The Stream, 16 November 2022: UN Climate Summit hosts first ever ‘Water Day’ at COP27

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The next phase of climate research is to understand whether weather disruptions will not only force people out of their homes, but also force them to relocate. Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue

YOUR GLOBAL SUMMARY

  • from Brazil the new president reiterates his commitment to protect the Amazon and adopt a climate policy.
  • Scientists urge World Health Organization revise draft guidelines for two PFAS chemicals in drinking water.
  • The government of Manitoba, Canadapublishes a new water strategy focused on demand reduction.
  • Southeast voters Arizona approved new groundwater rules in one basin and released them in another.

At UN climate summitworld leaders hear the importance of water in the climate response.

“Water can no longer be ignored. Water is already, today, at the heart of climate action. – Hami Sewilam, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation.

COP27 delegates attended the first Water Day at the annual UN Climate Summit. Many speakers argued for water to play a bigger role in the climate response. Water and Climate Leaders, a group of UN officials, private sector representatives and current and former government ministers, call for countries to integrate their climate and water plans. Egypt, which hosts the summit, has promoted the AWARe initiative improve the suitability and reliability of the water supply.

In context: IPCC Climate Report: Six Key Findings for Water

— Brett Walton, Acting Stream Editor

Recent WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Drought in the American West

Voters in southeast Arizona have made a split decision on the issue of groundwater regulations. The Arizona Republic reports that Cochise County voters approved bylaws for the Douglas Groundwater Basin. Called the Active Management Area, it is the first AMA initiated by a citizen petition since Arizona began regulating groundwater in 1980. Voters in the nearby Willcox Basin had differing opinions. By a 2-1 margin, they rejected an AMA. Therefore, groundwater withdrawals will continue to be unregulated. Due to large-scale agricultural irrigation in the basins, the wells dried up and the earth became compacted, in some cases creaking the highways.

Discover Circle of Blue’s drought blanket for more of the biggest headlines in the American West drying up.

The best water stories of the week, told in numbers

56 percent

Increase in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon over the period 2019-2022 compared to the previous three years. The increase coincided with the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, a business-minded politician who lost his re-election bid last month. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the newly elected president, has pledged to relaunch environmental protection. SciDevNet reports this shift will require new laws, public consultation, and investments in agency staff and science.

116
Number of scientists around the world who signed a letter oppose the decision of the World Health Organization draft guidelines for two PFAS chemicals in drinking water. The authors of the letter asked the World Health Organization to revise or withdraw the guidelines for PFOA and PFOS. They argue that the guidelines would not adequately protect human health. They also question the organization’s transparency in the editorial process and want the names of authors and reviewers to be disclosed.

On the radar

The Government of Manitoba, Canada, published a new water strategy which focuses on reducing demand instead of increasing supply. The CBC reports that the strategy is the foundation of an action plan the government will now develop in consultation with industry and environmental groups. Options include new ways to price water, detect leaks, recycle water, preserve river habitats and oppose the transfer of water between basins, which continues upstream in Dakota. North. The action plan should be published in the spring.

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