Why Efficiency Won’t Solve Our Water Problems

Source: triplepundit.com The drought of 2012 has reminded us that water is a scarce resource, even though we pay fractions of a penny per gallon for it and expect that it’ll be there every time we turn on the tap. We depend on it not only for our drinking and washing and especially for the food we eat, but also for generating the electric power on which our economy depends. There’s no doubt that we can use water more efficiently and that this would be socially and ecologically desirable. But this week, as I’ve being participating in the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in Portland, I’ve started to doubt whether efficiency will really solve our drought and water problems. The reason is that for another vital resource — the land — efficiency doesn’t seem to be enough. The hypothesis that using land to produce food more efficiently — that is, increasing agricultural yields — will “save” more land for nature, is called “land sparing” and is often associated with the famous crop …

Pepsi Water Efficiency Wins Plaudits

Source: Environmentalleader.com PepsiCo’s more than 20 percent improvement in global water efficiency since 2006 has won it the Stockholm Industry Water Award during World Water Week. Pepsi received the award for its water conservation efforts including: Conserving about 16 billion liters of water in 2011, from a 2006 baseline, by using water-saving equipment and technologies, creative recycling and re-use, and by deploying a water management system throughout its manufacturing facilities. Reducing water- and energy-related costs by more than $45 million in 2011, compared to 2006. Implementing agricultural practices and technologies around the world designed to reduce water use in farming through new irrigation techniques, and introducing tools that help farmers deliver fertilizer and water to their crops at the most efficient time. Providing access to safe water for more than 1 million people with the PepsiCo Foundation and other partners. Pepsi has reduced its water and energy use through a series of water management practices including direct seeding in India and its web-based farming tool i-crop. Initial i-crop trials, which ran from …

Worrying water footprint

Source: Thehindubusinessline.com Water footprint varies from country to country, depending on each region’s consumption. It also depends on the climatic conditions and water usage in areas where consumer goods are produced. The water footprint is an indicator of both the direct and indirect use of water by a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community. Let us analyse the water footprint in India and the challenges around it. The country’s water footprint was 987 billion cu metres a year during 1997-2001, which means 980 cu metres a year per capita (Source: Hoekstra and Chapagain, 2008). POOR ACCESS TO FRESHWATER Water supply and sanitation remain inadequate, despite longstanding corrective efforts at various levels of government and community. Investment in water and sanitation is very low in India, compared to international standards. However, compared to the past, access to water has increased significantly. For instance, in …

Thirsty South Asia’s river rifts threaten “water wars”

Source: blogs.reuters As the silver waters of the Kishanganga rush through this north Kashmir valley, Indian labourers are hard at work on a hydropower project that will dam the river just before it flows across one of the world’s most militarised borders into Pakistan. The loud hum of excavators echoes through the pine-covered valley, clearing masses of soil and boulders. The 330-MW dam shows India’s growing focus on hydropower but also highlights how water is a growing source of tension with downstream Pakistan, which depends on the snow-fed Himalayan rivers for everything from drinking water to agriculture. Islamabad has complained to an international court that the dam in the Gurez valley, one of dozens planned by India, will affect river flows and is illegal. The court has halted any permanent work on the river for the moment, although India can still continue tunneling and other associated projects. In the years since their partition from British India in 1947, land disputes have led the two nuclear-armed neighbours to two of their three …

India’s blackout exposes choice between water & electricity

Source: Gigaom Let’s take a snapshot of India right now. In India, there is a drought. This year’s poor monsoon is likely to lead to the third drought in 10 years. But two-thirds of the water India receives is wasted because of inadequate storage and management. India just had a power outage affecting 650 million people, a population twice as large at the U.S.  Most cities in the state of Punjab faced an acute water shortage due to lack of proper co-ordination between the power and the municipal corporations. Water tensions are increasing between countries like India and Pakistan. Before the power grid outage India was “staring at a water drinking shortage.” There is a race to tap India’s coal resources to fuel a whopping 519 GW – nearly 500 power plants – leaving behind massive deforestation and water contamination that could have a ripple effect on the environment and health inside the world’s second most-populous country and neighboring Bangladesh.  Despite places like coal mining in the Jaintia Hills of India being one of the wettest …

