Water Shortage in the UK?

Water stress does not always occur in hot, arid climates. While we may think that the UK’s weather would guarantee that it has more water than it needs, some regions of the country including London are currently facing water shortages and even drought conditions. This has prompted calls for a scheme to promote water trading between regions with surpluses and those in short supply.

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  1. Bella thomson

     /  25/02/2012

    Following this topic there are several podcasts which relate to the consequences of the UK water shortage. The second link i found particularly relevant to effects on farmers crops.


    [audio src="http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/farming/farming_20120225-0700b.mp3" /]

  2. Winnie Tsang Wing Ying

     /  29/02/2012

    The drought problem in China is very severe as well. Urban citizens are less well educated and often do not consider saving as their responsibilities. Chinese people are well known for their greed. Therefore, I anticipate that the H2Ownership project will be implemented with success if the system is maturely developed in China.
    However, beyond water wastage in cities, there are more contributes to water scarcity problem in China. What makes the problem worse would be the lack of water supply plan and water management system. Chinese people lack the knowledge on how economize the use of water. Outdate irrigation technology, insufficient funding of agricultural facilities and the building of dozens of dams made the shortage problem worse
    What hits me when I read news about water problem in China is the practice of covering up water contamination scandals and the lack of immediate reaction of provincial government. The water crises worsened by cloak of secrecy over toxic mental spill in Guangxi and chemical spill in Zhejiang last year. I would be welcomed to see tougher regulations and enforcement in handling water pollution scandals in face of water crises within the country.

  3. Pablo Restrepo

     /  08/03/2012

    on a different note:

    I thought it would be interesting to discuss the upsurge in social media about Joseph Kony the ICC’s most wanted war criminal: this is an article I wrote in reply to a friend that posted a ‘critical’ view on the charity people where supporting by posting on their Wall or Twitter: KONY 2012

    Yesterday social media went absolutely wild for Kony 2012, people that normally are disinterested in current affairs and had no idea about the lord’s resistance army all of the sudden felt compelled to make their voices heard and manifest their horror for such a barbaric war criminal who has been responsible for so much of the central African problem. I am a student of international relations and I have studied this problem in detail for the past few years but to be perfectly honest I did not know about the Congolese war until my first year in university. Noting that, this has been the bloodiest conflict in my lifetime, and it is directly correlated with the rare metals boom in the late nineties; when all of us in the rich world where suddenly infatuated by cell phones, game consoles and personal computers.

    The conflict is highly complex and has its origins in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. cross border refugees from Rwanda moved to Congo fleeing the horrible atrocities perpetrated by Hutu militias. There several guerrilla factions sprung up from a variety of African countries including Kony’s Lords resistance Army from neighboring Uganda. In order to protect civilians or so they said, actually they flooded the DR Congo in an effort to take a piece of Coltan and other metal mining.

    Now this article does not wish to recount what has happened or who is to blame or what the real problem is what it seeks to highlight is the incredible surge in awarness kony has had overnight and how the ‘critical’ voices have sprung up. By this I mean that as the wave kept exploding and more and more people caught on; it was those most politically aware that have stood up to slow this wave down by claiming that the finances of invisible children are not great and that they support military intervention and that they actively support the Ugandan military. My question is why? Why the attempt to be witty when all this does is slow down the massive upsurge in public conciousness. No by no means I refrain from the discussion and people should be critical but why is it that those who love politics get annoyed when people start caring. I say get your priorities straight and be pragmatic.

    We all know that getting people motivated about anything is very difficult and that it is very rare that people actively stop caring about themselves for halve an hour and mobilize to rise awarness of an issue. Today in a world of mass information where we are constantly filtering out content and trying to understand what exactly are our positions on certain topics specially since the cold war ended and no good and bad exists in the world anymore (it has never existed but before people felt the stupifing comfort of being in one side or the other) sometimes it is just easier to be complacent and apathetic even if you do want to act and change the world for the better. For some time now we the passive consumers have actively been told that if we try to change the world things will go horribly wrong we think that any actions might lead to further chaos. But then came the arab spring and it made us reevaluate the power of people and the blind stereotypes of the arab world and their cultural dislike of freedom. Today it is easier than ever to communicate our thoughts effectively and get people to agree on that basic ideals of justice. Social media provides what the public square provided a generation before and that is the capacity to see that there are other people that feel the same as you. This is why dictators hate freedom of association and try to make people isolated and avoid discussion.

