Water

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Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015. Kud Sitango

As Papua New Guinea faces worsening drought, a past disaster could save lives

Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
As control over water returns to the state, the Indonesian government should carefully develop policies to manage and monitor water services. nikkytok/www.shutterstock.com

What next after Jakarta ends water privatisation?

The de-privatisation of water services in Jakarta creates new challenges for the government to ensure universal access to water.
Go with the flow: scarce water has allowed Outback species to persist for millennia, where otherwise they might have died out. Jenny Davis

Australia needs a plan to protect the Outback’s precious water

The Outback covers 70% of Australia, and its water is precious and scarce. Yet there is no joined-up plan to monitor and manage Outback water, despite the wealth of species and communities that depend on it.
Southern Africa has rivers, like the Zambezi, that run through a number of countries. How best to manage this is the challenge. Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Time to allow water management to take its own course

Southern African countries do not face water scarcity and do not need to build joint water projects. But they do need talk to each other to avoid misunderstandings.
More land than water: almond trees account for 10% of the state’s water reserves, according to some estimates. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

California’s water paradox: why enough will never be enough

California is blessed with so much agricultural land that no matter how much the state conserves or produces, there will also be an economic incentive to consume more water.

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