Dec 21, 14

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Maude Barlow: Hope and Real Action in the Face of Ecological Disaster

One of my personal heroes, Maude Barlow, recently gave a great speech at the Environmental Grantmakers Association entitled: We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us. The full speech is a long, but moving read, about the challenges the world faces and what we can do. It has been published in full online at AlterNet. Here are two excerpts: Part of the problem: The global water crisis is the greatest ecological and human threat humanity has ever...

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Hydromania

Israeli novelist Assaf Gavron's recent book Hydromania has yet to appear in English, as far as I can tell, but I'd love to read it when it does. [Image: The German cover of Hydromania by Assaf Gavron] (via BLDGBLOG) Set in a drought-stricken world "several decades into the future," run by "water corporations from China, Japan and the Ukraine," it follows the science fictionalized path of a "maverick water engineer" who has developed an illegal black-market technology for purifying rain...

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Water and Security in Iraq

The New Security Beat is on a roll of late, most recently running this short interview with Iraq’s first Minister of the Environment, Mashkat Al Moumi: NSB: Iraq’s water minister recently called the water infrastructure situation “a threat to national security.” Would you agree with that assessment?... MM: I definitely agree with Minister Latif Rasheed on his analysis. The lack of proper infrastructure to supply water aggravates the population against the government. The water...

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Dam Nation: Dispatches From the Water Underground

Ever since learning about water mapping from Georg Bertsch and about watershed-based planning in Toronto from Chris Hardwick at Doors 9 on Juice last year, I've been aware that we talked a lot about energy but not enough about water. This prompted me in a fit of guilt to buy a bunch of books about greywater harvesting; these now sit in a dispiriting and unread pile next to my bath. Then, bingo: I found this wonderful book called Dam Nation: Dispatches From the Water Underground which I...

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Digital Rivers: Complete Map of the World's River Systems Online Now

Bernhard Lehner, an assistant professor at McGill University in Montréal, has created the first accurate and complete map of the world's river systems, all in the digital domain. This river map allows rivers to be tracked across national boundaries. Lehner hopes that the map will be used to look at the impact of larger issues, like climate change. Cropped Screenshot of World Rivers Water Map (via National Geographic) To read more on this story see: "McGill Prof Creates First Accurate...

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Kickstarting Micro-Irrigation in West Africa

by Alex Tung In the hot, dry regions of West Africa, small-scale farmers can spend up to five hours a day irrigating their crops-hauling water in plastic buckets or in hollowed, dried out squashes known as calabashes. But several initiatives are helping farmers make more money without breaking their backs. One such initiative, Affordable Micro-Irrigation for Vegetable Production in West Africa, sponsors training workshops to encourage farmers from Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana to...

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Reframing Wastewater, Inventing Words, and Remembering Why We're Here

Looking back one, two and five years ago today on Worldchanging: 2009 Ashley Murray: Wastewater is a Resource Zoë Chafe nominates Ashley Murray as part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy Campaign; find out more about Ashley's work to help local governments design and retrofit sanitation systems for water reuse... 2008 Cowpooling and Super-Spikes, New Words Help Define Our World The words we use matter, and to keep apace with our quickly changing world, we are constantly looking for...

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Paper Industry is Waking Up to the Size of its Water Footprint

From pulp to paper is a thirsty process. Can the industry shrink its water mark? by Anna Simpson Knock a glass of water over a page. The fibers will soften, the ink will run, the corners will curl. Wet paper is no good to anyone, but few people realize just how much water goes into producing the dry, white page. “You need water to grow the trees, clean the wood, separate out the cellulose from the lignin, turn the pulp into paper, and then steam dry it,” says Gilles L’Hermitte,...

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3 World Water Wins

Around the world, people are taking control of their water supply. by Maude Barlow, Anil Naidoo, Meera Karunananthan Everybody needs water as much as they need air or food. So what happens when a corporation steps in and turns public water into private profit? It can spell disaster in a poor community or a place where clean water is scarce. Ten years ago, Bolivians made headlines when protests by Cochabamba’s people overturned a private water contract that made water rates...

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Peer Water Exchange: A Web-Based Platform for Global Water and Sanitation Projects

Nominated by Howard Silverman Peer Water Exchange, a project of the Blue Planet Run Foundation, has caught my attention for its savvy program design. The web-based platform enables prospective water and sanitation projects around the world to seek funding through a transparent process of extended peer review and Q&A. If a project gets funded, its status reports are also open to public view. Completed projects are assessed through 3rd-party visits from a network of global partners that...

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