It is imperative to start taking hard decisions now to avert a water crisis

Source: articles.economictimes.indiatimes The rains have arrived, the dark clouds pushing away darker forebodings of a failed monsoon, drought and crippled growth. Such respite should have a sobering effect on some of the more effervescent superpower aspirations. Agriculture directly accounts for about 14% of GDP but a little over half the population still live off agriculture and related activities. Since even a minor fall in some farm produce can send food prices soaring, and inflation can both discourage investment and be politically unsettling, India can ill-afford poor rains. Nor is water required only for agriculture. Industrial growth will guzzle and pollute huge amounts of water. Urban expansion is an inevitable corollary to growth of industry and services. The water needs of urban conglomerations will grow faster than most people anticipate. The way out, clearly, is to harness a whole lot more of the water that showers on India over a crucial fourmonth period, only to be washed down into the Indian Ocean in a tumultuous hurry, leaving flood damage and misery in its wake. The task is …

Reforms, plugging leaks could get water to millions in India, Asia: ADB

Source: indiawaterreview Millions of people in Asia and the Pacific could gain access to clean water if leaks were plugged and water utility reforms adopted, a new study by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has stated. ADB estimates that 29 billion cubic meters of water is lost each year in the region – enough to fill more than 11 million Olympic-sized swimming pools – causing Asia’s water utilities to lose more than $9 billion in revenue each year. The study, ‘Good Practices in Urban Water Management’ was launched on July 3 during the ongoing Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) in the island-state, which has been cited as one of the models for water management which other Asian cities can learn from. The study has been released at a time when many parts of Asia and the Pacific region are in a water crisis. Though in Asia, the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water between 1990 and 2015, was largely …

Mumbai, Delhi to top world in water demand by 2025: McKinsey

Source: indiawaterreview New Delhi : India’s national Capital Delhi and financial capital Mumbai are expected to lead a growing list of cities that would witness the maximum demand for water by 2025. The Mckinsey Global Institute (MGI) has said that nearly 80 billion cubic meter increase in municipal water demand is expected in the world cities by 2025. The two Indian mega cities top the list of 20 countries that would experience the maximum demand. A report by MGI stated that India, second only to China in population, will account for 15.8 per cent of the municipal water demand growth by 2025. And, three other leading Indian cities — Kolkata, Pune and Hyderabad — would also be among the top 20 in terms of water demand. The three would be ranked 7th, 12th and 16th respectively in the list that MGI drew up. The prognosis by MGI spells trouble for Indian administrators, considering that both Mumbai and Delhi are witnessing growing water shortages. Civic authorities in both cities are struggling to …

Water Consulting – Building Ethical, Economical and Environmental Practices

Source: Triplepundit Considering that we drink about a gallon of water a day and consume around 520 gallons through our food consumption and production, water consulting is the business opportunity of the century. In contrast to carbon intensive energy sources, water has no substitute. Moreover in 2010, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” Around 33 years ago, the Clean Water Act established policies and penalties for water remediation, and created a compliance driven industry, such as remediation of pollution and reduction of environmental liabilities during property transfers. Over the last 5 years, businesses have recognized the risks water scarcity poses, such as increasing water costs volatile price fluctuations, changing customer expectations and the disruptive risk to business operations, and realize the advantage of a proactive water management strategy. Today, significant investment have been made to proactively identify long-term sustainable water strategies for governments, corporations and NGOs alike, such as stakeholder engagement, water foot-printing, grey- …

Water shortage forces Grasim to shut M.P. plant

Source: Thehindubusinessline Water shortage may force Grasim Industries to suspend operations at its Nagda plant in Madhya Pradesh from Wednesday. The Aditya Birla Group company has already cut production of viscose staple fibre (VSF) and halved output of Chlor-Alkali from the rated capacity of 258,000 tonnes a year. In a press release, the company said it had to curtail production due to the delay in the onset of monsoon and the consequential water shortage. “The plant is likely to be closed on July 3,” it added. “We could manage production till now with the additional arrangements for temporary water storage this year,” said the release. However, with delay in monsoon despite a forecast of normal monsoon by mid-June, the company has been forced to suspend staple fibre production at the Nagda plant. The plant will resume normal production as soon as there are adequate rains in the catchment areas, it said. The company faced a similar problem last year also. VSF is a man-made, biodegradable fibre with characteristics similar to …

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