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Private water suppliers hit pay dirt as water crisis worsens - The Hindu

Private water suppliers hit pay dirt as water crisis worsens - The Hindu | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The HinduPrivate water suppliers hit pay dirt as water crisis worsensThe HinduWith the drinking water crisis getting worse in the city, most Bangaloreans are forced to depend entirely on private water suppliers.

Dahil sa hirap ng tubig sa India, biglang naging malaking negosyo ang delivery ng tubig sa bahay-bahay. Nakontrol ng mga pribadong kumpanya ang supply ng tubig kaya sila ngayon ang yumayaman sa kahirapan ng tubig.

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Pacific Bluefin Tuna Population Has Dropped 97% ("give this fish a break before they are all gone")

Pacific Bluefin Tuna Population Has Dropped 97% ("give this fish a break before they are all gone") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna.

The latest scientific assessment paints a likely bleak future for the Pacific bluefin tuna, a sushi lovers’ favorite whose population has dropped by more than 97% from its historic levels. 

A draft summary of a report by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean seen by The Associated Press shows the current population of bluefin tuna is estimated at 2.6% of its “unfished” size. A previous assessment put the population at an already dire 4.2%. 

Overfishing has continued despite calls to reduce catches to allow the species to recover. In some areas, bluefin tuna is harvested at triple the levels considered to be sustainable. 

“The situation is really as bad as it appears,” said Amanda Nickson, director for Global Tuna Conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Limits imposed after the previous estimates actually allowed some countries to up their catches, she said.

“If those managers again fail to act in a conservation-minded way this time, it may be time for other actions, such as an international trade ban or complete fishing moratorium,” Nickson said.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Can our chefs start crossing out tuna dishes from their menu?
Recent reports from Gen. Santos City, the Philippines' tuna capital, reveal that short-term fishing bans resulted in a modest recovery of the tuna population.

"An earlier estimate put the 2014 population of the bluefin at 26,000 tons. The most recent reduced that estimate by 9,000 tons, to 17,000 tons. 
"If the population of Pacific bluefins drops much further, it may no longer be economically feasible to fish for them. 
"At that point, “Pacific bluefin would be considered commercially extinct,” Nickson said."
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The Business Case for Science-Based Water Targets ("everyone knows problem but solutions disunited")

The Business Case for Science-Based Water Targets ("everyone knows problem but solutions disunited") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

A World Resources Institute analyst points out that while companies and governments have found consistency in how they approach carbon emissions and climate change, a standardized approach toward water stewardship is lacking.

It has become even more obvious that water scarcity poses one of the largest overall risks to the planet, and therefore, to businesses worldwide. Despite successes in boosting water access to more people across the globe, the United Nations made water and sanitation one of its foremost sustainability goals. The U.N. estimates that by 2050, when 9 billion people are expected to live on Earth, one in four citizens will be affected by chronic water shortages. The World Economic Forum identified water crises as the world’s largest economic risks over the next decade. Furthermore, Ceres, an NGO that advocates for sustainability leadership within the private sector, has long pushed for more proactive water stewardship, from more action at the corporate board level to pushing insurance companies to take water scarcity more seriously. More companies are paying attention to water-related challenges, but the road ahead is still a very long one. But as Paul Reig of the World Resources Institute (WRI) points out, while companies and governments have found consistency in how they approach carbon emissions and climate change, a standardized approach toward economic risks related to water is seriously lacking. According to Reig, three main challenges stand in the way of businesses tackling challenges related to water scarcity. First, a one-size-fits-all approach toward water stewardship is not tenable as water risks vary greatly depending on location. Reig reminds us that in the case of emissions, the impact of greenhouse gases is the same everywhere. But with water, the risks and solutions are far more complex. Water is a local source, not one that is global. What is the source of water across a company’s value chain? Where is that water discharged? Are there ways in which water use can not only be more optimized, but even reused so that companies score an economic benefit?

Bert Guevara's insight:
"First, a one-size-fits-all approach toward water stewardship is not tenable as water risks vary greatly depending on location. Reig reminds us that in the case of emissions, the impact of greenhouse gases is the same everywhere. But with water, the risks and solutions are far more complex. Water is a local source, not one that is global. What is the source of water across a company’s value chain? Where is that water discharged? Are there ways in which water use can not only be more optimized, but even reused so that companies score an economic benefit?"
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36 per cent of coral reefs on death watch due to global warming, El Nino ("we can only watch death")

36 per cent of coral reefs on death watch due to global warming, El Nino ("we can only watch death") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

While dramatic images of unprecedented total bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are stunning the world, thousands of miles to the east conditions are somehow even worse.

The coral on the sea floor around the Pacific island of Kiritimati looked like a boneyard in November — stark, white and lifeless. But there was still some hope. This month, color returned with fuzzy reds and browns — but that's not good news. Algae has overtaken the lifeless coral on what had been some of the most pristine coral reefs on the planet, said University of Victoria coral reef scientist Julia Baum after dozens of dives in the past week. Maybe 5 percent will survive, she estimated.

"What it really looks like is a ghost town," Baum said. "It's as if the buildings are standing but no one's home." Kiritimati is where El Nino, along with global warming, has done the most damage to corals in the past two years, experts said. While dramatic images of unprecedented total bleaching on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are stunning the world, thousands of miles to the east conditions are somehow even worse. "This El Nino has its most powerful grip right at this spot," said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb in a telephone interview from the island 2,000 miles south of Hawaii.