    We can all agree that Joseph kony is not mickey mouse and as a critical thinker and student of international relations you question these things, it is very clear that the problems are not going to end if you stop one man i mean if anything things can get worst before they get better, the organization can become diluted or fragment, from the Colombian experience we believed that Pablo Escobar’s death would end all violence and then the Mono jojoy’s, Fidel cano’s and many others etc.. Ofcourse this was not the case, these men where only men and the conflict has underling causes that are far-reaching and should not be overlooked. And Kony is just that, one guy but he is a symbol, he is not single handedly responsible for all the rapes and murders and child soldiers. but you know who where just men, Gaddafi and Mubarak it is important not to forget what are the greater implications of this . This wave has clearly cost money and alot of thought went behind it. it is a single issue in a fucked up planet. But it represents the power that people are having by utilizing the tools of mass media. It is important to be critical but it is more important to understand the higher implications and priorities at stake.

    So I agree that there should be active discussion of how to implement the best way forward and people should be critical of what they support always questioning their believes but understand that by being witty and trying to undermine a good effort you are stopping a good surge of awareness. So what if it is just a fad get your priorities strait.

    here is the link to the video if you have not already seen it:


  4. pernilla

     /  13/03/2012

    I agree with you Pablo. With 60 hours of video material being uploaded to Youtube per minute (according to Youtube themselves), it is incredibly difficult to get a video seen by millions of people amongst all the Rebecca Blacks and sneezing baby pandas. Also the fact that the attention span in cyberspace is now a scarce commodity is limiting to any individual or group trying to communicate a message. The internet connecting people from all corners of the world is a powerful resource and tool for change and Invisible Children has successfully tapped into this. It will be interesting to see how it evolves over time.

    It is only natural that criticism has arisen and I too think it is healthy, but there is a thin line between constructive criticism and opinions that could limit any sustainable action to take place. There is no doubt that the Kony 2012 video has raised awareness and will most likely continue to do so with ‘Cover the Night’ in April. Kony is currently in the global spotlight, how long this will remain true is a different question in itself. But we can go on and on about whether Kony 2012 will help or not. Perhaps more importantly is starting a discussion on how to help all those children and adults that were forcibly involved in Kony’s actions.

    Looking at what the Ugandan government and local dedicated groups have been doing already is vital. I think focus should lie on restoring what has been lost in the communities that were affected by Kony’s atrocities, the physical and mental health effects of thousands of people. Purely focusing on arresting or (let’s be honest) killing Kony is not going to be the one factor that improves the lives of the war victims. Connection and direct dialogue on a community scale would be even more beneficial perhaps. The fact that Invisible Children has ensured that millions more now know about the issue, can give a greater incentive and understanding for involving educated and experienced individuals to work together on a national and regional level.

  5. Danny

     /  21/04/2012

    As for water crisis in China, I agree with Winnie’s point in that it is of significance to promote public awareness of saving water by H2Ownership project . However, a more urgent problem about water crisis in China now is the uneven distribution of water resource around the country, which may outshine the urgency of H2Ownership project .
    To mitigate the existing crisis of water resources in north China, China has launched the South-North Water Diversion Project, which three artificial channels from the Yangtze would transport precious water from the south to the north. This water division scheme has spurred concerns in its very beginning: the huge cost, the irrevertable impact on the environment and ecology, the tremendous workload of immigration…Some people even critized such plan as a product of totalitarian regime that takes away resources from the unpreviliged in society.
    In fact, in a country long been plagued by severe cycles of droughts and floods, building large-scale water projects to “regulate the water” has long been one of core issues for Chinese governors. In comparison with the water saving project by allocating water ownership, this may be a more urgent and hotter topic in China now.


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