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Archive for the ‘Water Resources’ Category

This young man represents the beginning of a food revolution. What do you put in your mouth?

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Great news! Fracking is now illegal in New York State. Here is the body of a letter written by Dan Cantor, WFP Executive Director of the Working Families Party who had a critical role in the passing of the bill. Now, if we could only make it illegal EVERYWHERE!

A little before 1:00 a.m. last night, by a vote of 94-44, the New York State Assembly passed the moratorium on hydraulic fracture drilling.Go ahead: get up from your chair. Do a little dance, pump your fist, or do whatever you do to celebrate a victory of grassroots action over corporate power.

You deserve it. At the time the bill passed last night, more than 52,000 New Yorkers had signed the petition urging the Assembly to act. We joined an incredible alliance of Frack Action, Environmental Advocates, MoveOn.org, Mark Ruffalo, Pete Seeger, Assemblymembers Robert Sweeney and Steve Englebright, Borough President Scott Stringer, and so many others to pass a bill that everyone thought was dead – first through the New York State Senate, then the Assembly.

The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. We still have to make sure he signs it, and then see to it that even stronger legislation is put in place next year.

But let’s take a moment to celebrate, because this is a major step forward. As far as we know, this is the first time that anystate legislature has said “no” to these drillers.

And it didn’t come from the top-down. While we at the Working Families Party are proud to have played a small role in last night’s victory, the real credit is due to the thousands of New Yorkers who spoke out, organized, put the dangers of “fracking” on the public agenda, and pushed us again and again to join the fight.

So thank you for leading this charge. Thank you for taking even stronger action at every step of the way.

And thank you in advance for your continued efforts to make sure that New York’s water is clean and safe to drink, and that everyday New Yorkers have more of a say in how our lives are governed than corporations who think money can buy them whatever they want.

For news coverage of the petition and the fracking fight, check out these articles:

  • New York Observer: WFP Teams Up With Mark Ruffalo For Last-Minute Fracking Ban Push
    “The Working Families Party is out with a last-minute push to pressure the Assembly to ban hydro-fracking during the special session, slated to get underway shortly in Albany. …the WFP, Move-On and others have gathered 50,000 signatures calling on the lower house to follow suit.”
  • Albany Times-Union: Hydrofracking Moratorium Supporters Hopeful on Assembly Prospects
    “MoveOn and the Working Families Party are touting a 50,000-signature petition supporting the moratorium… If it comes to the floor, advocates are confident it will pass.”
  • Ithaca Journal: Assembly Approves Gas Drilling Moratorium
    “Actor Mark Ruffalo, a Sullivan County resident and an anti-drilling advocate, also released a statement through the Working Families Party, pushing for the Assembly to pass the bill and urging New Yorkers to sign a petition in favor of the moratorium.”

Thank you,

– Dan Cantor, WFP Executive Director

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My wife found this great site a while back that contains a report by The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled Vital Water Graphics. The report is essentially a graphic look at global water issues. Here are a couple of my favorite that also happen to be the most striking to me. I encourage you to take a look at some of the others they have. Each one has a description, so it’s not just graphics. Enjoy!

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Cycle for Water

Check out these two Dutchmen riding bamboo bikes from the Arctic to tip of South America to Raise Awareness for the global water crisis. These guys are right up my ally. Sustainable bicycle materials with a dedication to contributing to a solution to the water crisis! I give these fellas a standing ovation!

On July 4, 2010, we, Joost Notenboom & Michiel Roodenburg, have begun an 18 month bicycle journey from Deadhorse in northern Alaska to the most southern tip of Argentina at Ushuaia. Our mission is to take one bottle of icy Alaskan water from the Beaufort Sea down to the seas around Tierra del Fuego in a symbolic effort to complete the natural water cycle and raise awareness for the global water crisis that is leaving over 1 billion people around the world without access to safe and clean drinking water.

(Thanks to Bike Snob for making me aware)

 

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I wanted to bring up an important topic that got some blog time on the AWRA blog a couple days ago. The post has to do with how we manage groundwater withdrawals. It deserves attention for a couple important reasons. First is that the traditional way of determining how much water to pump out of the ground is incorrect according to the author, and second, its incorrect in such a way that if we keep pumping they way we are pumping, we’ll run out groundwater. Not a pretty scenario. There is even evidence out there that groundwater withdrawals contribute to rising sea levels. I’ll try to digest all the info (there are three plus papers referenced) and bring this topic back up in another post. An important question that immediately comes to my mind is how do we incorporate this information into our current water management structures?

What most people don’t realize is that once you start the development (i.e., pumping), the water budget, usually calculated under steady-state conditions, becomes invalid. Why? Because you have imposed a new stress on the system – pumping – and that means that the water budget has changed. But most water managers don’t realize this, and blithely assume a steady-state budget when transient conditions actually apply.

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Newsweek, The New Oil; Should private companies control our most precious natural resource?

Newweeks piece on the privatization of the worlds water supplies includes stunning picture galleries of disappearing lakes and a great interactive that showcases beautiful areas of the world we’ll likely lose to climate change and changing precipitation patterns. Here is one of the gallery photos of Lake Mead:

 

Lake Mead level is dropping drastically

 

The article does a great job summarizing the worlds problems with water. I wish it took more of a side towards public ownership and I wish they interviewed some more experts to talk about things like desertification, but overall it’s great. I hope all the other peridicals and big time news agencies hop on the horse and start blasting this news all over the airways. Enjoy the read.

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I received this letter from Corporate Accountability International. Water is a Human Right and should not be treated as a commodity for profits! Help if you can…

Dear Tim,

Do you know what the World Bank did this summer? Probably not — and that’s no accident.

The World Bank just finalized a 100 million euro investment in the world’s largest private water company to finance water privatization across Eastern Europe, yet it failed even to issue a press release.

Corporate Accountability International is dedicated to making sure such backroom deals never happen again. Will you help us fund this critical work to shed a light on Bank-backed water privatization?

Today one in six people lack access to enough safe drinking water. By 2025, that number will be two in three. Yet the most influential funder of water projects globally, the World Bank, continues to squander hundreds of millions of dollars on privatization schemes that do more to line the pockets of private corporations than reverse the global water crisis.

Even as our taxpayer dollars now flow to Eastern Europe to privatize water, the failure of the privatized water supply in the Philippines demonstrates why the Bank-backed corporate water grab needs to stop. In Manila, a crippling water shortage and skyrocketing rates are now causing thousands to go thirsty.

Give today and your tax-deductible contribution will support a groundbreaking campaign to fundamentally shift World Bank policy — away from bankrolling privatization, to investing in proven and effective public water systems.

Real solutions are within reach. Every person in the world could have access to clean, safe water by 2025 for an additional annual investment of $110 billion — that’s just 5 percent of global military spending each year.

It’s time that the Bank committed to alleviating poverty and stopped contributing to the world water crisis it purports to address. No one should go thirsty, especially when private corporations are profiting so richly from our most precious resource.

Help to secure the human right to water by supporting Corporate Accountability International’s vital work.

Your support will allow us to expose Bank deals before any dollars are exchanged… to mobilize grassroots opposition to privatization across the globe… and directly pressure the Bank to change course before millions more go thirsty.

Not only do I believe we must succeed in this charge. I know we can. Thank you for partnering with me in doing what is just.

Onward,


Kelle Louaillier
Executive Director

Can’t click on any of the links above? Simply paste the following web address into your browser: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2215/t/10184/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=6663

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