About 36 per cent of the world's coral reefs — 72 per cent of the U.S. reefs — are in such warm water they are under official death watch, and that could rise to up to 60 per cent of the world's coral by July, said Mark Eakin, the coral reef watch coordinator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Eakin said Kiritimati was the worst he's seen, with American Samoa a close second.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Coral reefs are important for fishing; nearly half a billion people rely on coral reef marine life for food, Eakin said. 
"Coral reefs cover only one-tenth of one per cent of the sea floor but are home to 25 per cent of all marine species..."

"It's the heat that's killing the coral. In December, temperatures at Kiritimati peaked at 88.5 degrees (31.4 degrees Celsius) and have been about 5 to 7 degrees warmer than normal. That's the kind of temperature spike that can be the difference between life and death for coral, Eakin said. 
"Water temperatures around the island are nearly a degree Fahrenheit warmer than the last big El Nino, in 1997-98, and the damage is far worse, likely an assist from man-made warming on top of the natural transitory warming from El Nino, Cobb said."
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Antarctic loss could double expected sea level rise by 2100, scientists say ("future not good")

Antarctic loss could double expected sea level rise by 2100, scientists say ("future not good") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

If carbon emissions continue unabated, expanding oceans and massive ice melt would threaten global coastal communities, according to new projections.

Sea levels could rise nearly twice as much as previously predicted by the end of this century if carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated, an outcome that could devastate coastal communities around the globe, according to new research published Wednesday. The main reason? Antarctica. Scientists behind a new study published in the journal Nature used sophisticated computer models to decipher a longstanding riddle about how the massive, mostly uninhabited continent surrendered so much ice during previous warm periods on Earth. They found that similar conditions in the future could lead to monumental and irreversible increases in sea levels. If high levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue, they concluded, oceans could rise by close to two meters in total (more than six feet) by the end of the century. The melting of ice on Antarctica alone could cause seas to rise more than 15 meters (49 feet) by 2500. The startling findings paint a far grimmer picture than current consensus predictions, which have suggested that seas could rise by just under a meter at most by the year 2100. Those estimates relied on the notion that expanding ocean waters and the melting of relatively small glaciers would fuel the majority of sea level rise, rather than the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Most people are still downplaying the dangers of sea level rise. Recently however, the forecasted rise has doubled because of the polar melting. Check out this article to find out.

“People should not look at this as a futuristic scenario of things that may or may not happen. They should look at it as the tragic story we are following right now,” said Eric Rignot, an expert on Antarctica’s ice sheet and an earth sciences professor at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in Wednesday’s study. “We are not there yet … [But] with the current rate of emissions, we are heading that way.”
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Great Barrier Reef: aerial survey reveals extent of coral bleaching ("the tragedy slowly happening")

Great Barrier Reef: aerial survey reveals extent of coral bleaching ("the tragedy slowly happening") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

James Cook University professor Terry Hughes says he flew over 600km of reef and more than 60% was bleached

An aerial survey is revealing the worst bleaching ever seen on northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef, as the scientist leading the survey live-tweets the devastation and pleads for the world to take action on climate change. Last week Terry Hughes, a professor at James Cook University and convener of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, told Guardian Australia he planned to hire a charter plane and map the bleaching to see how bad it was. They would start from Cairns and fly north, he said. “We’ll expand that initial aerial survey to crisscross the whole northern region and map it all out.” Now, using both planes and helicopters, Hughes has found what he says is the worst bleaching in the region he has ever seen. On Tuesday, Hughes said he surveyed 600km of reef and found that more than 60% of it had been bleached.

That was just two days after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority raised the threat level of coral bleaching to the highest possible alert, “level 3” , indicating “severe regional bleaching” in the northernmost quarter of the 344,400 sq km marine park. On Wednesday Hughes upgraded to a helicopter and continued the survey.

Over the following days, Hughes tweeted photographs of reef after reef, all appearing stark white. On day three, he said only four of 400 reefs he saw were not bleached and that, while there had been bleaching in 1998 and 2002, this event was the worst.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Quietly and unnoticed, the ocean tragedy of coral bleaching is getting worse. Its impact on man is yet to be felt. By that time, it may be too late.

"Bleaching occurs when coral gets stressed, usually by heat, and it expels the colourful algae that live inside it, giving it its brilliant colour and providing it with most of the energy it needs. If it stays bleached for long enough, the corals die and the reefs risk being colonised by other organisms such as seaweed. 
"This bleaching event is linked to the current El Niño, which raises temperatures in the region, on top of climate change-induced warming."
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World Water Day 2016 ("what has happened to the world's water supply after 24 yrs of water advocacy?")

World Water Day 2016 ("what has happened to the world's water supply after 24 yrs of water advocacy?") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

World Water Day 2016

The 24th World Water Day, which occurs on Tuesday with events held all over the world, will be celebrated by the Obama administration with a “White House Water Summit” in Washington, D.C. The administration’s conference theme is innovation, technology, and collaboration to build “a sustainable and secure water future.” 

Such language is a departure for senior leaders of the United States in evaluating the condition of the nation’s water. For almost all of its 240-year history, with only episodic interference from nature (the 1930s Dust Bowl), and one big intervention from man (the clean water campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s), the United States has been a place that largely took its water supply and quality for granted. Until very recently, when asked ‘Where does your water come from?’,’ most Americans replied, ‘The tap.’ 

How quickly things can change in a new century of rapid ecological and economic transformation that has put water supply and quality at the forefront of public priorities across the United States and around the world.

There is nothing like a four-year drought in America’s largest state, a two-year drought in its second largest state, the poisoning of hundreds of children exposed to lead-contaminated water in Flint, and the poison algae that shuts public water systems and now blankets Lake Erie each summer to convince President Obama and his aides to pay attention. 

