Clean water is a human right

John Vidal on the failure of privatisation to improve access to a vital resource
The Guardian Weekly - March 24-30, 2006

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UN pleads for aid as millions of Kenyans face starvation
Western tourists still "oblivious" to looming disaster in east Africa

By Inigo Gilmore and Anthony Mitchell
The Guardian Weekly - March 10-16, 2006

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Fair exchange for a fairer world

A current tax could be the best way to raise cash for developement, says Larry Elliot
The Guardian Weekly - March 10-16, 2006

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Environment - White elephant made of cotton
Greece's highest court last month blocked plans for the diversion of the river Acheloos for the third time
Thessaly Politicians are adamant that the project should go ahead

By Maria Kagkelidou
Athens News - July 8, 2005

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International News - UK News - Comment & Analysis
Things grow better with Coke
Tap water proves it can sparkle
Climate change - Hot investment

By Derek Brown and other journalists
The Guardian Weekly - November 5-11, 2004

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Kyoto wins key vote in Russian Parliament
Global warming pact will take effect after Moscow ratification

By Steven Lee Myers
International Herald Tribune - October 23-24, 2004

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Climate fear as CO2 soars
Scientists bewildered as carbon levels rise sharply for second year running

By Paul Brown
The Guardian Weekly - October 15-21, 2004

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Bangladesh suffers in silence
A million children face illness or death after double flooding washes away harvest

By Lucy Ward
The Guardian Weekly - October 8-14, 2004

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Putin clears the way for Russia to ratify Kyoto

By Paul Brown

Politicians, industry leaders and environment groups across the world welcomed the news last week that Russia had rejuvenated international efforts to combat climate change by moving towards ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

President Vladimir Putin's decision isolates the United States, and brings Russia closer economic and political ties with the EU.

The treaty, which commits 30 industrialised countries to legally binding greenhouse gas reduction targets, will kickstart a multibillion-dollar carbon trading market, boost the transfer of clean technologies to developing nations and promote joint ventures with countries in the former Soviet bloc. It is a blow to President George Bush, who repudi­ated the treaty on taking office and tried to persuade Mr Putin to do the same.

Russia's move means that US business will be cut out of the new carbon trading markets set up in London. Countries and companies in the scheme have targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions. If they exceed their targets, they can sell the extra carbon "saved" to other countries or companies that have failed to do so. The market is expected to be worth tens of billions a year.

Carbon trading and incentives to install renewables and other clean technologies in the treaty give European companies a financial advantage in joint trading agreements with former eastern bloc and developing countries. Because of the collapse of Russia's economy in the early 1990s, London traders estimated that Mr Putin's government has $10bn of carbon credits to sell on the international markets to countries that cannot meet their own targets.

International excitement about Kyoto began after the Russian cabinet announced that it had prepared the papers to ratify the treaty and was forwarding them to the Russian parliament, or Duma, for ratification.

Since Mr Putin's United Russia party controls two-thirds of the Duma, and he directed the cabinet to act, ratification is seen as a virtual certainty.

Outlook article
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High and Dry
Water Wars, Drought, Flood, Folly and the Politics of Thirst
Water Follies, Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters

Reviewed by Elizabeth Grossman
The Guardian Weekly - November 21-27, 2002

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Too darn hot as the water leaks away
New York diary

By Oliver Burkeman
The Guardian Weekly - April 25-May 1, 2002

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Nuclear power used to tap water from the oceans

By Jane Burgermeister
The Guardian Weekly - April 25-May 1, 2002

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Greenhouse gas funds "misused"
Compensation to companies is for cuts made just to meet legal levels, say critics

By Paul Brown
The Guardian Weekly - April 11-17, 2002

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Water of Strife
The polluted river that flows through Dhaka holds the key to life and death for 10m people. John Vidal meets the expert who has to balance competing demands

By John Vidal
The Guardian Weekly - April 11-17, 2002

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January 2002

Heavy snow covered most parts of Eastern Greece over the period of 3 – 5 January 2002. The depth of snow exceeded   1m even in the northern suburbs of Athens. The city of Athens was covered by snow creating lots of problems in communications. The event is characterized as an extreme event for the area. Regarding its intensity and duration the recurrence interval of the phenomenon is estimated to be thirty to fifty years. The water equivalent of snow for Viotia and Attica is estimated to be between 50 and 100 m.

