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Recycling closed-loop shower is cleaner, greener, and can save you $1,000 per year | ExtremeTech

Recycling closed-loop shower is cleaner, greener, and can save you $1,000 per year | ExtremeTech | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
A Swedish company has launched the OrbSys recycling shower -- a new kind of shower that saves up to 90% of the water and 80% of the energy consumed by a normal shower.

The shower achieves such huge savings by being a closed-loop, recirculating system, much in the same way that astronauts aboard the International Space Station re-use their waste water. In a world that’s rapidly running out of fresh water and consuming more energy than it should, the OrbSys Shower is an innovation that we should pay heed to. Even if you don’t care about the environment, the OrbSys can (apparently) save you more than $1000 per year in water and energy costs.

The OrbSys shower, devised by Orbital Systems in Sweden, is essentially an advanced real-time water filtration system packaged as a recycling shower. You turn the shower on, start bathing, but instead of the waste water running directly into your house’s drainage pipes it enters the special (patented) OrbSys filtration system. We don’t have a whole lot of details on what actually happens inside the OrbSys black box — instead, all we have is a rather impressive list of specs. The OrbSys shower removes more than 99.9% of contaminants, and actually pumps out cleaner water than the water entering your house from the main water supply. The process is capable of retaining most of the heat in the water, resulting in huge energy savings. The system can operate in real time at up to 24 liters (6.3 gallons) per minute — more than enough to sustain a strong, invigorating flow of water (your shower at home probably uses around 15 liters per minute).

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This Lake In India Is So Polluted It Caught Fire ("this is how a river was overrun w/ chemicals")

This Lake In India Is So Polluted It Caught Fire ("this is how a river was overrun w/ chemicals") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Whoever said water couldn't burn didn't pollute hard enough.

Residents in Bangalore, India, were alarmed earlier this week when a local lake caught fire. For several weeks, Bellandur Lake has been

The foam apparently caught fire last week, burning for most of last Friday night, as seen in a shocking video recorded from its banks, the Bangalore Mirror reported. Experts told the outlet a slurry of oil and phosphorus from untreated industrial waste and sewage likely created the conditions for the combustable cocktail to ignite. Areas of nearby wetlands that had helped to filter the lake in the past were destroyed by development.

"These wetlands used to act as purifiers. But all such wetlands surrounding the lake have been encroached and there is no place for natural purification. Hence the pollution at these lakes is uncontrollable," an unnamed officer for the local pollution control board told the Mirror.

Apart from the alarming, positively hellish prospect of a lake of fire, residents have also reported allergic reactions and a burning sensation possibly caused by toxins released by the foam, which caught fire again on Monday, according to The News Minute. The froth has swelled to a height of as much as 12 feet due to recent rains, and has spilled over the banks of the lake.

City officials have called for an investigation into the rampant pollution, which is alsonoticeable on another lake nearby.

"Foam, fire, what next? A Loch Ness monster?" a resident told local television outlet NDTV.

Bert Guevara's insight:

I thought our Manila creeks were bad enough. Take a look at this Indian river - it burns!


"Residents in Bangalore, India, were alarmed earlier this week when a local lake caught fire. For several weeks, Bellandur Lake has been covered with several feet of toxic foam that some have said resembles snow from far away, according to The Hindu. Beneath the snow-white lather, the water has turned black from chemicals and sewage."

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Where the River Runs Dry - The New Yorker ("when users thought the water runs forever")

Where the River Runs Dry - The New Yorker ("when users thought the water runs forever") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
It’s the most important river in the West—and it exemplifies everything wrong with water use in America.

All that human utility has costs; the river suffers, in varying degrees, from many of the same kinds of overuse and environmental degradation that threaten freshwater sources around the world. The Colorado’s flow is so altered and controlled that in some ways the river functions more like a fourteen-hundred-mile-long canal. The legal right to use every gallon is owned or claimed by someone—in fact, more than every gallon, since theoretical rights to the Colorado’s flow (known as “paper water”) vastly exceed its actual flow (known as “wet water”). That imbalance has been exacerbated by the drought in the Western United States, now in its sixteenth year, but even if the drought ended tomorrow problems would remain. The river has been “over-allocated” since the states in its drainage basin first began to divide the water among themselves, nearly a century ago, and scientists expect climate change to strain it further, in part by reducing precipitation in the mountains that feed it.

Not long ago, I travelled as much of the Colorado’s length as can be followed in a car. I began near the headwaters, put three thousand miles on three rental cars, and ended, eventually, in northern Mexico, where the Colorado simply runs out. So much water is diverted from the river as it winds through the Southwest that, since the early nineteen-sixties, it has seldom flowed all the way to its natural outlet, at the upper end of the Gulf of California, and since the late nineteen-nineties it has made it there only once. People who drive into or out of the town of San Luis Río Colorado, in the Mexican state of Sonora, sometimes complain about having to pay a six-peso toll to cross a bridge that spans only sand.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Another over-used river runs dry. So many rivers all over the world are disappearing. Should we just look for another river to exploit when the present one dries out?

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Food companies are unprepared for global water scarcity, says new report ("may raise production costs")

Food companies are unprepared for global water scarcity, says new report ("may raise production costs") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Using public data, a nonprofit ranked the best and worst companies in terms of water use. The results were sobering

In many cases, companies included in the report aren’t tracking water use beyond their own operations, or aren’t tracking it well, according to Ceres. That’s a problem given that some of the top water uses come from their supply chains.

Most companies also don’t have incentives in place – either internally or for their processors or farmers – for improving water conservation or reducing water pollution, the report said.

“Water is an important issue for us and for the food and beverage sector,” Holdorf said. “I think all of us have plenty of work to do.”

Ceres also highlighted examples of strong water management policies. For example, Campbell Soup, Dean Foods, Molson Coors and Unilever offer executives financial incentives for achieving water management goals.

Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle and Unilever have deadline-driven goals to expand sustainable water management practices, which range from planting cover crops to reduce water runoffs and soil erosion to capturing and storing rainfall, across the majority of their suppliers.

Ceres recommends that companies work more closely with their suppliers, including farmers, to collect good data, secure water supplies and conserve more. Businesses should also support watershed protection and report water risks regularly to their board of directors and shareholders, the group claims.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Since water is practically free, companies and the public have taken it for granted. Now that the supply is critical in many regions, the water situation changes drastically. The government will have to step in more decisively, if they want to prepare for the long-term viability of water supply.

 

"Meanwhile, investors who want to include water risks in their financial analyses should demand more comprehensive water use reporting from their portfolio companies and make investment decisions accordingly, Ceres suggests. According to the report, they should consider three key factors: how much water is needed, how secure the water supply is, and how the management deal with water scarcity, pollution and other related risks.

“Right now, a lot of what we are producing is linked to the fact that water is free,” Barton said. “We will see a shift.”

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Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape ("this threat is happening all over the Pacific, including the Phil")

Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape ("this threat is happening all over the Pacific, including the Phil") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The waters of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape are home to some of the world's most productive fisheries and unique biodiversity. CI is working to end destructive fishing practices, support marine protected areas and foster regional cooperation.

What are the issues?

Overfishing
Worldwide, around 30% of fisheries are overexploited or depleted. In the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, both industrial and small-scale fishermen are catching too many fish to meet growing demand. This leads to a loss of jobs, incomes and food supplies — and puts protected areas in grave danger.

Bycatch
Bottom trawlers and industrial longline vessels unintentionally snare sharks and turtles, resulting in drastic reductions in populations, like the eastern Pacific population of the critically endangered leatherback. Up to 50% of the remaining Pacific leatherbacks are caught each year by longline fishermen.

Destruction of coastal habitats
The area’s coastlines are impacted by tourism, fishing and the recent boom in “aquaculture,” or fish farming. In one coastal province of Ecuador, shrimp farming — a particularly damaging form of aquaculture driven by high global demand — has led to the destruction of 80% of the region’s critical mangroves.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The issues of overfishing, bycatch and destruction of coastal habitats have to be addressed immediately, otherwise we may not be able to recover our losses. The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is one proven approach, but there are many challenges. In the Philippines, the urgency is critical.


"The Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape covers an area nearly three times the size of Texas. It’s an enormous challenge to monitor what’s going on in an area that big — and to protect it from threats like illegal fishing, overfishing and pollution. But CI is facing this challenge head-on. Since we began work in the region in 2004, we’ve supported the creation or expansion of more than 20 marine protected areas (MPAs). And we’re working around the region to restore the critical coastal areas, end destructive fishing practices such as overfishing and trawling and coordinate cooperation among the governments of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador to create a more sustainable Pacific Ocean."

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Senator Ejercito files Watershed Protection Bill ("urgently needed water security measure")

Senator Ejercito files Watershed Protection Bill ("urgently needed water security measure") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

SENATOR Joseph Victor G. Ejercito files yesterday Senate Bill No. 2748   or otherwise known as the Protection of Watershed Supporting the National Irrigation System (NIS) Act.

 

          SB No. 2748 aims that the protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the “watersheds supporting the national irrigation system” in the country will be ensured in order to assure that these considered areas cannot be touched by man’s insensitivity to nature and his environment.

 

The proposed bill covers all  the 143 identified watersheds supporting the National Irrigation System, as identified in Section 6 of the proposed bill, and all watershed areas as may be proclaimed before and after the passage of the proposed measure.

 

Currently, the Philippines has 143 Watersheds supporting 165 National Irrigation Systems with a total area of  4,318,172 million hectares more or less, The water that comes from these watersheds areas and flows to the River Systems provides irrigation water to rice lands and other agricultural lands planted of different crops. There are only about 483,820 hectares, more or less, being serviced by the 143 River Watersheds, but based on the NIA data, 868,509 hectares of agricultural land are being irrigated and roughly 368,000 hectares of these have existing facilities but need restoration and rehabilitation.

 “With the on-ongoing drought experienced by many provinces in our country which threaten our agricultural production and food supply, this proposed bill is very timely to promote and protect the various watersheds that provide the socio-economic base to a growing population through the utilization of watershed resources. I hope that the leadership of both Houses and the Executive Department will realize that this proposed bill caters to the basic human needs, like water and food, and a law like this should be passed not only for ourselves but for the other generations to come,“ Senator Ejercito said.
Bert Guevara's insight:

The country needs this law badly.


"The proposed bill covers all  the 143 identified watersheds supporting the National Irrigation System, as identified in Section 6 of the proposed bill, and all watershed areas as may be proclaimed before and after the passage of the proposed measure.

"According to the bill, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) thru the Bureau of Forest Management in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture thru the National Irrigation Authority shall have exclusive and primary jurisdiction, control and management on all identified watersheds supporting the National Irrigation system."

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Pacific Ocean "Warm Blob" Due To Reduced Heat Loss ("messed up ocean reacts to heating and produces blob")

Pacific Ocean "Warm Blob" Due To Reduced Heat Loss ("messed up ocean reacts to heating and produces blob") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The one common element in recent weather has been oddness. The West Coast has been warm and parched; the East Coast has been cold and snowed under. Fish are swimming into new waters, and hungry seals are washing up on California beaches.

A long-lived patch of warm water off the West Coast, about 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal, is part of what’s wreaking much of this mayhem, according to two University of Washington papers to appear in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“In the fall of 2013 and early 2014 we started to notice a big, almost circular mass of water that just didn’t cool off as much as it usually did, so by spring of 2014 it was warmer than we had ever seen it for that time of year,” said Nick Bond, a climate scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, a joint research center of the UW and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Bond coined the term “the blob” last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington’s state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water – 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep – had contributed to Washington’s mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.