And there is ‘s nothing like water shortages in São Paulo, Brazil, a deep two-year drought that is crippling South Africa’s grain harvest, a Syrian civil water touched off by a four-year drought, and a Himalayan flood in India that killed an estimated 30,000 people and laid waste to big hydropower dams to attract the concern of global leaders.

Bert Guevara's insight:
More than just reminding ourselves of the value of water, there is an equal urgency to develop policies and technologies to enhance our water supply and improve water use.
Are we aware of the long term condition of our water resources?

"Coming soon for the United Nations and other important international institutions is the next great chapter in understanding water’s role in global affairs — the relationship between water and the international financial sector. Three of the world’s crucial economic sectors — agriculture, energy, and mining — are reeling due to changing hydrological cycles. 
"Those changes — more powerful and frequent floods, deeper and more frequent droughts — are factors in stranding valuable assets. Adequate supplies of water, and vulnerability to droughts and floods, areis starting to influence investment decisions surrounding trillions of dollars in play in global financial markets."
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Sea-level rises: why flooding is the next big business risk ("waterworld scenario is not far away")

Sea-level rises: why flooding is the next big business risk ("waterworld scenario is not far away") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

A new market of insurers, risk analysts and designers are emerging to help businesses and homeowners prepare for rising sea levels

According to recent research, the world’s oceans rose by 14cm last century. If we’re lucky, that number will merely double during the course of this century. If we’re not, an almost tenfold increase could be in store. The potential economic damage is frightening. A study from Liverpool University found that floods in the UK in 2007 cost affected companies an average of £100,000 each. Those numbers will only rise. According to researchers in Germany, economic losses double for every 11cm increase in sea levels.

One company turning such projections to its advantage is Florida-based Coastal Risk Consulting. Founded by retired public-interest environmental lawyer Albert Slap, this specialist consultancy uses sophisticated surveying technology known as LIDAR to map the likelihood of highly localised sea level flood risks. For $99, homeowners in US coastal towns simply upload their zip code and get a 30-year “vulnerability assessment” report sent to their desktop. Coastal Risk Consulting says it has requests for around 1,000 such assessments per month and is looking at expanding outside North America. “We’re not going to just abandon trillions of dollars of coastal assets. The doom-and-gloom people who say we should run for the hills – that’s not going to happen either,” says Slap. “So we need to adapt. But to do that we need better information and that’s what technology can bring us.”

Bert Guevara's insight:
Insurers are doing serious assessment of losses from sea level rise and flooding. It's time to update the economic textbooks.

"Much depends on time frames, says Trevor Maynard, head of exposure management and reinsurance at Lloyd’s of London. Progressive adaptation steps, such as the use of flood-resilient building materials or locating key assets on higher ground, could actually bring risks down to below current levels. 
"Yet if global action on climate change fails and extreme sea-level rises occur as predicted, then the impacts would be of a greater magnitude. “We wouldn’t be talking about insurability at that point,” Maynard concedes. “We’d be talking about relocation.”
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Global Water Shortage Risk Is Worse Than Scientists Thought ("growing population = less per capita")

Global Water Shortage Risk Is Worse Than Scientists Thought ("growing population = less per capita") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
About two-thirds of the world's population faces water scarcity for at least one month during the year.

About 66 percent, which is 4 billion people, of the world's population lives without sufficient access to fresh water for at least one month of the year, according to a new paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances. 

Previous studies calculated a lower number, estimating that between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people lived with moderate to severe water scarcity for at least a month out of the year.

Scientists, led by Dr. Arjen Hoekstra of the Netherlands' University of Twente, used a computer model that is both more precise and comprehensive than previous studies have used to analyze how widespread water scarcity is across the globe. Their model considers multiple variables including: climate records, population density, irrigation and industry. 

“Up to now, this type of research concentrated solely on the scarcity of water on an annual basis, and had only been carried out in the largest river basins,” Hoekstrasaid in a statement. “That paints a more rosy and misleading picture, because water scarcity occurs during the dry period of the year.”

“The fact that the scarcity of water is being regarded as a global problem is confirmed by our research," Hoekstra added. "For some time now, the World Economic Forum has placed the world water crisis in the top three of global problems, alongside climate change and terrorism.”

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Time to raise the alert level? Wasteful use of water still prevalent.

 

"About 66 percent, which is 4 billion people, of the world's population lives without sufficient access to fresh water for at least one month of the year, according to a new paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances. 

"Previous studies calculated a lower number, estimating that between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people lived with moderate to severe water scarcity for at least a month out of the year."

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Flint isn't alone: America has a coast-to-coast toxic crisis ("what happens to victims after blunder")

Flint isn't alone: America has a coast-to-coast toxic crisis ("what happens to victims after blunder") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
There's a grim broader history of lead poisoning in the United States.

The price tag for replacing the lead pipes that contaminated its drinking water, thanks to the corrosive toxins found in the Flint River, is now estimated at up to $1.5 billion. No one knows where that money will come from or when it will arrive. In the meantime, the cost to the children of Flint has been and will be incalculable.  As little as a few specks of lead in the water children drink or in flakes of paint that come off the walls of old houses and are ingested can change the course of a life. The amount of lead dust that covers a thumbnail is enough to send a child into a coma or into convulsions leading to death. It takes less than a tenth of that amount to cause IQ loss, hearing loss, or behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the government agency responsible for tracking and protecting the nation’s health, says simply, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”

President Obama would have good reason to worry if his kids lived in Flint. But the city’s children are hardly the only ones threatened by this public health crisis. There’s a lead crisis for children in Baltimore, Md.; Herculaneum, Miss.; Sebring, Ohio; and even the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.; and that’s just to begin a list. State reports suggest, for instance, that “18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint.” Today, scientists agree that there is no safe level of lead for children and at least half of American children have some of this neurotoxin in their blood. The CDC is especially concerned about the more than 500,000 American children who have substantial amounts of lead in their bodies. Over the past century, an untold number have had their IQs reduced, their school performances limited, their behaviors altered, and their neurological developmentundermined. From coast to coast, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt, children have been and continue to be imperiled by a century of industrial production, commercial gluttony, and abandonment by the local, state, and federal governments that should have protected them. Unlike in Flint, the “crisis” seldom comes to public attention.