Normal life in Athens was interrupted for three days. Schools and Universities remained closed for at least three days.


December 2001

Greece has been suffering from extreme weather conditions over the period 15th - 20th of December. Low temperatures reaching –18oC in some areas, heavy snowfall in most of the country (Central and Northern Greece) and floods in eastern Greece are some of the extreme weather conditions which occurred during the last days.

Many villages have been isolated and two trains were blocked for hours on the trucks. In the floods of the stream Diakoniaris, which crosses Patras, two people were reported lost. High damages in houses and shops in the central part of Patras have been reported.

The northern airports of the country remained closed for at least 2 days and ships remained in ports due to high wind over Aegean.


December 2001

The long lasting persistent Ω - blocking system in the upper atmosphere ( 500 HPA ) over Europe caused intense weather phenomena in Greece, as heavy rainfall, thunderstorms mainly over sea, snowfall over mainland as well as extremely low temperatures. Here are some data :

MILOS 53 mm  
SKIATHOS 67 mm  
ARAXOS 50 mm  
LARISA   -20


Height of snow reported at north Greece : ( About 2,00 meters).

NOTICE : The water snow equivalent is: 1cm fresh snow =1 mm water

National Meteorological Service/Hydrology


December 2001

Extreme weather conditions have been reported in the area of Aegean over the period 28, 29 and 30 of November. Samos, Ikaria, Naxos, Rhodes and other islands were hit by heavy rainfall events.

Significant Rainfall Amount Over Samos Island

A low pressure system in the upper atmosphere from W parts of Greece moving rapidly eastwards (28, 29 November 2001) caused serious amount of rainfall over east Aegean Greek islands, mainly Samos island.

Probably due to orographic effect (Kerketefs mountain, halt. 1450 m) high rainfall amount has been recorded in the met. station at Samos airport.

Point rainfall and intensity rate as well as historical data are as follows:
a. 12 hours period (28 Nov/20.00 UTC T till 29 Nov/8.00 UTC) rainfall amount 128 mm.
b. 1 hour max. intensity 38.00 mm.
c. Max ever recorded 12 hours rainfall: 176 mm (Sept. 1978)
d. Mean monthly November rainfall: 113 mm.

Serious havoc has been reported regarding livestock and olive trees.

Is to be taken into account the one week before rainfall in the island causing the earth saturation which may have reduced the infiltration rate

NOTICE: Generally the most wet month over Greece is November

National Meteorological Service/Hydrology


Greek Daily Kathimerini's report on Floods in Samos island

Schools remained close on Samos on Friday in the aftermath of the worst floods to have hit the eastern Aegean island in decades. Hundreds of houses and shops were flooded on Thursday, following torrential rain. Opposition leader Costas Karamanlis visited the island, as well as Aegean Minister Nikos Sifounakis, who promised financial aid for flood victims.


December 2001

Extreme rainfall depth (more than 220 mm in some areas) within the period of three consecutive days 2, 3 and 4 November (about 72 hours) was recorded in Attica (greece) causing floods in many parts of the region.

Two people died and severe losses of property were reported mainly in the eastern part of the region.

The main causes of these damaging floods are due to the extreme total rainfall depth with return period well above 50 years. The maximum rainfall depth for 24 hour duration was more than 80 mm corresponding to a return period of about 30 years.

According to scientists, the damages were kept rather low due to the small uniform intensity of rainfall and the high infiltrability of the soil resulting from a long lasting drought.

The flood risk in various areas of Attica is rather high due to the high inperviousness of large parts (urbanisation) of the area. On top of that some severe fires destroyed substantial parts of forests on the mountains around Athens during the last decade.