Ten months later, the blob is still off our shores, now squished up against the coast and extending about 1,000 miles offshore from Mexico up through Alaska, with water about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal. Bond says all the models point to it continuing through the end of this year.

The new study explores the blob’s origins. It finds that it relates to a persistent high-pressure ridge that caused a calmer ocean during the past two winters, so less heat was lost to cold air above. The warmer temperatures we see now aren’t due to more heating, but less winter.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It's not from outer space, but this "blob" cannot be explained categorically by scientists but merely monitored. It affects marine life, temperature and weather patterns - both droughts and extreme winters. The "blob" continues to affect the Pacific Ocean and nearby coastal areas.


“It’s an interesting question if that’s just natural variability happening or if there’s something changing about how the Pacific Ocean decadal variability behaves,” Hartmann said. “I don’t think we know the answer. Maybe it will go away quickly and we won’t talk about it anymore, but if it persists for a third year, then we’ll know something really unusual is going on.”

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New NASA Satellite Gets the Dirt on Soil Moisture | Climate Central ("how bad is global drought?")

New NASA Satellite Gets the Dirt on Soil Moisture | Climate Central ("how bad is global drought?") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
NASA's SMAP satellite has sent back the first global look at soil moisture, a key drought indicator.

Soil moisture is a critical indicator of drought. For decades, ground observations have done the heavy lifting but they’re few and far between. That’s why NASA spent $1 billion to launch a soil moisture monitoring satellite earlier this year. After months of calibration, the satellite dubbed the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission or SMAP (go ahead and try not to say “oh, SMAP” in your head), has sent back the first global view of soil moisture.

SMAP uses two instruments — a radar and radiometer — to measure soil moisture at a 5.6-mile resolution, all with the goal of providing a better view of how water moves across the planet, particularly on land (a helpful piece of knowledge for humans). The above map was created using the radar, which sends microwave pulses from the satellite down to the Earth’s surface 426 miles below, and then measures the backscatter that pops back up. For the map, good soil moisture in places such as the Amazon basin and forests of northern Canada is indicated in red. In comparison, drier spots from the Arctic tundra to the Sahara Desert are in blue.

The shifts in soil moisture from week-to-week or year-to-year is a key piece of information for people working in fields and forests. It provides a key measure of drought and an indicator for forecasting out river flows, reservoir levels, the severity of wildfire season and crop irrigation availability.

SMAP’s equipment also allow it to monitor whether soil is frozen, muddy or dried out. The frozen-or-not part could prove particularly insightful for Arctic permafrost, which stores large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. That permafrost is expected to thaw as the planet warms, but observation stations in the region are sparse and estimates of that thaw could get a boost with the new data.

More soil moisture data is also key for climate scientists looking to understand what areas are likely to get drier due to climate change. SMAP’s high-resolution data means they’ll be able to refine their models and help everyone from farmers to firefighters understand what the future could have in store.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Here is a preview of the new satellite equipment that measures soil moisture. Red is good; blue is bad.


SMAP uses two instruments — a radar and radiometer — to measure soil moisture at a 5.6-mile resolution, all with the goal of providing a better view of how water moves across the planet, particularly on land (a helpful piece of knowledge for humans). The above map was created using the radar, which sends microwave pulses from the satellite down to the Earth’s surface 426 miles below, and then measures the backscatter that pops back up. For the map, good soil moisture in places such as the Amazon basin and forests of northern Canada is indicated in red. In comparison, drier spots from the Arctic tundra to the Sahara Desert are in blue.

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Banks are now realizing importance and potential for water investments ("risen to economic concern")

Banks are now realizing importance and potential for water investments ("risen to economic concern") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

According to the World Economic Forum, water scarcity ranks first among all long-term risks worldwide.
Australia, Brazil and the United States are only a few examples of where droughts have affected everything from agriculture, hydropower and those everyday tasks most of take for granted. California’s annual snowpack this year was only 12 percent of normal — which has had a huge impact on the state’s skiing industry as well as its growing dairy sector. Finding solutions has proven to be a political minefield.
Meanwhile more businesses are starting to grasp the impact that the global water crises will have on their businesses, especially the financial sector. Recent announcements by both Wells Fargo and Bank of America indicate that banks are starting to take a larger interest in the threats that global water shortages will long have on society and the global economy.
“We’re in a unique position as the country’s number one commercial real estate lender, the number one agriculture lender, and the leading energy lender,” Ashley Grosh, a Wells Fargo vice president and the company’s environmental affairs business initiatives manager, tells Sustainable Brands. “We have built a strong relationship with many of these organizations, including Imagine H2O, and realized the immediate thing we can be doing related to water was putting our resources on scalable technologies.”
"Successful water innovation businesses represent self-financing solutions to water challenges," explains Imagine H2O Chief Operating Officer Scott Bryan. Collaboration with businesses such as Wells Fargo has allowed Imagine H2O to offer support to at least 60 companies, out of the 450 who have applied the past six years.
By working with several universities in California alone, Grosh says, “We are learning about what tools are needed to prepare farmers for the ‘new normal.’ How can we help them adjust their entire operations to do more with less?”
Grosh explained further that observations of what is going on at the university level can give the company an idea of which water technologies are ripe for investment, and then can be taken to the next level, by an organization such as Imagine H2O. The big question, however, is whether new irrigation methods, desalination, water-filtration technologies and smartphone apps will be enough to help California and other regions cope with what could be a long-term drought crisis. In the meantime, Wells Fargo sees plentiful opportunities to be an engaged investor and corporate citizen as more entrepreneurs in regions such as Silicon Valley flock from smartphones to smarter water systems.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Water has become a long-term investment.


"Meanwhile more businesses are starting to grasp the impact that the global water crises will have on their businesses, especially the financial sector. Recent announcements by both Wells Fargo and Bank of America indicate that banks are starting to take a larger interest in the threats that global water shortages will long have on society and the global economy."

