Water Ethics in the Paris Climate Talks

Ethics is increasingly acknowledged as a driver for mitigating climate change and its effects, but the specific potential of water ethics is rarely mentioned. Thus, the series of sessions organized by the NGO, France Libertés during the upcoming Paris Climate Talks are of special importance.  Topics will include Indigenous Peoples' and Youth perspectives, and strategies for re-establishing social solidarity around water.  Here is some background reading about water and climate: Agroecology in the News
  • What are the returns from investing 2/3 of the world's freshwater into agriculture and how can we get more total value from Ag water?  The E-Consultation on Transitions to Agroecology invites your thoughts about potential synergies between ecosystems and food production.  Please respond by 11 December via this questionnaire.
  • The CGIAR Program on Water, Land, and Ecosystems has issued a report on its activities, entitled,  "One year of uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction."
Between Storms: Thoughts on Sustainable Water Cultures, is a photo/text online installation by Cole/Woelfe-Erskine.

To Read

The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape, by Laura Allen, co-founder of Greywater Action, offers practical ways to put your water ethics into practice.

Society - Water - Technology:  A Critical Appraisal of Major Water Engineering Projects, a new book from Springer, from the Research Group “Society–Water-Technology” of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.  Free download, thanks to funding from the state governments of Berlin and Brandenburg, Germany.

Advice from on High, Christiana Peppard’s column in The Source (IWA's new online magazine).

Investing in Natural Capital for a Sustainable Future in the Greater Mekong Subregion, a new ADB report, offers a framework for promoting investments in natural capital.

Water Governance in Palestine, reports on a recent conference at The Hague Institute.

Infrastructure and Safeguards, blogpost by Vinod Thomas and David di Ferranti, cautions that the rush to build climate-proofing projects needs to include more attention to social and environmental safeguards.

Awash with Opportunity: Ensuring the sustainability of British Columbia's new water law, a new report from the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance.

The Cultural Politics of Waterscapes, by Amitangshu, published in the International Handbook of Political Ecology, unravels the political complexities of Chalika Lagoon at the mouth of the Mahanadi River, Odisha, India.

Water warriors – Stories on people and their relationship with water portrays water from the perspective of local communities, through an anthology of posts from the India Water Portal.  Download the book directly here (17 MB).

Report on the future of the UN Water Courses Convention.  Parties to the Convention met in September to consider its future management and whether it needs a formal institutional structure.  

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Featured Blogpost

Ethics, Water, Climate Change, and COP21 by Lucy Rodina, from the Water Ethics Network blog.  Quick summary: Lets protect people and water ecosystems together!

Featured Organization

River Network offers support to local watershed organizations in the United States, and has been instrumental in creating a grassroots movement for river protection.  See especially their bimonthly newsletters.

Featured Song

Ibeyi - River - A haunting reminder of the power of rivers: “Come to river…wash my soul…", from their debut album.
Featured Video

Together We Can Cool the Planet - a 15 min video from GRAIN shows how agro-ecology can be a climate solution.

Featured Design

Fire hydrants as water art in Montreal is an inspiring example of design thinking applied to urban water.

Upcoming Conferences

Perspectives on Food and Landscapes, organized by The Umbra Institute, Perugia, Italy—June 9-12, 2016.  Deadline for sessions/papers: 15 January.

"Geoethics: theoretical and practical aspects from research integrity to relationships between geosciences and society" will be a session within the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17–22 April 2016.

Recent Conference

Indigenous Perspectives on Sustainable Water Practices, organized by the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, convened participants from 13 tribal nations in the Western US.  Watch the presentations here, and see especially Janine Yazzie’s presentation, The Next Generation of Tribal Water Use.

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Last Updated November 2015

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