Category Archives: Water

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water (P. Gleick)

Author

Peter Gleick

Keywords

Water, commercial product

Abstract

Praise for Bottled and Sold

“Gleick covers the topic in illuminating detail, yet packages his writing with the skill and passion of a novelist. Supported by research, including interviews and plant visits, Gleick examines how water is found, pumped, bottled, treated, lied about, and sold to a relatively unsuspecting public. If selling bottled water is a shell game, Gleick picks the right shell every time.” – Foreword

“Gleick trains his scientifically objective eye on the bottled water phenomenon… [and] offers a sobering yet sensible look at society’s ill-considered thirst for bottled water.” -Booklist

“With the gusto of a born raconteur and the passion of a believer, Gleick makes a sound case for improving the developing world’s access to and the developed world’s attitude toward safe, piped drinking water purified by the natural hydrologic cycle.” – Publishers Weekly

“Alongside fascinating discursions into the history of the public water fountain, cholera, and Kabbalah, Gleick provides an dispassionate glimpse into purposeful distortions of science that drive us to believe bottled water will make us ‘healthier, skinnier, or more popular.'” – Seed

Description

Peter Gleick knows water. A world-renowned scientist and freshwater expert, Gleick is a MacArthur Foundation “genius,” and according to the BBC, an environmental visionary. And he drinks from the tap. Why don’t the rest of us?

Bottled and Sold shows how water went from being a free natural resource to one of the most successful commercial products of the last one hundred years—and why we are poorer for it. It’s a big story and water is big business. Every second of every day in the United States, a thousand people buy a plastic bottle of water, and every second of every day a thousand more throw one of those bottles away. That adds up to more than thirty billion bottles a year and tens of billions of dollars of sales.

Are there legitimate reasons to buy all those bottles? With a scientist’s eye and a natural storyteller’s wit, Gleick investigates whether industry claims about the relative safety, convenience, and taste of bottled versus tap hold water. And he exposes the true reasons we’ve turned to the bottle, from fearmongering by business interests and our own vanity to the breakdown of public systems and global inequities.

“Designer” H2O may be laughable, but the debate over commodifying water is deadly serious. It comes down to society’s choices about human rights, the role of government and free markets, the importance of being “green,” and fundamental values. Gleick gets to the heart of the bottled water craze, exploring what it means for us to bottle and sell our most basic necessity.

Citation

Peter Gleick, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water (Shearwater, 2010)

Book

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water

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Gaining Access to Water: Formal and Working Rules of Indigenous Irrigation… (M.E. Gillingham)

Author

Mary E. Gillingham

Keywords

Indigenous irrigation, Mount Kilimanjaro , Tanzania , access to water, sustainable, flexible, governance

Abstract

Using the example of indigenous irrigation on Mount Kilimanjaro , Tanzania , this paper illustrates that operating beneath the formal rules of irrigation organization is a series of “working rules” that people use to actually obtain access to water. It is argued that one of the reasons that indigenous irrigation systems are sustainable and flexible is because the working rules allow water users to adjust their formal water right to an amount and timing of water that matches their needs more closely. If interventions into indigenous irrigation systems are to be effective and sustainable, and not undermine the institutions which govern water use within the irrigation system concerned, then development agencies need to understand, work with, and work through the working rules. This paper considers ways in which this may be achieved.

Citation

(1999) 39 Natural Resource Journal 419

Paper

Gaining Access to Water: Formal and Working Rules of Indigenous Irrigation Management on Mount Kilimanjaro , Tanzania

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Survival and Sustainability: Environmental concerns in the 21st Century (H. Gökçekus, et al)

Editor(s)

Hüseyin Gökçekus, Türker Umut and James W. LaMoreaux

Keywords

Biodiversity, Environment, Sustainability, Water

Abstract

The International Conference on Environment: Survival and Sustainability, held at the Near East University, Nicosia, Northern Cyprus 19-24 February 2007, dealt with environmental threats and proposed solutions at all scales. The 21 themes addressed by the conference fell into four broad categories; Threats to Survival and Sustainability; Technological Advances towards Survival and Sustainability; Activities and Tools for Social Change; Defining Goals for Sustainable Societies.

Activities and tools that move the society towards greater sustainability were emphasized at the conference. These included environmental law and ethics, environmental knowledge, technology and information systems, media, environmental awareness, education and lifelong learning, the use of literature for environmental awareness, the green factor in politics, international relations and environmental organizations. The breadth of the issues addressed at the conference made clear the need for greatly increased interdisciplinary and international collaboration the survival and sustainability concept. The exchanges at the conference represent a step in this direction.

Citation

Hüseyin Gökçekus, Türker Umut and James W. LaMoreaux, Survival and Sustainability: Environmental concerns in the 21st Century (Springer, 2010)

Book

Survival and Sustainability: Environmental concerns in the 21st Century

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Public Participation in the Enforcement of China’s Anti-Pollution Laws (J. Wu)

Author

Jennifer Wu

Keywords

China, environment, government, industry, legislation, litigation, pollution, rights, State Environmental Protection Administration, society.

Abstract

China’s spectacular economic growth has caused the incidence of absolute poverty to plunge over the past two decades; however, this massive rate of industrialisation has also led to a pollution crisis with serious health and environmental concerns such as air pollution and contaminated drinking water supplies.

China has hundreds of environmental laws and regulations, and is party to over eighty environmental treaties. Yet an official from the state environmental agency has described this as ‘a wealth of laws with shallow roots’, since despite all its legal commitments Chinese cities remain some of the most polluted areas on earth.

This paper examines the reasons for the discrepancy between law and practice in combating pollution. Anti-pollution legislation is too vaguely worded to be useful in creating enforceable rights and obligations. There is also a considerable gap between national policy and local implementation by Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs). EPBs are beholden to local governments, which are in turn dependent on the biggest industrial actors (and polluters) in their locality for economic development. One way to circumvent the inadequacies of government agencies is to allow citizens to bring their own actions in enforcing the law. This requires a strong support structure to provide the necessary resources for public participation: information and funding. In addition to the work of NGOs, the media, and legal aid centres, one potential initiative for increasing information flows is the establishment of a public emissions database. It is possible that the new China Pollution Source Census will fulfil this role.

Citation

(2008) 4(1) Law, Environment and Development Journal 35

Paper

Public Participation in the Enforcement of China’s Anti-Pollution Laws

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Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities: Local Action for Global Goals (UN)

Author

United Nations

Keywords

Provision of Water and Sanitation in Cities; The Impacts of Deficient Provision; Explaining Deficiencies in Urban Water and Sanitation Provision; Increasing Water Stress and Its Impact; Changing Perspectives and Roles: Privatization and Beyond; Improving Provision Through Integrated Water Resource Management; Governance for Good Provision: Getting the Best from Public, Private and Community Organizations

Abstract

The world’s governments agreed at the Millennium Summit to halve the number of people, mainly in the world’s cities, who lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation by 2015: an immense challenge. This is an assessment of the problems and how they can be addressed. The report sets out in detail the scale of inadequate provision of water and sanitation; it describes the impacts on health and economic performance, showing the potential gains of remedial action; it analyses the proximate and underlying causes of poor provision and identifies information gaps affecting resource allocation; it outlines the consequences of further deterioration; and it explains how resources and institutional capacities – public, private and community – can be used to deliver proper services through integrated water resource management.

Citation

UN, Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities: Local Action for Global Goals (Earthscan, 2003)

Book

Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities: Local Action for Global Goals

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