Bert Guevara's insight:

If America can't clean up its "dirty" act, how much more for poorer nations like the Philippines? As richer nations transfer their polluted industries to poor countries, in the guise of foreign investments, will they clean up long after they have taken home their profits?


"The president should be worried about Flint’s children and local, state, and federal authorities need to fix the pipes, sewers, and water supply of the city. Technically, this is a feasible, if expensive, proposition. It’s already clear, however, that thepolitical will is just not there even for this one community."

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Parts of Philippines may submerge due to global warming ("7.6 to 10.2 cm. per decade sea level rise")

Parts of Philippines may submerge due to global warming ("7.6 to 10.2 cm. per decade sea level rise") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Low-lying countries with an abundance of coastlines are at significant risk from rising sea levels resulting from global warming. According to data by the World Meteorological Organisation, the water levels around the Philippines are rising at a rate almost three times the global average due partly to the influence of the trade winds pushing ocean currents.

On average, sea levels around the world rise 3.1 centimetres every ten years. Water levels in the Philippines are projected to rise between 7.6 and 10.2 centimetres each decade.

The Philippines government has been forced to take this into consideration. A number of governmental and nongovernmental organizations have sprung up in recent years to address the issue. The Department of Environment and National Resources has its own climate change office, which has set up various programs to educate communities in high-risk areas. One program, for example, teaches communities to adapt to rising sea levels by ensuring that public spaces, such as community halls and schools, are not built near the coast.

But soon, adaptation on a local level won't be enough. Policy makers need to convince governments to curb their emissions on a global level.

Their analyses showed that business-as-usual would have an enormous and effectively irreversible impact on ocean ecosystems and the services they provide, such as fisheries, by 2100.

Bert Guevara's insight:

We Filipinos should enjoy our local beach-fronts while they are still there. Real property owners along coast lines should reconsider their long-term prospects.


"On average, sea levels around the world rise 3.1 centimetres every ten years. Water levels in the Philippines are projected to rise between 7.6 and 10.2 centimetres each decade."

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Self-Filling Water Bottle Converts Humid Air into Drinkable H2O ("when clean water runs out")

Self-Filling Water Bottle Converts Humid Air into Drinkable H2O ("when clean water runs out") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
A portable gadget known as Fontus is designed to convert humidity in the air into drinkable water.

Kristof Retezár, a designer based in Vienna, invented a device that can extract humidity from the air and condense it into drinkable water. The handy gadget, dubbed Fontus, can be attached to a bike so that cyclists can generate water during long-distance rides through the countryside, where pit stops may be few and far between.

Fontus works using the basic principle of condensation, which can be easily demonstrated by taking something out of a refrigerator (for instance, a can of soda) and leaving it on the kitchen counter for a bit. Eventually, you'll notice moisture collecting on the sides of the object. 

"This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air," Retezár told Live Science. "You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn't matter where you are — even in the desert. That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air."

When water is scarce, why not pull it out of thin air? An industrial designer in Austria is hoping to do just that (well, sort of).

The solar-powered device consists of a condensator (which functions like a cooler) that is connected to a series of hydrophobic surfaces that repel water. As the bike-mounted gadget takes in air, and these surfaces get cold, you're left with condensation, Retezár said.

"Because they're hydrophobic, they immediately repel the condensed water that they created, so you get a drop flow [into the bottle]," he explained. "Basically, you're taking air in a vapor state and converting it into a liquid state."


Bert Guevara's insight:

When the wells run dry, the water can be harvested from the air.


"The idea was to solve a global problem: water issues in areas of the world where there is very little groundwater but very high humidity," Retezár said. "My intent was to invent a machine or device that would be able to filter the humidity in the air and turn it into drinkable water."

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Shocker: Govt. Scientists Admit They Deceived the Public about Fracking's Impact on Drinking Water

Shocker: Govt. Scientists Admit They Deceived the Public about Fracking's Impact on Drinking Water | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Five years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was commissioned by Congress to undertake a study on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water. This newer method of oil and gas extraction involves the pumping of highly pressurized water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations. Fracking has driven the boom in U.S. oil production and contributed to the steep drop in gasoline prices, but the environmental impacts of this relatively new technique are not well understood.

The EPA’s draft study—released in June to solicit input from advisers and the public—found  that fracking has already contaminated drinking water, stating in the report:

“We found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells…

Approximately 6,800 sources of drinking water for public water systems were located within one mile of at least one hydraulically fractured well … These drinking water sources served more than 8.6 million people year-round in 2013…

Hydraulic fracturing can also affect drinking water resources outside the immediate vicinity of a hydraulically fractured well.”

Despite these findings, and EPA’s own admissions of “data limitations and uncertainties” as well as “the paucity of long-term systemic studies,” the agency stated in its conclusion that “there is no evidence fracking has led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”

Industry hacks and their MSM cheerleaders took this line and ran with it, proclaiming that “the science is settled” on fracking and any further concerns are just crazed environmental activists pursuing an agenda.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Time to exercise sustainable business sense. Why continue to risk polluting drinking water for cheaper fuel, at a time that there is an oversupply of oil in the world? Once contaminated, underground water is gone!

