Water Crisis in Asia
As the contradictions of Asia’s water challenges have been laid bare this summer—with millions affected by flooding while others are hit by droughts—one thing has been made clearer: the coming water crisis could exacerbate already simmering domestic and regional tensions.
Heavy monsoon rains have produced the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history, with more than three weeks of flooding leaving at least 1,500 dead and more than 4 million homeless. Millions of Pakistanis already require humanitarian assistance, yet the likelihood that many more could be added to this list has grown with the announcement that 200,000 have been evacuated as flood waters continue to rise in Singh Province in the country’s south.
Meanwhile, flash floods and mudslides have submerged some villages in China’s Gansu Province, killing hundreds and leaving more than a thousand missing. Today, Chinese state media announced 250,000 had been evacuated in the north of the country after the Yalu River burst its banks.
But while attention has been focused on disasters in Pakistan in China, South-east Asia has been hit by its own torrential downpours. Last month, Singapore suffered three major floods—an unprecedented number for the prosperous city state—with even the shopping and financial districts hit in the first serious flooding disaster in the city since 1978.
Vietnam has also been affected, with many parts of Hanoi under water last month after a major storm struck the country. What added insult to injury in Vietnam’s case is that the flooding came after a nine-month dry spell that disrupted the country’s power supply (about a third of Vietnam’s power source comes from hydroelectric power plants whose operations have been adversely affected by falling water levels in the Mekong River).
Article continues: http://the-diplomat.com/2010/08/23/asia%E2%80%99s-water-crisis/