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Insecticide contamination of global surface waters substantially higher than expected

Insecticide contamination of global surface waters substantially higher than expected | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
A new study evaluated for the first time comprehensive global insecticide contamination data for agricultural surface waters using the legally-accepted regulatory threshold levels (RTLs) as defined during the official pesticide authorization procedures. The results are alarming: more than 40% of the water-phase samples with a detection of an insecticide concentration, exceeded respective RTLs. Concerning the exposure of sediments (i.e., deposits at the bottom of the surface water bodies), more than 80% of the insecticide concentrations exceeded RTLs, which, however, often are less binding from a regulatory perspective. Overall, the results of this study indicate that insecticides pose substantial threats to the biodiversity of global agricultural surface waters and that the current regulatory risk assessment schemes and pesticide authorzsation procedures fail to protect the aquatic environment.

The results of this study fundamentally challenge the current regulatory risk assessment procedures for pesticides and indicate threats to the freshwater biodiversity at the global scale. "Potential reasons for these findings are failures of current risk assessment procedures or farmers` non-adherence to pesticide application prescriptions" says Ralf Schulz, one of the authors of this study. Fundamentally reforming global conventional agricultural systems and the adoption of promising approaches from organic farming are possible ways to meet the twin challenges of providing sufficient food for a growing human population and reversing the adverse impacts of agricultural pesticides on global ecosystems such as surface waters.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The continued use of poisons to protect man, is now threatening man.

"The authors conclude that the acute environmental risk for surface waters apparently even increased with the development of newer insecticide classes. In addition, the risks of insecticides for aquatic ecosystems are unacceptably high even in highly regulated countries such as the EU or the US although currently used major pesticide legislations were enforced in the regions already at the beginning of the 1990s. Moreover, an in-depth analysis showed that in less regulated countries (e.g., countries in Africa or Asia), 42% of the insecticide concentrations exceeded the RTL; surprisingly, this figure is only slightly lower (i.e., 40% RTL exceedances) in highly regulated countries such as the US, EU, Canada, Japan or Australia."

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Nearly 150 Dolphins Die In Mass Beaching On Japan's Coast ("the oceans have turned upside down")

Nearly 150 Dolphins Die In Mass Beaching On Japan's Coast ("the oceans have turned upside down") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Locals, police, and coast guard officials tried to save the animals that became beached on the coast Friday, but news agencies reported only three survived.

Dozens of people were seen pouring buckets of water on the dolphins, trying to keep them wet, the Associated Press reported.

The animals were found on a stretch of sand in Hokota, about 60 miles northeast of Tokyo.

“They are alive. I feel sorry for them,” one man at the scene told Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Some of the dolphins reportedly were moving their fins, but many were badly scratched, presumably from swimming in shallow water.

Despite efforts to save the animals, most of them died, Agence France-Pressreported. Only three of 149 are believed to have been successfully returned to the water. The others were to be buried.

Tadasu Yamadao, a researcher at the National Museum of Nature and Science, told AFP the dolphins may have become lost if the sonar waves emitted by the animals were absorbed by other fish, causing them to become disoriented.

“We see one or two whales washing ashore a year, but this may be the first time we have found over 100 of them on a beach,” a coast guard official said.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This mass beaching is unusual! The reason is still unknown. Poor dolphins.

 

"Tadasu Yamadao, a researcher at the National Museum of Nature and Science, told AFP the dolphins may have become lost if the sonar waves emitted by the animals were absorbed by other fish, causing them to become disoriented.

“We see one or two whales washing ashore a year, but this may be the first time we have found over 100 of them on a beach,” a coast guard official said.

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Scientists Have Found A New Way To Save The World’s Coral Reefs, And It’s Pretty Fishy ("it's doable")

Scientists Have Found A New Way To Save The World’s Coral Reefs, And It’s Pretty Fishy ("it's doable") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
For a healthy coral reef, just add fish.

The researches found that reefs with no fishing had about 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) of fish biomass per hectare (2.47 acres), and that to avoid a total collapse of ecosystem health, reefs needed to stay above a minimum of 100 kgs (about 220 lbs) of fish biomass per hectare. To keep their ecosystems healthy and be able to sustain fishing needs, reefs needed to keep fish biomass at at least 500 kgs (1,102 lbs) of fish biomass per hectare.

Unfortunately, according to the study, most of the world’s coral reefs aren’t succeeding at maintaining this biomass level. The researchers found that 83 percent of the coral reefs studied didn’t have a fish biomass of 1,102 lbs per 2.47 acres. But this doesn’t mean those reefs can’t still recover, said Aaron MacNeil, lead author of the study and senior research scientist for the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

MacNeil told ThinkProgress in an email that, because of the wide range of regulatory measures that can be put in place to regulate fishing methods or limit the amount or type of fish taken from a region, even poorer countries can take steps to improve their reef health.

“Our study is important because it shows that there are a range of management options available, including gear restrictions, limits on the species that can be caught, and caps on who can access the fishery,” he said. “Ultimately the most effective regulations are those that will be complied with and it is up to local people (and governments) to figure out what those are.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Saving our coral reefs has a formula - maintain the desired fish population. The missing element is the political will of regulators, although there are other problems that aggravate the problem.


"Despite the study’s confirmation that more fish leads to a healthier reef, and that there are many steps regions can take to protect their reefs, the authors write that marine reserves and fishing regulations aren’t enough to combat the threats reefs face from climate change and ocean acidification."

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California farmers resign themselves to drought: 'Nobody's fault but God's' ("why not ask God's help?")

