World Water Day - March 22
World Water Day has become an important opportunity to raise awareness with events around the world. Click here for a list of international events from UN Water. Here is our own list of offerings:
Water Policies and Climate Change
Environmental Flow Norm for Mexico
A new Mexican "Norm" establishes a national procedure to determine eflows in hydrological basins and acknowledges the environment as the supplier of the resource, thus representing a decisive step in Mexico’s shift to managing water savings rather than scarcity. Environmental flows are defined by the National Water Law as the amount of water that must be maintained in an aquifer, stream or water body, in order to protect environmental conditions and ecological balance within a hydrological basin. Click here for details [from eflownet.org].
The Water, Climate and Development Program organized a Technical Coordination workshop in Pretoria last month (click here for agenda). The conference website contains an overview of the conference and links to background documents.
The WSP (Water and Sanitation Program) and the Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice (CCACoP) offered a free webinar last month on water and climate resilience from the perspective of the insurance industry. This was a follow-on to a November 2012 webinar sponsored by the Polis Water Project.
An EU workshop on Halting Desertification in the Júcar River Basin, Spain identifies water management measures that have wider applicability. Click here for the workshop conclusions, and for a list of presentations.
Building water resilience through ecosystem-based adaptation is the advice offered in the German-funded report, "Mainstreaming climate change adaptation in national level planning" focusing on Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Click here to download (2 MB).
Urban Lake Ethics
Puttenahalli Lake in Bangalore, India is an example of what people can do to restore a lake, and also recharge the water table. Seeing a 13 acre lake misused to the point of becoming extinct, four local residents launched an awareness campaign in the neighborhood and built a strong base of goodwill and support which in turn attracted local government interest. Click here for a short video; another video describes the restoration of Katikondrahalli Lake [from a blogpost by Usha Rajagopalan].
To Read / Watch
CEO Water Mandate Conference, "Corporate Water Stewardship And The Post-2015 Development Agenda: Drawing From The India Experience", Mumbai, March 5, 2013 provides a revealing look at corporate water ethics, particularly in the concluding panel discussion (YouTube).
Murray Darling River Agreement. The government will devote $US 1.77 billion to purchase water rights from current users that will be reserved for the environment, updates to irrigation infrastructure, and smarter water management. [from Circle of Blue]
Water as a Human Right. The European Citizens Initiative (ECI) ‘Water is a Human Right’ became the first ECI in the history of the European Union to have collected over 1 million signatures.
UN Statement on water and sanitation inequities calls for the post-2015 development agenda to prioritize access to water and sanitation for vulnerable populations.
Green growth and alternative water allocation mechanisms. Presentations from a workshop on Water Allocation and Green Growth, 22–23 Nov. 2012 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Extractive Industries Source Book (draft chapter on sustainable development) outlines "Good-Fit Practice Activities in the International Oil, Gas, and Mining Industries." [Thanks to Daniel Gilbert for this info.]
Reconciliation with the river: Analysis of a concept emerging from practice, by Rafael Ziegler, Greifswald Environmental Ethics Papers, Sept. 2012, highlights the case of a small river in NE Germany to suggest how we can restore not only rivers, but our strained relationships with those rivers.
Finding Ground for a Relational Ethic, by Emily Nguyen-Vo, Minding Nature, Issue 18, reviews recent theories about the relationship between humans and nature.
Letting it Flow: Towards a Phenomenology of Water in the Age of Modern Technology by Remmon E. Barbaza, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, in Kritika Kultura, 2012 [Thanks to Jeremy Schmidt for this reference].
Country, Native Title, and Ecology, edited by Jessica Weir, founder and Coordinator of the Australian Center for Land and Water Research (ACLWR), is published by Australian National University as a free(!) ebook which explores contemporary Aboriginal relationships to "country".
Water Infrastructure in West Africa: Guidelines for Development. A manual from the Water Resources Centre of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Water Cooperation. UNW-DPAC has produced a series of information briefs for the International Year of Water Cooperation, including
• Water Cooperation and
• Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Missing Ethics of Mining by Shefa Siegel, in the current issue of Ethics and International Affairs highlights the lack of explicit social, land and water ethics in the mining industry.
Ethical Dimensions of Climate Change, and why politicians cannot ethically substitute their own uninformed opinions for science in setting policy. Donald Brown (ethicsandclimate.org) a lawyer and climate activist, provides a succint video (11 min.) and blogpost featuring, inter alia, two climate denying American politicians, Mark Rubio and James Inholfe.
eFlow Newsletter. The March issue of the eFlow newsletter, available from www.eflow.net, provides a range of news about environmental water ethics.
Remunicipalization is a new book by the Transnational Institute (www.tni.org) describing how the pendulum is swinging back to a preference for public management of urban water utilities. A related video highlights the remunicipalization experience of Buenos Aires and Paris.
Environmental Flows: Saving Rivers in the Third Millennium, a new book by Angela H. Arthington (University of California Press) demonstrates how the new ecological ethic of e-flow is making a difference for rivers.
A Practical Guide to Environmental Flows for Policy and Planning in the United States, a new report from The Nature Conservancy explores how six US states and three interstate river basins are effectively developing and implementing regionalized eflows criteria in water resource planning.
Maintaining a River’s Healthy Life? An Inquiry on Water Ethics and Water Praxis in the Upstream Region of China’s Yellow River, by Lilin Kerschbaumer and Konrad Ott, Water Alternatives, Vol. 6, Issue 1.
Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources is a new report by the Council of Canadian Academies, and sets a valuable precedent for holding agriculture accountable to standards of sustainable water use.
Governing International Watercourses: River Basin Organizations and the Sustainable Governance of Internationally Shared Rivers and Lakes, is a new book by Susanne Schmeier, published by Earthscan.
Measuring Progress towards an Inclusive Green Economy, introduces a framework for the use of indicators in tracking green economy policies. (from UNEP, Dec. 2012)
Mercury: Time to Act is not about the climate getting warmer, but about the global treaty on mercury, with updates from the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment 2013.
Refining the water footprint concept to account for non-renewable water resources, by Sarah Dickin, is a new report from The Global Water Forum. The paper proposes accounting separately for non-renewable vs. renewable groundwater use.
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