Archive for August, 2009

Toilets for millions

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 | Environment Update | No Comments

Dr Pathak from India receives the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize.
Millions of people in India today benefit from his work with sanitation in relation to human rights, social progress and health. It started in 1970 with the establishment of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement. Dr. Pathak’s work has led to the development of cheap toilets as well as clear health improvements among the poorest in the meagcities of India which provide a model for other parts of the world.

Check out Sulabh International

Innovative solution for many

Innovative solution for many

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Explore your everyday water-world

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 | Explore Everyday Nature | No Comments

Water is an older connection between people than the Internet! Co-operation concerning irrigation was one reason for the founding of the first cities. Water strongly links our bodies to the Earth’s ecosystems. Before the water in your glass ended up next to you it might have: traveled from the oceans up into the clouds, fallen down as light rain over a forest, absorbed into the trees, evaporated up into the sky again, and fallen down into a river, ending up in the water source of your neighbourhood.

Less than 1 per cent of the earths’ water is readily accessible for human use.
Where does your drinking water come from?

A human being needs 20-50 litres (5-13 gallons) of water daily.
What is the average daily water use per person in your region?

2.5 billion people worldwide lack proper sanitation facilities
Where does your waste water go?

Views of water contribute to the aesthetic values of a landscape
Which is your closest water course?

The fresh-water species populations have been reduced by 50 per cent since 1970.
What fish-species live close to you?

In 2030 nearly half of the world’s population will be living in areas suffering from severe water stress.
What is the water situation in your region?

Source: World Water Week

image courtesy: Sara Borgström

image courtesy: Sara Borgström

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Remember the green water

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 | Nature @ Your Service | No Comments

You need approximately 20-50 liters (5-13 gallons) of water per day to drink and for hygiene. For this you use blue water that is found in lakes, rivers and ground water aquifers. But this is not the whole story. To produce the food you eat during one single day you need another 3500 liters (925 gallons) of water. This water is necessary for plants to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates, meaning the oxygen we breathe and the sugar we and our cattle live on. Today 70 per cent of the blue water that we use is needed for irrigation, causing water stress for both humans and nature. At the same time increasing numbers of people will need this water for their basic needs. Meanwhile there is an untapped potential of green water. This green water is rainwater that is absorbed by herbs, grasses, shrubs, trees and crops. The resource provided by green water is seldom recognized when water issues are discussed. Its potential can be tapped by using less water intensive crops and by sheltering plant roots during dry periods. Including green water in both water management systems as well as in agriculture is one main approach to hunger alleviation and adapting for the future.

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The nature of your breakfast

Sunday, August 16th, 2009 | Nature @ Your Service | No Comments

The concept of ecosystem services communicates our inevitable dependence on nature despite the havens of urban culture, virtual worlds and space exploration. What sort of nature was needed to produce the content of your breakfast?

Breakfast

Check out the well-being of the Earths’ ecosystems at the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Check out research on Ecosystem Services and Ecosystem Management at Albaeco.

Recommended reading: Daily, G.C. Nature’s services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems, Island Press, 1997.

Check out the wellbeing of the Earths’ ecosystems at the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Check out research on Ecosystem Services and Ecosystem Management at Albaeco.

Recommended reading

Daily, G.C. Nature’s services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems, Island Press, 1997.

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