19 Jun 2013

Speed blogging

  1. Living within our Means: Water and Resource Efficiency in Europe is disappointing. It emphasizes irrelevant footprinting rather than discussing the role of constraints (i.e., natural availability less e-flows equals water for economic use) and allocation mechanisms that encourage efficiency. I guess the EU likes to measure and regulate more than establish basic incentives and allow people to make efficient decisions without bureaucratic second-guessing.

  2. Although you may not expect it, Albania's water regulator is really doing a great job at reporting on their efforts to improve service in a sector that (like many in Eastern Europe) needs a LOT of investment and operational improvements. Check out their 2011 performance report [pdf] to see what ALL regulators should be reporting to the public. (Dutch drinking water companies "regulate themselves" in an admirable way, via their association VEWIN.)

  3. Drowning via corruption: I learned that Bangladeshis (who are vulnerable to climate change) are unwilling to pay "their share" for projects to protect themselves against floods, etc., because local politicians steal all the money. What's ironic is that countries like Bangladesh (destination of about $94 million in CC-related funds), gets far less than countries like South Africa ($540 million, or 17x the per capita amount of Bangladesh), Mexico, Egypt, et al. Why is this? Perhaps because "popular" destinations make it easier to "invest"?*

  4. This paper [pdf] discusses how a Spanish river basin was "closed" to further diversions and how irrigators  changed their behavior as a result. Environmental flows played a role, but it's unclear that they get priority.

  5. Maybe those irrigators (and others!) could benefit from this Training Curriculum for Community Engagement in Small Scale Irrigation, River Diversion and Reservoir Systems [pdf]. It was used in Ghana and Nepal.

* For even more fun, check out the correlation between fossil fuel subsidies (that increase use and thus climate change) and countries receiving funds to offset the impacts of CC. (Perverse facts brought to us by my clever GF.)