California farmers resign themselves to drought: 'Nobody's fault but God's' ("why not ask God's help?") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Despite efforts to dig deeper into the earth to get at diminishing groundwater, the spectre of desertification may cost Central Valley farmers too much to carry on

As California faces a likely fourth year of drought, demand for drilling in the Central Valley has exploded. Hammond’s company, Arthur & Orum, can barely keep up: its seven rigs are working flat-out, yet a white folder with pending requests is thicker than three telephone books.

“We’re having to go deeper and deeper,” said Hammond. “They say we’re tapping water millions of years old. That boggles the mind. I can hardly grasp it.”

Meagre rain has depressed the water table so much that in some areas drills bore more than 1,500ft. Sucking up water stored long underground can cause soil to subside and collapse. In some places the land has dropped by a foot. Hydrogeologists have warned that pumping out groundwater faster than it can recharge threatens springs, streams and ecosystems.

The spectre of desertification inched closer this week. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which supplies about a third of California’s water, is paltry. The California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program found just 6.7in of snow – close to the lowest on record – at a survey spot near Echo Summit.

Storms in December and February mean reservoirs hold more water than this time last year, but they remain well below average. Conservation efforts are slipping. In January urban areas used 9% less water than January 2013, far below the official target of 20%.


Bert Guevara's insight:

When we run out of people to blame; we blame God!

In the Philippines, we turn to God instead using prayers.

“They’ll keep growing crops around here until they pump the valley dry. If something doesn’t change, everything will dry up and die. It won’t be farmable anymore.”

"The community had hoped for a “miracle March” of bountiful rain but that seems unlikely, he said, scanning azure skies. “Nobody’s fault but God’s.”"

 
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California Imposes First-Ever Mandatory Water Restrictions ("we better start getting used to this")

California Imposes First-Ever Mandatory Water Restrictions ("we better start getting used to this") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The state is facing a historic drought

California’s governor issued unprecedented mandatory water restrictions for the entire state on Wednesday, in the face of a persistent drought that is growing dire.

Governor Jerry Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to cut the state’s water usage by 25% by enacting a series of water-reduction practices, which could translate to savings of about 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the next nine months. The plan would include replacing 50 million sq. ft. of lawns throughout the state with drought-tolerant landscaping, replacing appliances with energy-efficient models and enforcing restricted water use for places like golf courses and cemeteries. Additional measures will address agricultural water use and investment in water-saving technologies.

“Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” said Brown in a statement referring to the record-low snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. “Therefore, I’m issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible.”

The order also asks local water agencies to implement conservation pricing, which can encourage water reductions and discourage waste. Local water suppliers will be required to report water usage, conservation and enforcement actions every month.

A year ago, Governor Brown declared the drought a state of emergency. The drought has lasted four years so far.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Severe droughts were foreseen many years ago when we started discussing climate change. But instead of preparing for it, many didn't care and went about doing the usual thing (and even denying it). This is an example of what a delayed reaction looks like.

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Water pollution in India a serious concern a documentary - Every Indian Must Watch This Vi - YouTube

SUBSCRIBE to my channel: LIKE + SHARE Water pollution is serious concern in India yet we give very less attention to it and still the water
Bert Guevara's insight:

This is one of the most disgusting videos I have ever watched. Similar scenes are also found in the Philippines.

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Maynilad to build septage treatment plant in Las Pinas ("after all this time, finally they did it")

Maynilad to build septage treatment plant in Las Pinas ("after all this time, finally they did it") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Maynilad Water Services Inc. said it started building a P363-million septage treatment plant in Las Pinas City.

The South Septage Treatment Plant is located in Barangay Pamplona Uno.

Maynilad said the facility would be able to treat 250 cubic meters per day of septage, which are collected from the septic tanks of its customers in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Pasay; and Bacoor, Cavite, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite.

Maynilad said the septage treatment plant, partly funded by a World Bank loan, will use a "screw press dewatering system." This particular technology is used for treatment of septage that requires minimal operational costs.

"Wastewater from households that is not properly treated can pose serious and long-term threats to the health of communities and the environment. To date, we operate 17 wastewater treatment plants capable of treating 520 million liters of wastewater per day," Maynilad President and CEO Ricky P. Vargas said.

Maynilad, the water concessionaire for the West Zone, is setting aside 7.61 billion or around 44 percent of its total capital expenditures for 2015 for wastewater management projects.

Bert Guevara's insight:

After all the bustling new cities in the South of Metro Manila have sprawled, it is only now that we see a waste water treatment facility being constructed.

The crude system of "seeping" individual septic tanks is a painstaking process that still leaves a lot of septage water untreated. What about houses that have waste water draining directly into our drainage systems? Have they been all inspected and corrected yet? No wonder Manila Bay smells like a sewer.

 

"Maynilad said the facility would be able to treat 250 cubic meters per day of septage, which are collected from the septic tanks of its customers in Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Pasay; and Bacoor, Cavite, Imus, Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario in Cavite."

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Aquaponics 4 Idiots - The Idiot Proof Way of Building an Aquaponic System ("a proven way of smart agri")

Aquaponics 4 Idiots - The Idiot Proof Way of Building an Aquaponic System ("a proven way of smart agri") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it

The idea was so simple it's mind-boggling... It's about balance with nature , which is automatic, for example:

1. Trees provide us with Oxygen to breathe...

2. We breathe out Carbon-Dioxide, and...

3. In turn the trees breathe the Carbon-Dioxide... and breathe out Oxygen.

It's automatic... we don't have to think about where and how we're getting our oxygen... it just happens.

Well, what if you could do the same thing for plants? So their food supply is automated. You can, with AQUA-PONICS. It is the combination of hydroponics with aqua-culture.

Aqua-Culture is the process of growing fish in a tank... and it has one big problem... Fish produce Ammonia, Algae, Minerals, and all kinds of other by-products that need to be constantly filtered.

Wait a minute! Plants eat Ammonia, Algae, Minerals and Nitrates! Everything that fish produce naturally!

What if you connect the two together? This is where the magic of aqua-ponics comes in!...