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How to Reduce Water Management Expenses with Green Infrastructure · Environmental Leader

How to Reduce Water Management Expenses with Green Infrastructure · Environmental Leader | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

But while becoming increasingly recognized as solution to water management challenges, barriers to green infrastructure systems still exist, according to Green Infrastructure: Guide for Water Management, a collaborative efforts by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP-DHI Partnership – Centre on Water and Environment, International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy and the World Resources Institute. The guide says one of the main barriers is a lack of awareness about green infrastructure solutions and the associated cost-benefits.

In addition to primary water management benefits — regulatory compliance, water quality regulation and extreme weather and flood mitigation — green infrastructure can generate significant co-benefits, the document says. These include provision of food, recreation and erosion control, as well as cost savings in operations and in avoiding costly investments in new or expanded grey water infrastructure.

Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) would help avoid sediment and phosphorus: 32 hectares of agricultural BMPs would need to be installed to remove 10 percent of sediment and phosphorus, Boccaletti says. “In other words, working on 3 percent of the cropland is sufficient to reduce sediment and phosphorus in the basin by 10 percent.”

Assuming a $360 per hectare per year payment to farmers to follow agricultural BMPs, the utility receives a payment of $12,000, he says: “Such an investment clearly seems like one with a positive return on investment for the utility: the benefits of conservation are almost nine times the costs.”

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Check out examples of green infrastructure that benefit water conservation.


"Green infrastructure employs elements of natural systems such as reed beds that treat industrial wastewater, green roofs and permeable pavements that allow water to infiltrate, be filtered and replenish groundwater supplies. Traditional gray infrastructure is man-made."

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There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs ("assisted evolution is possible to save corals")

There’s a Hopeful Message Hidden in These Dead Reefs ("assisted evolution is possible to save corals") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Coral that survived a massive bleaching event could hold a climate change adaptation secret.

Once vibrant reefs, some of the most pristine on the planet, were almost completely dead. Brownish red algae was draped across them like a funeral shroud. Hot water brought on by one of the strongest El Niños on record — layered on top of climate change-driven warming — was simply too much for the reefs to take. There were exceptions, though — tiny pieces of baby coral that are beating the odds. And those exceptions could give scientists insight into how to make sure climate change doesn’t completely destroy reefs around the world.

After months of being cooked by extremely warm water, around 80 percent of the coral was already dead and another 15 percent was in the process of bleaching by April, according to Baum. Rather than writing a eulogy, the researchers found a sliver of hope in that 5 percent that survived. Well, a nubbin of hope actually. “There were these little nubbins of color,” Cobb said. “My eye was drawn to them and my hopes and heart were drawn to them.”

“This was a threshold crossing event very few individuals made it through,” Cobb said. “We’re really interested in understanding who is coming back and how well are they able to thrive and and what the role of these resilient little miracle corals is. This is basically adaptation on speed.” In addition to Cobb’s nubbins, Baum and her group also found survivors on some of the 200 dives they did. On the surface, there’s not necessarily an obvious rhyme or reason for why certain coral species survived let alone individual colonies.

Bert Guevara's insight:
Positive human intervention may be a good alternative in rescuing the coral population. If man-made climate change accelerated acidification, then man-made "assisted evolution" may do some good. 
Wasn't man created to manage creation?

"The findings could help scientists create super corals that are adapted to future warmer waters. It’s a process called assisted evolution, and it’s highly controversial in the marine conservation field where protected areas are viewed as the gold standard for keeping ocean species safe from the ravages of climate change, fishing and other human actions. But after witnessing what happened at Christmas Island, Baum thinks it could be essential if we want coral in our future."
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Study: Science-based regulations needed to protect region’s coral reefs - News ("smart conservation")

Study: Science-based regulations needed to protect region’s coral reefs - News ("smart conservation") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
An international team, led by University of Queensland (UQ) researchers, has found that tighter fishery regulations are needed to preserve corals of the Caribbean. 
Researcher Dr Yves-Marie Bozec, from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said herbivorous parrotfish were needed because they eat seaweed, which can smother coral and prevent corals from recovering. 
“While several countries in the Caribbean have taken the bold step of banning the fishing of parrotfish (including Belize, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos Islands), parrotfish fisheries remain in much of the region,” Dr Bozec said. 
The research team analysed the effects of fishing on parrotfish and combined this with an analysis of the role of parrotfish on coral reefs. 
“We conclude that unregulated fisheries will seriously reduce the resilience of coral reefs,” Dr Bozec said. “However, implementation of size limits and catch limits to less than 10 per cent of the fishable stock provide a far better outlook for reefs, while also allowing the fishery to persist.” 
Study co-author Professor Peter Mumby from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences said a number of countries wanted to modify their fisheries to reduce impacts on reefs. “What we’ve done is identify fisheries’ policies that might help achieve this,” Professor Mumby said.
“Ultimately, the more we do to maintain healthy coral reefs, the more likely it is that fishers’ livelihoods will be sustained into the future,” Professor Mumby said. 
“We already know that failure to maintain coral habitats will lead to at least a threefold reduction in future fish catches,” he added. 
Bert Guevara's insight:
"A new study has shown that Caribbean coral reefs are experiencing mounting pressure from global warming, local pollution and over-fishing of herbivorous fish and that fresh science-based fishery regulations are needed if coral reefs are to have a future in the face of climate change."
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NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event ("severe bleaching is often lethal")

NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event ("severe bleaching is often lethal") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. Waters are warming in the Caribbean, threatening coral in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, NOAA scientists said. Coral bleaching began in the Florida Keys and South Florida in August, but now scientists expect bleaching conditions there to diminish.

