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World Water Day -
Live from the Vatican!

The Vatican is hosting a high-profile Watershed conference on World Water Day, March 22. Pope Francis will deliver an address about water around 10am CET (Rome time), followed by the Conference of 400 thought leaders with speakers and discussions. 

If you're not one of the lucky invitees, you can join by livestream starting at 10am.  Less splashy events will take place around the world, or you might prefer to create your own observance!


Update from Standing Rock
The Water Protectors lost their battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but the struggle for water justice has gained global prominence, from the Native Nations Rise march in Washington, DC (March 12, 2017) to renewed awareness of the cultural and environmental stakes wrapped up in water and energy policies.

Water and Social Justice

Water Justice has become a new Civil Rights Movement in the United States, with a growing sense that the systemic racism implicated in the Flint, Michigan water crisis has echos in other cities as well.  Even so, the neighboring cities of Flint and Detroit continue to serve as well-deserved symbols of water injustice, spurring new initiatives by local NGOs, such as a mapping project identifying homes whose water has been cut for non-payment (in violation of the UN mandate that water access is a human right).

In France, where a law was passed in 2014 to prohibit residential water cut-offs for non-payment, it is open to some interpreation.  Veolia is suing two activist French NGOs (Frances Libertés  and Coordination Eau Ile de France) for defamation, in the wake of their campaign to enforce compliance and promote citizens' water rights. Now the two NGOs have a new campaign: raising funds for their legal defense, under the title, "We will not be silent!" [On ne se taira pas!]


TO READ/WATCH

Water Ethics: Orientation for Water Conflicts as Part of Inter- and Transdisciplinary Deliberation, by Armin Grunwald (Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe, Germany), is a chapter in a new Open Access book from Springer, on Society, Water, and Technology.

International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Position Statement on Water Stewardship.  Representing 23 of the world's largest mining companies, this position statement offers its own definition of "water stewardship."  

Recognizing Indigenous Water Cultures and Rights in Mine Water Management: The Role of Negotiated Agreements, article by S. Jackson and M. Barber in Aquatic Procedia, Volume 5, October 2015.

Participatory Gender Training for Community Groups, a training manual from IWMI Nepal, suggests building on participants' own experiences to generate critical discussion of gender roles and relations.

Newsletter on IWRM for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean features mining conflicts, WASH policies, and other current issues.

Public Policy Guidelines for Integrated Landscape Management, by S. Shames, K. Heiner, and S. Scherr, a new report from EcoAgriculture Partners.

Governance structures and strategies to support innovation and adaptability, report by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities (Australia) suggests that, “incremental policy changes which progressively challenge these institutions need to be actively fostered”.

Cultural Water in Australia (21 min video) features Brad Moggridge, hydrologist and Aboriginal water rights activist, presenting the 2016 Water Stewardship Oration, in Melbourne, Australia.

Alliance for Water Stewardship, "Reflections on Progress" reports on the past two years of the ongoing campaign to promote "water stewardship" as a global business standard.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for the Oceans is a new Policy Brief from Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and other partners.

Climate change is water change: integrating water management, mitigation and adaptation laws and policies, by Emma Carmody,  Environmental Defenders Office, NSW, published in Australian Environment Review 31(10) 2017.

Beyond the Source:  The environmental, economic and community benefits of source water protection, an important new report from The Nature Conservancy shows how water funds can incentivize protection of water ecosystems.

Reflections on Water: Knowing a River, an article by Marianna Dudley about the Severn River, UK, published by the Rachel Carson Center, in RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 2016, no. 4, 47–54.   [See additional publications from the Center, here.]

River Journeys, from International River Foundation features stories of restored rivers that have been awarded prizes from the Foundation over the past 20 years.

Pop-up Sanitation for the homeless in San Francisco, uses converted buses (article from the San Francisco Chronicle).  See also this 4-min. video about Lava Mae, the social entrepreneur who started this initiative. 

 

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The Water Ethics Newsletter is an initiative of the Water-Culture Institute.  Submit news/views to network@waterculture.org to be included in the next Newsletter. 

 
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News Briefs

I am Lake Urmia is a social media campaign in Iran to raise awareness about the plight of this closed-basin lake and associated wetlands.

Whanganui River on New Zealand's North Island, is now legally endowed with the rights of personhood, after several years of legal process.  The designation has been pursued by Maori leaders as a way to protect the river from harmful exploitation.


Recent Events

Watersheds 2016: Building Capacity for Collaboration and Watershed Governance in British Columbia, Sept 30-Oct. 1 in Vancouver, focused on Indigenous values and water ethics.  The Proceedings (with links to videos of keynote presentations) are an excellent resource for water ethicists!


Upcoming Events

Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17), 21-23 March 2017 at FAO-Rome, will explore the role of soil management for climate mitigation and adaptation (e.g., carbon-rich soils hold more water).

Indigenous Water Initiatives: Achievements and Capacity Gaps, Webinar with Indigenous water experts, Kate Cave, Genevieve Layton-Cartier, Shannon Squire and
Ashley Doyle, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 13:00-14:30 MDT.

Preparations for the World Water Forum in Brasilia (in March 2018) are underway.  You can join an interactive platform, Your Voice, (Register separately for each of the six topics).  The 2nd Stakeholder Consultation Meeting will be held in Brasilia on April 26-27, 2017.



Featured Organization

Experience Water was an Academic Engagement Program at San Diego State University during 2013-2014 and continues as a website and news feed about regional water issues.


ARTS Corner

AQUA - Contemporary Artists and Water Issues, an international traveling exhibition about our collective responsibility on the role and use of water, will open in Geneva on 22 March 2017, World Water Day.  See the Press Kit  with profiles of all 32 artists.

Urban Drinking Water Challenges in India, is a photo essay from Millennium Water Stories. [See also, Government Response to Urban Water Challenges.

Water Tank Project is making water (tanks) visible in New York City!

 

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Last Updated March 2017

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