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Wastewater Use on California Crops Raises Questions

Image credit: “Crops, June 2008” Parker Knight © 2010Image credit: “Crops, June 2008” Parker Knight © 2010By Peak Johnson

Known as “produced water,” wastewater from oil production is being used to irrigate crops across 95,000 acres of California’s Central Valley, where many of the country’s fruits and vegetables are grown. 95,000 is not as much as it sounds, according to reports, when compared to the 9.6 million acres of farmland California irrigates every year.

“Some hail it as an innovative way to recycle the massive amounts of oil industry wastewater, while others have decried the practice, saying the human health effects have not yet been studied enough in depth.”

World Biogas Association Poised to Take a Bite Out of Climate Change

The recently launched World Biogas Association plans to help organizations across the globe promote anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies—and harness them to fight climate change.The recently launched World Biogas Association plans to help organizations across the globe promote anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies—and harness them to fight climate change.Anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies have immense potential to help meet the United Nations sustainable development goals, according to the founders of the World Biogas Association, launched at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 22 at Marrakesh, Morocco, last November. WBA will facilitate the adoption of anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies on a global scale.

Anaerobic digestion involves microbes digesting plant material in sealed containers, which produces biogas that can be used for heating, electricity, and other uses. The process also produces a biofertilizer (called digestate) that can be applied to land.

At the UNFCC COP 21 in Paris in 2015, 195 national governments adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement. It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, but with a target of less than 1.5 degrees.

AfDB approves US $391 million for Kenya’s water and sanitation project

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on November 9, 2016 approved US $391 million to help finance a major water and sanitation program in Kenya.

The Kenya Towns Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program is designed to improve access, quality, availability and sustainability of water supply in 19 towns and wastewater management services in 17 towns across the country.

The program aims to catalyze commercial activities, drive economic growth, improve quality of life of the people and build resilience against climate variability and change. These objectives would be achieved through construction and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation infrastructure including expansion into informal settlements; and capacity development of water service providers, sector regulators, and women and youth.

$6.7m for Nile Basin Initiative projects

As population growth, rapid urbanization and demand for agricultural land put pressure on Africa’s wetlands, countries in the Nile basin are looking to joint restoration and protection efforts for solutions.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), an intergovernmental partnership of 10 countries that form the Nile basin, says the target will be on conserving and protecting wetlands that are shared or those with a high ecological value.

Germany, through the Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), is funding the €6 million ($6.7 million) wetland protection project over a five-year period in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

“The plan is to ensure that these wetlands and the resources in them are sustainably utilized and managed,” said Paul Mafabi, the director for environmental affairs at Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment.

UNICEF Burundi Humanitarian Situation Report, 30 September 2016

unicefThe sociopolitical situation in Burundi remains tense and continues to spur on migration and humanitarian needs. In September, 15,958 people found refuge in neighboring countries (Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia), driving the total number of refugees to 301,994, the majority of whom continue to be children (54.6 per cent). The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) registered in seven provinces remains at 61,168 (IOM, July 2016), of which 59 per cent are children.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2