“The coral bleaching and disease, brought on by climate change and coupled with events like the current El Niño, are the largest and most pervasive threats to coral reefs around the world,” said Mark Eakin, NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch coordinator. “As a result, we are losing huge areas of coral across the U.S., as well as internationally. What really has us concerned is this event has been going on for more than a year and our preliminary model projections indicate it’s likely to last well into 2016.” While corals can recover from mild bleaching, severe or long-term bleaching is often lethal. After corals die, reefs quickly degrade and the structures corals build erode. This provides less shoreline protection from storms and fewer habitats for fish and other marine life, including ecologically and economically important species.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"Coral can recover from mild bleaching, but severe bleaching is often lethal."

“To solve the long-term, global problem, however, we need to better understand how to reduce the unnatural carbon dioxide levels that are the major driver of the warming.”
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Tourism in Puerto Princesa affected by water shortage ("progress faster than what island can carry")

Residents of Puerto Princesa will have limited water supply starting next week, after city officials implemented a water rationing schedule. - The Worl
Bert Guevara's insight:
The carrying capacity of nature provides a limit to human activity. In this case, water supply directly affects tourism. 
It was fortunate that the citizens of Puerto Princessa are one of the most eco-conscious communities of the country. Inspite of all the tree planting and water conservation programs, the city is still hit by lack of water.
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The global coal industry is using as much water as a billion people each year ("the other bad side")

The global coal industry is using as much water as a billion people each year ("the other bad side") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

A new report reveals just how much water is being used up by the global coal industry each year, and it's an alarming amount.

We already know that coal-fired power plants are bad for the planet, but that’s usually because we are just thinking about the enormous amounts of carbon dioxide emissions they contribute to our atmosphere. A new Greenpeace report entitled The Great Water Grab sheds light on another terrifying aspect of the coal industry – its astronomical water consumption. The report suggests that the global coal industry uses the same amount of water that would serve one billion people each year. Because coal plants are often situated in water-scarce areas of the world, this adds up to a devastating misuse of Earth’s precious resources.

The Greenpeace report evaluated the water usage of 8,359 existing coal plants as well as 2,668 planned plants around the world. Most of the water consumed by the coal industry is used as a coolant during energy production, but some water is also used when coal is extracted from the ground—usually to keep coal dust from escaping. The new report, published this week, says as many as 44 percent of the coal-fired power plants are located in regions where water supplies are already threatened, pitting people against industry in a fight for survival.

In a head-shaking realization, the report found that one-quarter of the planned power plants are in places struggling with accelerated groundwater depletion, further increasing the risks for sinkholes. Of particular interest to Greenpeace is the coal industry’s growth in China, where more than 200 new plants are planned, despite the nation’s recent commitments to slashing carbon emissions and moving away from fossil fuels. The report claims coal plants in the northern part of the country are contributing to a worsening drought, to the point that even the plants themselves are not able to continue operating at full capacity. Yet, the government has not shut them down.

Bert Guevara's insight:
"A new Greenpeace report entitled The Great Water Grab sheds light on another terrifying aspect of the coal industry – its astronomical water consumption. The report suggests that the global coal industry uses the same amount of water that would serve one billion people each year. Because coal plants are often situated in water-scarce areas of the world, this adds up to a devastating misuse of Earth’s precious resources."
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See Where Access to Clean Water Is Getting Better—and Worse ("much was done but still many deprived")

See Where Access to Clean Water Is Getting Better—and Worse ("much was done but still many deprived") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

Nearly 2.6 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water in the last 25 years. That still leaves about 663 million without sanitary water.

In 1990, as part of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN set a target to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. The world hit this goal in 2010, and as of 2015, some 90 percent of the world’s people now have access to “improved” water—water from sources such as pipes or wells that are protected from contamination, primarily fecal matter.

Rural Areas Have Had Greatest Gains 

The sharp decline in the number of people without access to safe drinking water masks an important divide. In urban areas, the population without access has remained relatively flat, while in rural areas, access has improved.

But Urban Access Is Still Greater 

Even though access has grown across rural communities, much remains to be done. Eight out of ten people without access to clean water live in rural areas. In fact, 84 percent of people in rural areas have safe drinking water, compared with 96 percent in urban areas.

Bert Guevara's insight:
The access to clean water has reached 2.6B people in the last 25 years. But before we start congratulating ourselves, there are still 663M without sanitary water. 
Many of those who are enjoying the water are misusing it or making it so unclean for the use of the next generation.
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Matthew Taylor's curator insight, March 24, 3:24 PM
Doing humanitarian aid in developing countries has always been a goal of mine in the next 5 years. 
 
This article indentifies areas in the world which have an economic water scarcity. Economic water scarcity is caused by a lack of investment in water infrastructure or insufficient human capacity to satisfy the demand of water in areas where the population cannot afford to use an adequate source of water.
 
Access to clean water is a necessity which I believe all individuals of a society should have access to. When a society has access to these necessities they can more forward in their economic progression to focus on more commercial practices helping to improve their society as a whole. Hence improving health and safety within a society.
 
This article helped me identify which areas in the world need support to access clean water.
 
 
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Ocean Acidification Is Slowing Coral Reef Growth ("not too much due to overfishing and pollution")

Ocean Acidification Is Slowing Coral Reef Growth ("not too much due to overfishing and pollution") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
This is bad news for coral, because as oceans get more and more acidic, coral could begin to dissolve faster than it can be rebuilt.

Scientists already knew that corals’ growth rates have slowed in recent years — Ken Caldeira, one of the scientists who led Wednesday’s study, also led previous research which found that corals were growing 40 percent slower in 2008 and 2009 than they had in 1975 and 1976. But until Wednesday’s study, it wasn’t clear how much of that slowdown in growth could be attributed to ocean acidification, and how much was due to factors such as pollution and overfishing. Wednesday’s study, which is also the first to show coral growth under pre-industrial conditions in a natural ecosystem — rather than in a lab or aquarium — provides evidence that acidifying water is what’s to blame for this slowdown in growth.

