While residents across Prince Rupert, British Columbia are once again able to get safe drinking water from their taps, the boil-water advisory lifted there in late January should not be forgotten. Canada is a freshwater-rich country, but the time for complacency on essential water issues has long passed. Most people living in Canada have access to safe water. But drinking water advisories in the country about unsafe water have been concentrated in First Nation communities.
For nearly three decades, several communities in southeastern El Salvador have collectively and efficiently managed the water they consume, but monoculture production and climate change put their water at risk.
The depletion of groundwater table in Dhaka has made water crisis in the city acute, especially during the dry season. What are the reasons behind this?
We have conducted many research studies in the last 15/20 years and have found that Dhaka's groundwater table has been gradually depleting at an average rate of one metre or 30/40 centimetres sometimes. Because of the rapid urbanisation of the city, the demand for groundwater has been increasing. In the multi-storied buildings and towers that are being constructed, high-powered pumps are used to extract water from underground. This contributes significantly to the lowering of the groundwater table. In Dhaka, there is no water in the shallow aquifers (50-70 feet deep). Presently, water is being extracted from the intermediate and deep aquifers, which are 600 to 800 feet deep.
Every year, the World Economic Forum asks some 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, business, academia and civil society across the globe to assess the risks facing the world over the decade to come.
Water is a precondition for human existence, and for the sustainability of our planet. It is entwined with almost everything human, from climate change and global economy to gender issues and human rights.
I am drafting this on International Women’s Day - March 8 - with an eye towards World Water Day on March 22. On International Women’s Day we celebrate progress in gender equality. At the same time, we recognize how much remains to be done: how many women remain excluded from decision-making across many professions. Changing this is urgent. Water – clean and accessible – is getting scarcer at an alarming rate. While working to change this, we cannot afford to exclude women.
The stakes are high for women when faced with a warming world – their livelihoods jeopardised by labour markets that tend to put men first, their family responsibilities increasing rapidly in the face of droughts and flooding, and politicians who refuse to acknowledge the challenges they face. The story of those living on the frontline of a harsher climate is simply not being heard.
Those of us working in disaster relief know what to expect when a hurricane or earthquake strikes with devastating fury.
We know that safe water, food, and shelter will be the most immediate needs for survivors. And we have a good idea of the kind of wreckage we’ll see, although we never cease to be humbled and sobered by the tragic sights.
"Look at this water. Would you drink it?" asks José Pablo Zubieta, as he shows a glass he has just filled from a faucet, where yellow and brown sediment float, in his home in Villa La Cava, a shantytown on the outskirts of Argentina's capital.
A school in the capital of Easter Island (Rapa Nui, in the local indigenous tongue) gives an example of clean management with the use of solar energy, rainwater recovery and an organic vegetable garden, as well as rooms and spaces built with waste materials.
When young people from small towns and villages seek higher education they have to usually migrate to big cities leaving their local communities behind. On completion of their degree from the Universities, they generally prefer staying in cities, in search of a good job and a successful career. Though this is a standard practice, it is also a case of lost opportunities, especially for students who pursue higher education in agriculture. Here is why.
1. Why Blue Economy in Africa? What potentials does Africa have?
The blue economy in Africa is neglected, ignored or underexploited, but it can offer a range of African solutions to African economic problems. More than one-quarter of Africa’s population lives within 100km of the coast and derive their livelihoods there. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), by 2020, the annual economic value of energy activities related to maritime affairs will reach EUR 2.5bn.1
Out of the 54 African countries, 34 are coastal countries and over 90% of African exports and imports are transported by sea. The territorial waters under African jurisdiction cover a surface area of 13 million km², with a continental shelf of some 6.5 million km² comprising exclusive economic zones (EEZ). The continent covers 17% of the world’s surface water resources. The strategic dimension of the blue economy is an indisputable reality for African countries. It is for this reason that it has been included in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and that a practical handbook on the blue economy was prepared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in March 2016.
Cost-effective technologies are available to remove arsenic in groundwater. Why then do tens of millions still fall ill to this chronic problem?
High natural levels of arsenic are characteristic of the groundwater supply in many countries, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Mongolia, and the United States.
One of the most laudable initiatives of the current government’s regime is the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) that was launched on Oct 2, 2014, with a larger vision of a clean India. The critical aspect of the mission was that—unlike many of the movements that preceded it—this had a measurable outcome (making India open defecation free) and a firm timeline (by 2019).
Concerns about the supply side of food systems are shifting from insufficient production and supply, to issues likely to affect food production in the medium and long term, such as water risks, global warming and environmental consequences.
According to UN statistics, approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast, and overall the world’s coastal population is increasing faster than the total global population. At the same time, global warming is causing sea levels to rise and increasing extreme weather incidents on coastlines.
For the first time in her life, retired physical education teacher Elizabeth Ribeiro planted a tree, thorny papaya, native to Brazil's central savanna.
Unjustified extra charges on drinking water, exploitation of labourers in the countryside and uncontrolled property speculation. In Europe’s periphery, citizens' initiatives show how all too prevalent modern-day ailments can be tackled successfully. More often than not with the help of artists.
Most people will experience climate change in the form of water – higher frequency and intensity of floods and droughts, an increase in waterborne diseases, and overloaded sewage systems that are unable to cope with new demands.
The number of people who have been affected by cholera in northeast Nigeria has increased to 10,000. The disease is spreading quickly in congested displacement camps with limited access to proper sanitation facilities.
Dozens of trucks used to leave São Gonçalo every day, carrying the local agricultural production, mainly coconuts, to markets throughout Brazil, including the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, more than 2,000 kilometers away.