If you connect the fish-tank water to the water of the hydroponics system... your plants get anautomatic food supply of almost everything they need to grow from the fish water... and in turn... the plants filter the water for the fish.

It's a win/win/win situation for everyone:1. The plants get rich alive nutrients around the clock.2. The fish are happy as their water is filtered by nature every day. 3. You get healthier plants (a lot more of them), and A LOT of benefits...

This way, your plants exist in a natural balanced relationship with the algae/fish, which makes them grow faster and healthier.

Bert Guevara's insight:

In case you haven't read about the wonder of aquaponics yet, here are some basic facts which are very useful.

 

"Up to 10 Times More Plants! With aquaponics you place plants closer together on a float system above the water, therefore it fits 10 times more plants in the same space! The roots of the plants are always in nutrient rich water and there's no over-crowding! Inside the eBook you'll find out exactly how to place the floats, which material to use, and how to plant your seedlings inside."

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The Empty River of Life ("taken for granted, rivers may disappear and may not return as expected")

The Empty River of Life ("taken for granted, rivers may disappear and may not return as expected") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Drought has affected all of Iran but nowhere is its effect more visible than in Isfahan, where the water that once flowed under the Bridge of 33 Arches has vanished.

There have not been that many storms in Tehran, Iran’s sprawling metropolis, which stretches from the mighty Alborz mountain range in the north far into the dry plains to the south, toward the holy Shiite city of Qum. Actually, there has not been much rain here for years.

Signs of the drought in Iran — which, according to experts, has lasted for more than two decades — are not very visible in the capital. There are many parks and trees because of the active city government.

But make no mistake: The city is dry. Its underground water supplies are depleted, and officials have long warned that, one day, the trees will dry up and water might need to be rationed.

Outside Tehran the situation is much worse, and some experts predict that the south will become uninhabitable if the drought persists.

Still, to the dismay of those aware of Iran’s water problems, many in Tehran keep washing their cars with water from wells that they somehow believe will fill up miraculously — even though average rainfall has dropped and the city’s population has tripled in the past 30 years.

“The well is endless. The water comes from deep inside the earth,” my neighbor assured me after I asked if it was really necessary to “wash the street,” as he calls drowning the asphalt in gallons of water to clean the dust. “God has given us this water to use,” he said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Disappearing rivers are happening all over the planet, including the Philippines. People take it for granted that the rivers will return in time; but long droughts have made the seasonal return of the rivers delayed longer and longer. 

 

"Nowhere is the drought more visible than in Iran’s former capital, Isfahan, a desert city 250 miles south of here. It is home to a once mighty river, the Zayanderud, or the River of Life, that cuts through the historic center like a clumsily rolled out carpet.

"Over the past three years, however, the river has been dry, the result of little rainfall and a lack of sufficient water management. Residents who in the past would stroll along Isfahan’s riverbanks and breathe in the cool breeze off the flowing water instead cover their faces to defend against the dust blowing from the dry riverbeds."

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Eating the drought: How much water goes into your meal? ("after consuming so much, then food is waste")

Eating the drought: How much water goes into your meal? ("after consuming so much, then food is waste") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
California's crippling drought has prompted conservation efforts, such as replacing grass lawns and minding how long you leave the tap water running. But what about the food on your plate? Agriculture uses 80% of California's water supply, and producing what you eat can require a surprising amount of water. The number next to the plate below represents the direct and indirect amount of water required to produce your food plate, based on U.S. data from the Water Footprint Network. Food items are assumed as fresh (unfrozen) and do not include the footprint for cooking (when applicable).

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This info-graph is fantastic! It shows you how much water is used to produce every ounce or pound of your food. Check it out and be aware of the critical role of water in our survival.

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It’s a Keeper: New Report Shows the Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working ("allow oceans to repopulate")

It’s a Keeper: New Report Shows the Magnuson-Stevens Act is Working ("allow oceans to repopulate") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Fish lovers, rejoice! Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released record breaking news, showing yet again, that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. In its 2014 Status of Stock...

Fish lovers, rejoice! Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released record breaking news, showing yet again, that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. In its 2014 Status of Stocks report, NMFS reported that overfishing and overfished numbers are at an all-time low, and the number of rebuilt fish stocks has grown to 37!

Since 2007, the percentage of stocks that are facing overfishing, or that are already overfished, has decreased—even though fishing is increasing. This points to positive rebuilding progress for our nation’s fisheries. It is clear that sound science and managing the long term future of our fisheries is working for America’s fish stocks as well as for the country’s economy.

 It is important that this progress continue. More than 1.7 million jobs in the United States rely on commercial and recreational fisheries, contributing $199 billion annually. This is in large part thanks to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, our country’s fisheries management law.

The Magnuson-Stevens Act is an invaluable tool for protecting the economic benefits realized by our nation’s fisheries. This law is critical to preserving the health and integrity of our ocean’s complicated and delicate marine ecosystems.  The Status of the Stocks report further proves that the Magnuson-Stevens Act is making important strides toward ending overfishing, and we can’t afford to stop now.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Here is one good news for the fishing industry, at least in the US. We can follow this model for the fish population to recover from overfishing.

 

"Ocean Conservancy looks forward to future improvements to the Magnuson-Stevens Act to continue our achievements in rebuilding fisheries so that we may realize the long-term ecological and economic sustainability of our nation’s fisheries."

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Our public water future - closing out the corporate profiteers ("rift between private & public owners")

Our public water future - closing out the corporate profiteers ("rift between private & public owners") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
Private water companies have never been more aggressive in their sabotaging of efforts to 'make water public', writes Satoko Kishimoto, with legal threats and challenges launched under 'free trade' agreements. But as citizens worldwide reject corporate water profiteering, the trend of water re-municipalisation has gathered unstoppable momentum.

