water

Saving Lives with Community-Led Total Sanitation

Without water people cannot survive, but without good sanitation and hygiene practices the water available could become contaminated and lead to disease and death.  Every year 1.5 million people, most of them children, die from complications associated with diarrhea that they picked up from dirty water.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 88% of diarrhea cases worldwide are linked to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.  Diarrhea is caused by bacteria that get into the water system, andcontinue reading

Water Heroes: Chewang Norphel – The “Ice Man”

The “Ice Man”.  Sounds like a pretty cool super hero, and he kind of is.  But you won’t find this super hero up on the big screen; you’ll find him in the Himalayas.  The Ice Man is actually 76 year old Chewang Norphel, a retired engineer in India that came up with an ingenious way to provide water to rural villages: artificial glaciers. Chewang grew up in Ladakh, a remote part of India high in the mountains near the Himalayas. continue 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

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

Water Picture of the Week

When most people think about water they think of liquid water, but we cant forget about all of the frozen water in the world.  Actually about 70% of the worlds freshwater is frozen in glaciers and ice caps. This picture was taken from the top of the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.    

Growing Vegetables from the Sea

Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s available freshwater every year.  With 20% of the world’s population living without access to adequate water giving 70% to agriculture is not very sustainable.  Good thing there are really smart people out there, and some of them came up with a system of using the ocean’s abundant source of water to irrigate crops, an idea that transformed into seawater greenhouses. The idea of seawater greenhouses was brought to the world in 1991 by acontinue reading

New Tech Helps Improve Sanitation in Jakarta Slums

Take a look at the picture above of a slum in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Now tell me how you would get a typical large sanitation truck through the slum in order to collect human “sludge”.  That’s a question that Mercy Corps’ Indonesian team asked themselves, and they came up with a great answer. In Indonesia 50,000 people die every year as a result of poor sanitation, most of them being in slums like the one above.  It’s understandable since none ofcontinue reading

A Movie Review: Poisoned Waters

              I had a couple of hours the other day so I decided to watch a Frontline documentary called Poisoned Waters.  As the name suggests it’s about water pollution and the consequences of that pollution focusing on a couple of different areas in the US.  I’ve never written a movie review so hopefully this will give you a good idea of what the movie is about without giving away too much information. The documentarycontinue reading

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