Environment

A Few Good Reads

Hey everyone, I’m having a busy week and don’t have time to write anything, but I wanted to get something posted so here are a few of my favorite WASH related books. Book titles occasionally include the term field guide in a euphemistic sense, and such works very rarely are actually used in the trenches. With Field Guide to Environmental Engineering for Development Workers, however, a more literal take is in order. Indeed, on the inside front cover the readercontinue reading

The Story of Ralegan Siddhi: Bringing Water Back to Life

The Story of Ralegan Siddhi: Bringing Water Back to Life

Today I want to share with you an inspiring story of success.  It’s a sort of rags-to-riches story.  But this story doesn’t have to do with money (specifically); it has to do with the power of water.  This story starts in 1975 in the Indian village of Raleghan Siddhi. Raleghan Siddhi is in a drought-prone and rain-shadowed area of India, receiving between 450-650mm (17.5-25.5 inches) of water annually in a place where temperatures can reach 44 degrees (111 degrees fahrenheit). continue reading

Water Heroes – Dr. Peter Morgan: 2013 Stockholm Water Prize Winner

Water Heroes – Dr. Peter Morgan: 2013 Stockholm Water Prize Winner

There are a lot of good people in the world that are making great efforts to bring clean water and improved sanitation facilities to those who need it throughout the world, and their efforts are paying off.  Between 1990 and 2010 two billion people gained access to clean water and 1.8 billion people gained access to improved sanitation facilities according to the World Health Organization.  Even with these encouraging figures, there are still a lot of people in the worldcontinue reading

Celebrating World Water Day 2013

In honor of World Water Day on March 22 I wanted to give you a brief history on World Water Day.  Before I do that let’s look at some facts about water and the worldwide water (and sanitation) crisis: If you look at all the water in the world you’d find that: 97.5% of it is saltwater and therefore cannot be used for drinking water (it could be desalinated, but this is costly and takes a lot of energy, pluscontinue reading

Bottled Water: Why It’s Bad for You, the Environment, and Water – Part III

Part III: Why Bottled Water is Bad for Water Welcome to Part III of Bottled Water: Why It’s Bad for You, the Environment, and Water.  In Part III I’ll be looking at the impacts that bottled water has on water itself (and therefore on the communities and environment near this water).  First I wanted to say thanks to everyone that has been commenting on Part I and II.  It’s been great to hear your thoughts and discuss the tragedy whichcontinue reading

Bottled Water: Why It’s Bad for You, the Environment, and Water – Part II

Part II: Why Bottled Water is Bad for the Environment Welcome to Part II of the series Bottled Water: Why It’s Bad for You, the Environment, and Water.  In Part I I talked about why bottled water is bad for you, and now in Part II I’ll be talking about why bottled water is bad for the environment.  There was a great response to Part I, and thank you to everyone that commented on it.  If you missed Part Icontinue reading

Polluted Rivers: Argentina’s Matanza-Riachuelo River

Today let’s travel to Argentina and take a look at the heavily polluted Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin.  This river (it’s actually more of an estuary), which meanders for 40 miles through Buenos Aires, has been heavily polluted for years by industrial waste, sewage, and everyday garbage.   For the seven million people that live near or along the river that means dirty water, dirty air, and a number of health problems. The pollution in this river is not new for Argentina.  Forcontinue reading

Summary of Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction; A Report by the Pacific Institute

Today I wanted to give a summary of a report put out by the Pacific Institute titled Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Resources: Separating the Frack from the Fiction.  The Pacific Institute, which has been around for 25 years, released the paper which was written by Heather Cooley and Kristina Donnely in June of this year.  For this report they conducted extensive interviews with experts from state and federal agencies, academia, industry, environmental groups, and community based organizations from throughout thecontinue reading

The Niger Delta: Soaked in Oil

Like many places around the world the Niger Delta is cursed.  It’s cursed by the vast resources that lay underground in the form of oil.  Since the 1950’s the Nigerian government along with multinational corporations have been extracting oil from this region and devastating the ecosystem and its people.  Today, Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, extracting 2 million barrels of oil a day, leading to oil making up 80% of their national revenue. So who’s pumping all of thiscontinue reading

Why Hydroelectricity from Large Dams is Not Clean

It’s common, if not the rule, for hydroelectricity from dams to be listed as clean energy.  With approximately 845,000 dams worldwide (~80,000 in the US) it seems like people have for a long time believed this to be true, and you can’t really blame them.  Dam building is often a very political issue and politicians often lead people to believe this myth.  Besides that, without knowing all of the facts it would seem like they are clean; you have acontinue reading

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