Environment

Protecting our Waterways Naturally: Riparian Buffers

You’re standing on a farm looking out over a huge group of cows to your left.  The smell is pretty bad, and you’re disgusted by the cows walking around in their waste without a care in the world.  You glance over to your right and notice a beautiful stream that runs along the farm and then continues on.  All of the sudden the clouds open up and a downpour hits. As the rain comes down the ground is getting saturatedcontinue reading

The Plight of the Gulf of California

  Let’s talk about the beautiful Gulf of California, which exists in all of its beauty because of the flow of freshwater from the Colorado River.  A flow that is reaching the Gulf less and less nowadays.  You see, since the damming of the Colorado River the amount of water that reaches the mouth of the river in Mexico has dropped, and in certain years no water reaches the mouth.  That’s a problem. The Gulf of California is important forcontinue reading

Water Heroes: Juan Pablo Orrego – Protecting Patagonia

Seeing as I’ve been writing and posting articles (on facebook) about dams quite a bit lately I figured I’ll talk about someone fighting against dams in this edition of Water Heroes, and that person is Juan Pablo Orrego.  Juan has been fighting for over 20 years to protect Chile’s magnificent Patagonia from the destruction of dam projects, and has had a very positive impact.   In 1997 he won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize and in 1998 he won the Rightcontinue reading

Another Damn Dam: The Grand Renaissance Dam

A while back I wrote about the Gibb III Dam in Ethiopia and the efforts by the Friends of Lake Turkana to stop it (FoLT and the Gibb III).  Today I’m going to write about another dam being built in Ethiopia (coincidentally by the same Italian company), the Grand Renaissance Dam.  This dam which was started about a year ago is on the Blue Nile and will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.  When completed it is saidcontinue reading

Ethiopia’s Lake Koka: The Green Lake

Lake Koka in Ethiopia started out as…well, as nothing.  It is a man-made lake that was formed by the damming of the Awash River back in the 1960s.  For many years after the lake was formed it was a place where tourist came to marvel at the beauty and wildlife.  For the thousands of people who live in the area it is used for everything from washing and drinking to irrigation and fishing.  Basically it is the reason that theycontinue reading

Water Heroes: Lynn Henning – Battling Livestock Pollution

Welcome to this week’s edition of Water Heroes.  This week we’re talking about Lynn Henning who has gained notoriety due to her persistence in fighting for clean water in Michigan.  Since 2000 she has been working to stop water pollution coming from large livestock farms around her home, throughout Michigan, and now in other states in the country.  Her advocacy and hard work has earned her the prestigious Goldman Prize in 2010 and the 2012 Planet Defender Award, and shecontinue reading

Water Heroes: Ma Jun – 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize Winner

Welcome back for another edition of Water Heroes.  This week I’ll be talking about Ma Jun who has just received the Goldman Environmental Prize for “bringing unprecedented environmental transparency and empowering Chinese citizens to demand justice”.  Ma is no stranger to the environment.  He has been an environmentalist in China for years, and is also a writer, environmental consultant, journalist, and is director of the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, or the IPE.  Let’s take a look at somecontinue reading

Who Do You Buy Your Clothing From?

Are the companies that make your clothes environmentally friendly?  For a lot of us the answer is no.  Yesterday I stumbled onto a new report released by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs on water pollution from the textile/apparel industry in China.  This report, titled Cleaning up the Fashion Industry, quoted a 2010 report as saying the textile industry in China ranked 4th in wastewater COD emissions and 3rd for overall wastewater discharge out of its 39 industries.  Althoughcontinue reading

Wastewater Solutions: Artificial Wetlands

 A problem that is common for cities around the world is what to do with their wastewater.  In western societies the most common way to treat wastewater is through a wastewater treatment plant where chemicals and biological elements are added to treat the water.  However, for a lot of the world these plants are too expensive and they lack the expertise required to run the plant.  A cheaper and more ecofriendly way to treat wastewater is by using the environment,continue reading

Water Heroes: Ms. Ikal Angelei and the FoLT

Welcome to another edition of Water Heroes.  Today we’re meeting Ms. Ikal Angelei who is the Founder and Director at the Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT) organization.  The organization’s main purpose is to stop the construction of the Gilgel Gibe III Dam which is upstream of Lake Turkana and threatens the lake, the surrounding environment, and the area’s people.  They are doing this by educating the public, the government, diplomatic missions and the public about the possible dangers that thiscontinue reading

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