest DROUGHT in California’s history. Friday January 17, 2014

    Lake Mead at record low and soon will not be able to make electric power.
    UK most rain in 300 years Flooding February 2014.
    Middle East dryest in 1,000 years 2009 – 2014
    (” If every living person on Earth were to Plant A Tree Today we might have a chance.”)

    FOR A SHORT TIME ALL THE MILITARY ON ALL SIDES PUT DOWN THEIR WEAPONS AND PLANTED TREES
    IN PAKISTAN MORE THEN A MILLION TREES IN A DAY, and they did this for days.

    NOW WHY CAN WE NOT DO THIS WORLD WIDE?

    Maybe the UN and leaders on this planet are just a little more than show in the head.
    OUR Planets Atmosphere needs Oxygen with the decline of it the world’s health will decline, as like some of the not so smart gov payed Scientist.
    Some that will do or say anything for $$$$$.

    Once the days start getting shorter the cooler it will get and longer days warmer, most all fifth graders and every framer on Earth knows this.
    IF they had know better and had a brain like a Scientist to go with the tidal of one they carry they would have known, that the Sea Ice is going
    to grow at a Record Pace with Shorter Days. Just as with longer days the summers are going to brake all records each and every year that OUR
    Planets Atmosphere Oxygen declines.

    Mid Summer Days hot as Hell, Winter Nights POLAR BEAR WEATHER. Stronger winds wind chills -0 and below the new normal for winter.

    (“EXPEDITIONS on ships into ice seas many have been done most all know it is safer and wiser to do it as the days are getting longer not as a
    fool when the days are getting shorter. You risk yours and the life’s of others that will come to rescue you.

    World Leaders and your Scientist be Smart open your eyes most all on Earth can see and want to hear the TRUTH from its leaders.
    Stop running your vessel Afoul. If you follow a true course the spirit that gives your heart its life will give you great wisdom and strength
    and power to resist the wicked.”)

    Scientist are you afraid of losing that fat pay check, or think that the wicked will end your work like NOBLE BRAVEHEARTED Scientist Dr. Katharine Giles.
    Everyone that the wicked think they have stopped its work 100 will replace that NOBLE BRAVEHEARTED one.

    By your work shall ye be judged do good help others and always seek and tell the TRUTH.
    Every soul will be filled with great fear that don’t help others and don’t seek the truth and our LORD, JUDGEMENT DAY.

    The Earth’s Atmosphere Blanket surrounding it protects life on Earth as Our Lord and GOD will all that seek Him.

    Then it is written WHEN THE TREE IS FULL IT IS HARVEST TIME. All the Earth will someday burn away.
    This is all Foretold in the Bible Read it
    and may our Lord Bless all that do so.
    Daniel 12 : 1 – 3

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott
    solardowork@yahoo.com
    KI4-AEX

    P.S.
    2 Peter 3:10
    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with
    intense heat, and the Earth and its works will be burned up.

    GOD Bless You and Your Love ones
    Give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ every day.
    Read
    Luke 21:20-22
    Matthew 24: 30-33

    Solar Energy the way to go.
    Many States and Countries Are and are Banning Fracking.

    SAFE DRINKING WATER RUNNING OUT FASTER THEN YOU THINK WORLD WIDE.

    Hydraulic Fracturing a Danger to us All.

    Archimedes and Albert Einstein
    These two are at the top of the list of the World’s Greatest Scientists,
    Viewed by Scientist around the World.

    Sad that for the last 25 years or so of every teacher asked no matter what
    Grade k through 16. At least 80% of them did not know Archimedes. Even sadder 90% of them could not tell you what one of the most
    Brilliant Scientist to ever live on Earth. Won the Nobel Prize for.

    It was for the work Albert Einstein did to show the World it could get
    Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. (THE PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT).
    We still do not Teach this to are young Why?

    Churches all over earth are Going Solar why not are schools?

    In many cities and more added every day there are more (EV’s) Electric Vehicles Charging Stations than gasoline, the UK was one of the first.
    Wicked Leaders and many that are in the Dark and Lost wake up it will very soon be too late.

    Please go to (Electric Vehicle Charging Station map) Oil CEO’s soon to lose more than their shirt.

    FREE SOLAR ENERGY FROM THE SUN. Why KEEP sending your TAX $$$$$ to the Middle East.

    Canada is next door obama and is one of our Closest Allies. Canada keystone pipeline in January 2012, President Obama put the brakes on and rejected
    the application. We should have done all we could, to have completed the project long ago.
    Sorry obama i forgot Canada did close the wicked Muslin Islamic Republic Den Of Spies And Espionage in Canada and told the Terrorist supporting
    people working in them to leave Canada in less than 5 days or go straight to jail.

    You obama are still trying to send Muslins all the USA tax money you can.

    SOLAR ENERGY
    Why is not every GOV BUILDING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA COVERED WITH USA BUILT “BUILT IN AMERICA” (PV) SOLAR ENERGY?

    WE WOULD BE SAVING MILLIONS AND PUTTING MILLIONS TO WORK.
    WHY ARE WE STILL SENDING $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ TO THE Middle East ?
    When there is SOLAR and WIND ENERGY.

    Tesla car owners drive coast to coast FREE from the SUNLIGHT, 2014.

    This is not the Roman Empire (Taxes Kill Growth) Lower all taxes and America will grow and FLOURISH without OUR
    White House SATAN DICTATORSHIP AND CONTROL on US.

    There is enough Energy coming from our SUN to power all are needs on Earth and then some.
    Albert Einstein 1907