Sustainable Practices

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 Qanat: An Ancient Technology Still Delivering Water Today

I was doing some light reading on hydrogeology the other day and came upon something that interested me, and hopefully will be of some interest and/or use to you.  I’m always fascinated by history and the way ancient civilizations came up with ingenious ways to survive in harsh conditions, and what I found in my book was exactly that. The technology I’m talking about is called a qanat.  Well, that’s what it was called in what is present-day Iran, whichcontinue reading

Got Toilets? Benefits of the Rural Sanitation Mart

Got Toilets?  Benefits of the Rural Sanitation Mart

Happy New Year to everyone, and I hope it’s been a good one so far!  I’m going to start out this year by talking about sanitation and a type of business that is helping people to gain access to improved sanitation and hygiene, the Rural Sanitation Mart (RSM).  But first, let’s talk about why RSMs are even needed. Maybe some of you are sitting on your porcelain throne right now as you’re reading this, but unfortunately 2.5 billion people worldwidecontinue 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

Stealing Water from the Sky: Fog Catching

Stealing Water from the Sky: Fog Catching

Growing up near San Francisco, California (and now living there) I have always had to deal with the inevitable fog that rolls in from the ocean seemingly every day.  Everyone is always complaining about the fog ruining their day and the depression of weeks on weeks of endless fog.  Needless to say, I have never been very fond of the stuff.   Because the people living in the San Francisco area are very fortunate and don’t have to worry about watercontinue 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

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

  There are many places in the world that depend solely on their groundwater for drinking, irrigating crops, or anything else requiring water. As population increases and industries expand in these areas more groundwater is required which can lead to its unsustainable use.  When this happens wells must be dug deeper at a cost to the owner (if wells can even reach the water anymore), polluted water can fill the void left by low water levels in the aquifer, andcontinue reading

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

Ensuring the Availability of Groundwater: Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)

There are many places in the world that depend solely on their groundwater for drinking, irrigating crops, or anything else requiring water. As population increases and industries expand in these areas more groundwater is required which can lead to its unsustainable use.  When this happens wells must be dug deeper at a cost to the owner (if wells can even reach the water anymore), polluted water can fill the void left by low water levels in the aquifer, and forcontinue reading

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