That’s bad news for coral, because as oceans get more and more acidic, coral could begin to dissolve faster than it can be rebuilt, Caldeira, senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Science, told ThinkProgress.

“The reef is constantly growing, but at the same time there are parrotfish chewing on it, and different organisms which balance the growth and loss of the coral reef,” he said. “The projections are that as you go into the future, if you continue current emissions trends, the amount of growth [the reefs] put in each day won’t be able to keep up with dissolution of the reefs, and reefs will start losing mass and eventually disappear.”


Bert Guevara's insight:

What is really destroying our corals? Is it pollution? Is it over fishing? NO, it's ACIDIFICATION!

 

"... that corals were growing 40 percent slower in 2008 and 2009 than they had in 1975 and 1976. But until Wednesday’s study, it wasn’t clear how much of that slowdown in growth could be attributed to ocean acidification, and how much was due to factors such as pollution and overfishing. Wednesday’s study, which is also the first to show coral growth under pre-industrial conditions in a natural ecosystem — rather than in a lab or aquarium — provides evidence that acidifying water is what’s to blame for this slowdown in growth."

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Why We're Not Prepared for The Coming Decades of Sea Level Rise ("leaders look away from inevitable")

Why We're Not Prepared for The Coming Decades of Sea Level Rise ("leaders look away from inevitable") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Sea levels rose faster in the 1900s than any of the previous 27 centuries and will continue to rise at record rates

Average sea levels around the world rose by 5.5 inches (14 cm) in the 20th century. That’s substantially higher than the maximum 2.8 inches (7 cm) that would have been expected without warming from manmade climate change.

The research adds to growing evidence that communities around the world are vastly unprepared to defend against the effects of sea level rise in the coming decades. Rising sea levels erode coasts and place coastal cities in danger. Even areas that may seem safe will be vulnerable to floods that could inundate entire cities and contaminate freshwater supplies.

Despite warnings from Strauss and others, researchers say that cuts could still save coastal cities and habitats across the globe. Sea levels will rise by a much 4.3 feet (1.3 m) by 2100 if humans continue to emit at current rates. That figure could be reduced to as low as 0.8 feet (0.24 m) if humans peak and then reduce carbon emissions in the coming decades.

Achieving such reductions won’t be an easy feat. Countries from around the world agreed in Paris last December to try to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 3.6°F (2°C) by 2100. Even if that goal is achieved—some are rightfully skeptical—sea levels are still expected to rise far beyond 0.8 ft (0.24 m). That could erase low-lying island countries like Kiribati and affect coastal cities on the Atlantic coast of the United States.

“If we cut carbon emissions aggressively, we can save a lot of cities in the United States and globally,” says Strauss, who serves as vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central. “But, even if we do our best, there are some places we probably won’t be able to protect.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Communities living near the sea, like most coastal Philippine towns, are feeling the threat of sea level rise. The sad news is, there is little they can do because the solution requires a global effort.


"Countries from around the world agreed in Paris last December to try to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 3.6°F (2°C) by 2100. Even if that goal is achieved—some are rightfully skeptical—sea levels are still expected to rise far beyond 0.8 ft (0.24 m). That could erase low-lying island countries like Kiribati and affect coastal cities on the Atlantic coast of the United States."

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Overfishing causing global catches to fall 3x faster than estimated ("lack of respect for oceans")

Overfishing causing global catches to fall 3x faster than estimated ("lack of respect for oceans") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Landmark new study that includes small-scale, subsistence and illegal fishing shows a strong decline in catches as more fisheries are exhausted

Global fish catches are falling three times faster than official UN figures suggest, according to a landmark new study, with overfishing to blame.

Seafood is the critical source of protein for more than 2.5 billion people, but over-exploitation is cutting the catch by more than 1m tonnes a year.

The official catch data, provided by nations to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), rarely includes small-scale, sport or illegal fishing and does not count fish discarded at sea. To provide a better estimate, more than 400 researchers around the world spent a decade finding other data to fill in the gaps.

The results, published in the journal Nature Communications, show the annual catches between 1950 and 2010 were much bigger than thought, but that the decline after the peak year of 1996 was much faster than official figures.

The FAO data indicated a catch of 86m tonnes in 1996, then a decline of 0.4m tonnes per year. In contrast, the new research estimates the peak catch was 130m tonnes, but declined at 1.2m tonnes per year afterwards.

“Our results differ very strongly from those of the FAO,” said Prof Daniel Pauly, at the University of British Columbia in Canada and who led the work. “Our results indicate that the decline is very strong and is not due to countries fishing less. It is due to countries having fished too much and having exhausted one fishery after another.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Our oceans are not unlimited sources of fish. If we don't respect sea-life, it may be gone sooner than we think.


"Global fish catches rose from the 1950s to 1996 as fishing fleets expanded and discovered new fish stocks to exploit. But after 1996, few undiscovered fisheries were left and catches started to decline. “It was never really sustainable,” said Pauly. The decline since 1996 has largely been in fish caught by industrial fleets and to a lesser extent a cut in the number of unwanted fish discarded at sea."

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Study: Deep Ocean Waters Trapping Vast Store of Heat ("the missing heat was undersea - no hiatus!")

Study: Deep Ocean Waters Trapping Vast Store of Heat ("the missing heat was undersea - no hiatus!") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
New measurements reveal that climate change is heating up even the deep parts of the oceans.

