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Archive for the ‘irrigation’ Category

Praying for rain in parched Guyana

Posted by feww on March 28, 2010

People across drought-hit Guyana pray for rain

Drought has devastated the small South American nation’s rice and sugar production, triggering food shortages among its indigenous communities.

Political Map of Guyana.

Summary of Geography and Demographic

  • Capital: George Town (6°46′N 58°10′W)
  • Ethnic groups:
    • East Indian,  43.5%
    • Black, 30.2%
    • Mixed, 17%
    • Indigenous Amerindian, 9.1%
  • Area:
    • Total 214,999 km² (World’s 84th largest )
    • Water 8.4% water (!)
  • Population:
    • 2009 estimate 772,000 (World’s 160th most populous)
    • 2002 census 751,223
    • Density 3.5/km² (world’s 225th ranking)

Little Water for Irrigation

“The government of the former British colony of about 750,000 people is struggling to irrigate farmland, with water at storage points reaching dangerously low levels.” Reuters reported.

Guyana, Venezuela, and several countries in the region have experienced drought since the onset of El Niño last year.

“The Amerindian communities are really badly hit,” President Bharrat Jagdeo was reported as saying on Friday, referring to to the indigenous people who make up 10 percent of Guyana’s population. “We have been supplying food to some communities but I need to increase that significantly.”

“The state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation said this week that cane growth and development had been affected at five of its eight estates. Replanting had to be cut back on four estates, it said.” Reuters reported.

The full impact of drought on sugar production would be known at the end of the second crop of 2010, Guyana Sugar said.

Related Links:

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Parched Plain of Spain

Posted by feww on March 29, 2008

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly . . . Er, Nowhere!

The Spanish government has acted to lessen the drought impact for the second time this year, the driest winter in memory. Water has been diverted to ensure supplies to 2.5 million people in the parched southeastern regions.

To reduce its heavy dependence on on imported grain, Spain needs much water to irrigate crops, and to increase hydroelectric output. Water restrictions have been in force since 2003 in some regions of the country.

Sequia en España – Drought in Spain– Photo by Empordako Aharia
[Creative Commons License – Some rights reserved]

Water reservoirs for consumption and agricultural use are only 44.1 percent full (down from 51.5 percent a year ago), and reservoirs allocated to Spain’s power stations are at 54.5 percent of capacity (down from 77.1 percent last year). Hydroelectric turbines provided only about five percent of Spain’s total demand in the last two months, down from 12 percent in wet years. News Report

In 2006, the drought-stricken Spain and France had their lowest corn production in 50 years, while in some parts of Australia there was no wheat harvest, and in the United States corn production fell 6 percent.

Posted in crops, Drought, grain, Hydroelectric, irrigation, Rain, Spain | Leave a Comment »