Coal production and power generation has driven Ningxia’s economy over the past decade. However, as an extremely thirsty industry, coal has put more stress on the area’s water supply and heightened competition with other users, including farms and households.
A WRI working paper recommends developing a coordinated system to ensure sustainable development of water and economy in Ningxia.
Conflict in the Middle East and Africa is driving a human tsunami that has sent 500,000 people into Europe this year in the worst migration crisis since World War II. Beyond the conflict, however, there is another contributing factor: water scarcity.
Many of the world's biggest aquifers are being depleted much faster than they can be replenished, from the Middle East to India to California. New NASA satellite data reveals a looming global groundwater crisis.
In certain areas of the world, more than 80 percent of the local water supply is withdrawn by businesses, farmers, residents and other consumers every year. These areas are particularly vulnerable to episodic drought.
Many places around the world have no idea how much groundwater and surface water they have, let alone how much they can use sustainably. The United Nation's proposed Sustainable Development Goals, however, could transform the way governments understand and manage scarce water resources.