More than 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas pollution since the 1970s has wound up in the oceans, and research published Monday revealed that a little more than a third of that seafaring heat has worked its way down to depths greater than 2,300 feet (700 meters).

Plunged to ocean depths by winds and currents, that trapped heat has eluded surface temperature measurements, fueling claims of a “hiatus” or “pause” in global warming from 1998 to 2013. But by expanding cool water, the deep-sea heat’s impacts have been indirectly visible in coastal regions by pushing up sea levels, contributing to worsening high-tide flooding.

“The heat’s going in at the surface, so it’s getting down pretty deep,” said Glen Gawarkiewicz, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist who was not involved with the study. “With 35 percent of the heat uptake going below 700 meters, it really points out the importance of continued deep ocean sampling. It was a surprise to me that it was that large of a fraction.”

The researchers concluded that half of overall ocean warming has occurred since 1997 — a date that they noted in their paper was “nearly coincident with the beginning of the observed surface warming hiatus.”
Bert Guevara's insight:

The decade long suspicion is now confirmed. The lost heat is way down under the ocean.

 

"More than 90 percent of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas pollution since the 1970s has wound up in the oceans, and research published Monday revealed that a little more than a third of that seafaring heat has worked its way down to depths greater than 2,300 feet (700 meters).

"Plunged to ocean depths by winds and currents, that trapped heat has eluded surface temperature measurements, fueling claims of a “hiatus” or “pause” in global warming from 1998 to 2013. But by expanding cool water, the deep-sea heat’s impacts have been indirectly visible in coastal regions by pushing up sea levels, contributing to worsening high-tide flooding."

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The Flint water crisis explained ("polluted water became drinking water when gov't saved money")

The Flint water crisis explained ("polluted water became drinking water when gov't saved money") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
For almost two years, there has been a water crisis in Flint, Mich. The problem has been gaining more and more attention over the past few months, and on Jan. 16, President Obama declared a state of emergency for the city.

Many people in this Rust Belt city have been consuming tap water contaminated with lead, which is a powerful neurotoxin. Lead poisoning can produce lifelong health effects, and developing children who are exposed to lead even at low levels are at risk of brain damage, behavioral problems and learning disabilities.

The issue stems from a money-saving measure for the impoverished city, where 41 percent of the 100,000 residents live at or below the poverty line. A state-appointed emergency manager was put in place in 2011 to help save money, and one solution was to find a cheaper water source. Flint had been purchasing Lake Huron water through Detroit. Plans were made to join a new regional water system that would supply tap water from Lake Huron at a better price, however, that project wouldn’t be completed until 2016. So, in April 2014, the city was switched to the local Flint River as a temporary water source until the regional water system was finished.

There were complaints right away: The water smelled, tasted and looked funny. Soon, some Flint residents developed rashes, hair loss and other health ailments. Officials consistently assured residents that the water was safe to drink.

Local and state officials acknowledged the crisis in October 2015, and Flint returned to using water from Detroit. The Michigan National Guard arrived to help distribute bottled water, filters and testing kits, but the damage had already been done to the people and the pipes.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is what happens when the water pollution that man causes goes back to him, through his drinking water!


"There were complaints right away: The water smelled, tasted and looked funny. Soon, some Flint residents developed rashes, hair loss and other health ailments. Officials consistently assured residents that the water was safe to drink.

"The Flint River water is extremely corrosive, and the older water service lines in Flint contain lead. As a result, the caustic water leached lead off of the pipes and into Flint households. According to federal regulations, the water should have been properly treated with an anticorrosion agent, but it wasn’t."

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India: 'World’s wettest place' suffers water shortage ("natural resources can't be taken for granted")

India: 'World’s wettest place' suffers water shortage ("natural resources can't be taken for granted") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Climate change, population increase set off water shortages in what was once the wettest place on earth.

For those recently debating climate change at the global summit in Paris, the coinciding deluge in India's southern city of Chennai seemed a powerful illustration that the gathering urgently needed to succeed in its aims.

While flooding hit the south, an increasing lack of water in Cherrapunji, a northeastern town which was once the world’s wettest place, is causing growing concern among residents.

Both Indian examples point to the vicissitudes of climate change on our planet in a country where a rising population always creates huge pressures on the environment.

In 1861, Cherrapunji, known to locals as Sohra, created a world record with 22,987mm of rainfall in a year.

More than 150 years later, and experiencing an average annual rainfall of 11,430mm, it is still the second wettest place in the world.

Mawsynram, a village just six kilometres away and boasting an average annual rainfall of 11,887km, is now considered the dampest place on the globe.

However, the current rainfall in Cherrapunji, located in Meghalaya state, is just one third of what it was in the 1970s.

The reasons for the dramatic decline in rainfall are disputed. 

Residents blame events beyond their control for the problems they face - the place is hotter, drier and shorter of water than even before. 

"We never had very large forests around Cherrapunji. Those that were there were sacred to us and we did not cut a branch," says Millergrace Symlieh, a senior member of the Sohra Science Society.

"We are affected by what's happening all over the world," he told Al Jazeera.

"This hot weather and less rain here is not due to huge deforestation or massive industrialisation. We only have a cement plant near here."



Bert Guevara's insight:

If this kind of dryness can occur in such a wet place in India, where people expected water to come naturally, then we in the Philippines should learn from their experience. 

There are projections that Visayas and Mindanao will start to experience drier weather in the coming decades. Water management should begin now.


"The place still gets much rain, but with very few trees still standing, all the water just washes away downhill," says Borah.

"There is no culture of rain harvesting here, as residents never felt it was necessary.

"So Cherrapunji suffers acute water scarcity when the rainfall starts to drop sharply from November until March." 

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