05 October 2011

Speed blogging

  • This short World Bank note [PDF] on "reform of water tariffs in Chongqing" (perhaps the largest city in the world) gives some useful pointers: (1) people will pay more for water when payment goes to improve quality (and save them from buying bottle water or getting sick) and (2) higher rates are not "regressive" when the rich gain more from "social tariffs" (better to give income support to the poor)

  • Aquacue (a company that I advise) is holding a water conservation competition at UC Merced in which students in nine dorms compete to see who can use the least amount of water per person. You can track their results -- updated daily -- here. I predict more people showering at the gym, but this contest gives everyone an idea of how the combination of feedback and competition can reduce water use.

  • "Argentina is promoting a new era of mining and energy production, welcoming billions of dollars in foreign investment to unlock huge new reserves of natural gas, oil, gold, lithium and other metals once thought to be unprofitable or out of reach." I worry about this announcement since it -- combined with Argentina's growing emphasis on local production ("import substitution" all over again) implies that the government may waste and pollute water resources in its quest for more local energy production and mining.

  • San Antonio has replaced unsustainable groundwater pumping (as described in Water Follies) with a wastewater recycling scheme. Success in Texas!

  • The IUCN Water Programme is pleased to announce the launch of its new Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) website for Integrated Water Resource Management knowledge and solutions.

  • H/Ts to MF, DL and RM

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