14 August 2013

Happy birthday to me!

I'm 44 today and definitely enjoying my life. In the near future, I'll be exploring the culture of Canada, life in Vancouver, and what's been going on with water policy in North America (that means the US and Canada -- and sometimes Mexico -- for you Americans).

What I'm curious to know (and perhaps frustrated to NOT know) is what I am doing wrong or what I am getting wrong, when it comes to improving water policy. I've seen lots of problems, and I've suggested lots of solutions, but I can't accept the possibility that special interests (those who benefit from current, unsustainable policies) are able to block change that will benefit the majority of us.

Is that the problem? Is there something I am missing? Can you suggest better ways for me to discuss these issues? People to talk to? Areas to tackle? Do tell.

Bottom Line: My life is great, and I'd love to improve others. Help me out :)


  1. Happy birthday David.


  2. Happy Birthday Dr. Zetland! This is might be poor timing since you just moved from the Netherlands, but I was curious to know if you have ever had the opportunity to run into a Professor Mark Van Loosdrecht of Delft University of Technology during your time at Wageningen University?

    His work in Environmental Biotechnology (specifically the founder of the now patented Nereda Process), seen in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l6jVR17yEU, I believe could have major implicatioins for the reduction in wastewater treatment service cost for developed and developing countries since the process is substantially faster and requires a smaller facility.

    Although there is great possibility that my optimism might outweigh the practical economic dimension of this innovation, I thought it was worth running by you. He might be someone you would like to work with in the future in making that technology a reality in North America (maybe presenting to the ASCE who I am sure you know have been making a lot of noise about the crumbling infrastructure in the US - see http://www.asce.org/uploadedFiles/Infrastructure/Failure_to_Act/ASCE%20WATER%20REPORT%20FINAL.pdf).

    Enjoy your day and the new place!


  3. Happy Birthday!
    Glad we were able to meet here in Silicon Valley - enjoy the wonderful Vancouver area.

  4. Hi Dr. Zetalnd,
    Happy Birthday to you in the sunny island of Vancouver from the sunny island in NYC (Manhattan)
    I hope and pray on this day that you continue to spread the much needed knowledge and awareness w.r.t. to water issues.
    As one of the other readers asked, did you get a chance to interact with Prof./ Dr. Jay O’Keefe, in UNESCO IHE, Delft, The Netherlands?
    He was a long standing alumni of IHE and also chair of Water Programs for WWF International. He was a pioneer in the applying the building block methodology (BBM) for determining the flows requirement in the rivers.

  5. Happy Birthday David!
    (Great photo, happy trails to you in Vancouver!)

    PS. I'm a young consulting design engineer (civil) in California that stumbled upon your blog while I was taking a course on the economics of land and water during grad school at Cal Poly. I greatly appreciate your perspective and the resources that you make available. Thanks!

    Lately I've been working my way through the TEOA audio webinars (and following along in the book) - really enjoy them. I've found them both very thought provoking. Looking forward to TEOA 2.0.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Happy glibertarian birthday! May you get yours and everyone else be fornicated.

  7. Happy Birthday David! Just keep pushing. Atrophied institutions will be circumvented by many small but tactical changes.

  8. Happy Birthday !

    We face the same political problems for getting our ideas accepted, except that you are smarter than me. Just as with waterbags, perhaps you need to initiate a demonstration of one or more of your ideas in a real world situation. Start with an idea that is relatively east and inexpensive to implement and work with a water entity, group, etc.that is receptive to new ideas. Look how long it took for desal to be accepted in Southern California---and it is still not embraced by all. Be successful on a small scale and then move up to bigger ideas.

    Our waterbag economics will eventually prevail. We shall see. Just a few thoughts in answer to your questions about life.

    We persist.

  9. @All -- thanks for all the warm wishes. It's great to be chatting with you all :)

    @Alex -- I don't know Mark, but I am technology-agnostic -- try whatever works!

    @Pavlavi -- I defer to experts like Jay on base flows. I know they should happen; he's the type to set their level (but see my essay on letting scientists make policy :)

    @Wes -- GREAT! I put some time into those, to try to discuss the "soft" aspects of the policies. Hopefully, TEOA 2.0 will be clearer and more intuitive, but I have a feeling I'll be doing more talking -- mostly in the form of conversations over the implications of the ideas


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