Unfortunately on the ground, the promise of private water services has all too often turned into a mirage. Starting in 2000, increasing numbers of cities (from Atlanta to Accra, Berlin to Buenos Aires) have demanded a return to public water services as prices rose and services declined.

In the face of growing criticism, the World Water Forum has toned down its talk of privatisation - this year the language is all about "innovative investment", promoted most typically through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

But on closer examination, this is another mirage. PPPs are not an "innovative" financing mechanism but a cherry-picking exercise: one that allows water multinationals the most attractive contracts (and all profits), while governments assume the risks.

In the case of Bandung in Indonesia, for example, the PPP guaranteed a private company a 20% profit rate in exchange for an investment of $500 million in water infrastructure, that could only be paid back because of the presence of profitable local industries.

But this cherry-picking means that the public sector is left operating only in regions where cost recovery is not possible - and it prevents the public sector - that can borrow at cheaper rates and is not required to pay back shareholders - to use earnings from more profitable districts to support extending service in less well-serviced low income areas.

Research by Public Services International Research Unit shows that despite the big expansion of PPPs in recent years, financing for all infrastructure across the world still predominantly comes from public sources, as high as 90%.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Water should be accessible to the public at the least possible cost. Infrastructure investments, however, bring in private profiteers who are exercising ownership over water resources. The public should be more aware.

 

"Investment in the public sector can deliver far better results than public-private partnerships. 'Our Public Water future' shows that the 235 cities (that have remunicipalised) provide better services - not only because they can reinvest all profits into infrastructure, but also because they are better placed to consider other issues such as labour rights, environmental conservation and democratic accountability.

"Undistracted from competing for markets, public water operators are also linking up through Public Public Partnerships to share learning and best practice, and build capacity of less well-resourced utilities."

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New Study Predicts Murky Future for Global Water Quality ("from volume shortage to poor quality")

New Study Predicts Murky Future for Global Water Quality ("from volume shortage to poor quality") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
First-of-its-kind study underscores that rapidly deteriorating water quality - not just water quantity - is escalating a global water crisis.

According to a global study by the International Food Policy Research Institute and Veolia, the world is on a path toward rapidly deteriorating water quality in many countries.  The first-of-its-kind study indicates that up to 1 in 3 people will be exposed to a high risk of water pollution in 2050 from increased amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous.  Up to 1 in 5 people will be exposed to a high risk of water pollution reflected by increased levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).  

Even using the most optimistic socio-economic models, water quality is projected to rapidly deteriorate over the next several decades which, in turn, will increase risks to human health, economic development and thousands of aquatic ecosystems in developed and developing economies alike.

A major consequence of excessive nitrogen and phosphorous in water bodies is eutrophication, when algae grow faster than normal, killing other aquatic life by depleting oxygen. In addition, the presence of nitrogen-based compounds in drinking water can be harmful to human health. High levels of nitrates can have particularly harmful effects on infants through the so-called “blue-baby” syndrome. Prolonged intake of high levels of nitrates by adults can also lead to gastric problems. 

The new study follows previous substantial research conducted by the two organizations indicating that half the world's population (52% of the global population or 4.8 billion people), approximately half of global grain production and 45% of total GDP ($63 trillion) will be at risk due to water stress by 2050 unless more sustainable water resource management practices are adopted.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The negative trends for water sustainability can be observed everywhere. There is little good news to look forward to.

 

"First-of-its-kind study underscores that rapidly deteriorating water quality - not just water quantity - is escalating a global water crisis."

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The Evolution Of Seafood Sustainability ("fish lovers' concern if you want long-term supply")

The Evolution Of Seafood Sustainability ("fish lovers' concern if you want long-term supply") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
In this post we take a look at some of the key sustainability issues in the seafood industry.

Over the last five years, during my most intense immersions into the expo, there has been a clear evolution in seafood sustainability, a constant move forward. This is not a new evolution and has been occurring ever since the idea of seafood sustainability was first broached. In some ways, the evolution of seafood sustainability has been quicker and more significant than that occurring in any other food industry. For example, early aquaculture saw serious problems, such as pollution and disease, yet many of those problems have been resolved. The problems of factory farms that raise chickens, pigs and cows have not been addressed as quickly or as successfully as aquaculture.

The relatively rapid evolution of seafood sustainability has unfortunately been an obstacle in some regards to the average consumer. Due to the complexities of sustainability, and its rapid changes, consumers get overwhelmed and fail to properly understand the issues. Instead, they often tend to rely on sensationalist media reports, usually outdated, mentioning the dangers of seafood. But consumer education is starting to be addressed, as well as the development of ideas which will make it much easier for consumers to understand what is most important.

As my own contribution to correcting the misconceptions of consumers, I want to address some of the key points of the sustainability issue as it presently stands, pointing out some of its evolution as well.

Bert Guevara's insight:

What does seafood sustainability include?

 

1. Seafood sustainability is vital

2. Seafood sustainability still isn’t a major consumer concern

3. Seafood sustainability isn’t an either/or issue

4. Seafood sustainability is a complex issue

5. Seafood sustainability is about trust

6. Aquaculture is the future of seafood sustainability

7. Seafood sustainability is about diversity of species

8. Seafood sustainability should include a social element

Besides extreme cases like those in Thailand, there also needs to be a concern for local fishing communities and their economic well being. There needs to be a balancing act between strict fishing regulations and protecting the livelihoods of fishermen. It is far from an easy task, and the important point is that we need to consider these social issues in seafood sustainability discussions.

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The Pacific Ocean may have entered a new warm phase — and the consequences could be dramatic ("not part of warming")

The Pacific Ocean may have entered a new warm phase — and the consequences could be dramatic ("not part of warming") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The 2013-2014 "warm blob" was just the beginning.

Two new studies have just hit about the “warm blob” in the northeast Pacific ocean — a 2 degree C or more temperature anomaly that began in the winter of 2013-2014 in the Gulf of Alaska and later expanded. Scientists have been astonished at the extent and especially the long-lasting nature of the warmth, with one NOAA researcher saying, “when you see something like this that’s totally new you have opportunities to learn things you were never expecting.”

The Post’s Sarah Kaplan has covered some of the most immediate consequences of the “blob,” such as weird appearances of strange marine species more typical of warm water, like ocean sunfish, off the Alaskan coast. She also notes that the blob may be linked to the California drought and other odd weather phenomena.

According to Mantua, the emergence of the new and consolidated “blob” may be a very significant development with global consequences. That’s because it may relate to a much larger pattern of ocean temperatures called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO. A shift in this oscillation, in turn, may be a sign that the planet is on the verge of getting warmer, some scientists say.

“People are seeing a lot of ecological impacts related to this warm water, and people are looking for the story, why is this happening, what is it?” Mantua says. “And it, to me, looks like just an extreme shift into the warm state of the PDO.”

The PDO is kind of like a far more long-term version of the much better known El Niño-La Niña cycle. It is not thought to be related to global warming — rather, it is believed to be the result of “natural internal variability” in the climate system.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The Pacific WARM BLOB is puzzling climate and ocean scientists. Read about it and become curious too. It will have a significant effect on Philippine climate because it happens in the Pacific.

"So in sum — there’s some oddness happening in the Pacific right now, including very warm water off the U.S. coast and what looks like a shift in the PDO. And some scientists think this could lead to a step-change upwards for global warming, and the end of the so-called pause or slowdown. But there’s also plenty of uncertainty; Trenberth, who told the climate blogger Joe Romm recently that he thought we were in for a new uptick in temperatures, also commented there that he was “sticking my neck out.”

"So for now, I’ll just leave you with an indisputable point — namely, the Pacific Ocean is sublimely gigantic, so it’s no surprise that what happens there can have ramifications everywhere. And scientists are now examining those changes very closely indeed — because they know how much they might matter."

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Watch: Amid Drought, California Water Virtually Draining Away ("fear of agri job loss drying up CA water")

Watch: Amid Drought, California Water Virtually Draining Away ("fear of agri job loss drying up CA water") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
The state is exporting water-intensive alfalfa hay to fuel China's growing demand for dairy.

Critics of the governor’s plan argue that excluding agriculture from the restrictions is shortsighted, since farming accounts for 80 percent of the state's water usage. Brown defended the decision explaining that cutting allocations would result in major job losses and decreased food production. “There are people in agriculture areas that are really suffering,” he said.

Some have questioned the production of so much food for export during a water shortage. Even as many farmers struggle to meet their crops’ demand for water in drought-stricken California, every year they also send billions of virtual gallons to other countries—in the form of the food and animal feed grown with that water.

Virtual water flows are a global phenomenon. Africa, North America, South America, and Australia export more virtual water than they import in the form of traded crops and goods, while Europe and Asia are net importers. The United States exports about 82 trillion gallons of water a year–more than twice as much virtual water as any other country. That’s largely because American farms are a big supplier of the global food chain.

Historically, water rights in California make it relatively inexpensive for some farmers to buy water. This low cost allows them to sell their crops at competitive prices on the global market. The resulting low pricing of thirsty crops like alfalfa and almonds can mask the true cost of their production during a drought. “Water is a public good,” says Hoekstra, “so allocation systems should support its sustainable use.”

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Long-term drought and dwindling water supply calls for smart agriculture. Product choices have to change, otherwise, everybody goes down when the water dries up. Exports have to come second.


"Some have questioned the production of so much food for export during a water shortage. Even as many farmers struggle to meet their crops’ demand for water in drought-stricken California, every year they also send billions of virtual gallons to other countries—in the form of the food and animal feed grown with that water."

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Bloomberg, Steyer: Think CA drought is bad? That's just a preview ("big biz still obstinate; exempted")

Bloomberg, Steyer: Think CA drought is bad? That's just a preview ("big biz still obstinate; exempted") | Water Stewardship | Scoop.it
As California continues to waffle on industrial-scale drought measures, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and Hank Paulson urge businesses to take action on climate risk.

The day after California officials measured an alarming new low in the snow pack that feeds California’s water supply and its governor ordered the first ever water restrictions, a group of high profile business leaders warned of nationwide economic risk that could ripple from climate change impacts on even just this one state.

“The business and investment community have to incorporate climate risks into the DNA of their decision making," said Kate Gordon, editor of the report. "These risks should be evaluated when they are making capital decisions on infrastructure investments and supply chain decisions."

But even as the Risky Business group suggests that their business peers mitigate climate change risks, Gov. Jerry Brown excused the state's biggest agricultural operations and oil and gas firms from making significant change in how they do business, critics complained. Large farms are excused from the 25 percent water use reductions.

Businesses headquartered in California include several of the world's largest companies — more among the S&P 500 than any other state. Apple, which has been the world's largest company by market capitalization, is headquartered here, along with runner up Google as well as some of the nation's largest defense contractors and agriculture companies. 

In addition to in-house corporate sustainability measures, that business stature could be put to use on advocacy, Gordon said.

"Business plays an outsized roll in influencing U.S. policy makers," he explained. "They should do so on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The business community needs to have a strong and vocal role."


Bert Guevara's insight:

Knee-jerk solutions will not alleviate the water crisis, as Big Biz and Big Agri consumers are still enjoying exemptions because of political patronage. 

With the El Niño phenomenon battering the Philippines, we should also put our act together at this early stage. Some regions are already suffering from the dry spell.

"It is disappointing that Governor Brown’s executive order to reduce California water use does not address the state's most egregious corporate water abuses. In the midst of a severe drought, the Governor continues to allow corporate farms and oil interests to deplete and pollute our precious groundwater resources that are crucial for saving water," said Adam Scow, director of Food & Water Watch California.  

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