October 23, 2011

Water Ethics Newsletter - October 2011

Water Ethics News 

Follow Us on Twitter!  (and on other social media...)

The Network has a new Twitter account (@H2OWater) as well as a Facebook page on Water Ethics, and Linked-In group (Water Ethics Network).  Please "follow" us on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook, and simply express yourself on Linked-In!  We will also be launching a new water ethics website which you are welcome to visit (www.waterethics.org), though the site is still under development. The next newsletter (November) will give a detailed description of the website's features, which we expect will be up and running by then.  

Social media will be a major part of the Network's strategy, and is made possible through the volunteer work of our two Interns, Katey Blumenthal and Nadia Ahmad.  Katey joined the Network as it was just getting started this past August.  She has done research in Nepal for her MA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia, and now finds time to help the Network while taking graduate classes and deciding on a PhD topic.  Katey manages the Facebook page and has now taken on the added job of website development.  Nadia joined the Network in response to the announcement in last month's Newsletter.  After practicing law in Florida for the past few years, she is now pursuing her LLM at the University of Denver, in Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy.  Nadia manages the Twitter account. In addition to these tech-support roles, both Katey and Nadia will serve as "roving ambassadors" for water ethics, visiting blogs and other media sties dealing with water issues, making comments from an ethics perspective, and sharing intersting bits of information through tweets and postings.  Please join them in offering your own abassadorial services to the Network through actively engaging in on-line discussions about water ethics.  We'll see you in cyberspace!

Art Exhibit on the Value of Water 

The Value of Water: Sustaining a Green Planet is an art exhibit at The Cathedral of St John the Divine, in New York, through March 25, 2012.  The website offers samples of the art and info about the artists.  For an interesting overview of the show, see the Ecocentric blog post

Indicators and Standards for Water Stewardship

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has released guidance for companies to begin formally measuring and reporting their impact & dependence on ecosystem services. The report (called “Approach for Reporting on Ecosystem Services”) paves the way for ecosystem services metrics to be included as part of the standard package of measures used to report on an organization’s sustainability performance.  For details, click here for the blog post by WEN Advisor, Eric Landen, explaining what the GRI is and why this report could be important.  The full report, from the GRI website (www.globalreporting.org), can be downloaded here (6.7MB)

The Alliance for Water Stewardship, established in 2010, aims to establish a voluntary certification program for water managers and users based on (1) international standards developed through a multi-stakeholder process (2) verification to determine whether these standards have been met, (3) a global label that allows businesses to demonstrate compliance, and (4) Training and education on water stewardship.  Alliance partners include The Nature Conservancy, Water Stewardship Australia, Pacific Institute, WWF, Water Witness International, Water Environment Federation, European Water Partnership, IWMI, The CEO Water Mandate, and the Carbon Disclosure Project. The program is divided regionally into Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America (Asia is not yet represented).  For details, see www.allianceforwaterstewardship.org.  For their latest (July/Aug) newsletter, click here.

Tribute to David Getches

David Getches, who passed away in July 2011, was professor of law at the University of Colorado, and a strong advocate for indigenous water rights in the American West and internationally.  His work exemplified the connections of water rights with cultural rights.  Last month the National Congress of American Indians posthumously awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many services.  Click here for the announcement.

Local Water Ethics

The EU's Committee of the Region has called for a multi-level, cross-border approach to the management of river basins and proposes targets for water efficiency and extending the Covenant of Mayors to include sustainable water use. The Committee proposes setting targets for 2020 similar to those on energy consumption: a 20% increase in water-saving in all sectors; a 20% increase in the number of water courses being re-naturalised to reduce flood risk and a 20% increase in the volume of water re-used and/or recycled in farming and industry. Click here for the report of a survey about “The role of regional and local authorities in promoting a sustainable water policy."  (Source:  www.emwis.net).

Conference Reports

"Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20" was the title of a UN-Water conference held in Zaragoza, Spain from 3-5 October, 2011.  There is a rich set of papers available on the conference website.  Presentations from many of the speakers can be downloaded here.  There is also a series of  “Issues Information Briefs” covering water and (a) agriculture, (b) cities, (c) industry) and (d) ecosystems.   Of direct relevance to water ethics is the paper by Rafael Romero et al. “Water Planning in the Transition to a Green Economy.”
“Building a Global Awareness and Education Campaign about Water” was the theme of an International Water Forum at the UN Headquarters in New York, Sept 16, 2011.  More than 500 people attended the event aimed at enlisting support and partnerships from US-based organizations working on water. For details and links to presentations, see the Water Matters blog from the Columbia University Water Center.

Books, Reports, and Articles

"Environmental Ethics in River Water Management" by Ravichandran Moorthy and Ganesan Jeyabala, American Journal of Environmental Sciences (7)4:370-376; [Click here to go to the journal site, then click on “View Fulltext PDF” in the left margin].
"The Fight to Save the Gila River" by Sandra Postel, appears in the National Geographic's Daily News Blog for Sept 27.  The article describes efforts by local conservation groups to make the case for river conservation by appealing to cultural values.  The immediate threat is a dam to impound water on the New Mexico side of the state border with Arizona.  This is an interesting case of conservation values (the dam would be the first on this still free-flowing river) at odds with land developers.

Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most, by Robert Sandford and Merrell-Ann Phare, is a new book just released on October 17. From the publisher's description: "This ground-breaking and approachable work, by two of Canada’s most authoritative experts on water issues, redefines our relationship with fresh water and outlines the steps we as a society will have to take if we wish to ensure the sustainability of our water supply for future generations."  We will include a review of this book in the next (November) newsletter.

Featured Programs

Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) was established in 1993 at Miami Dade College in Florida, USA to foster a new literacy about the Earth’s natural systems.  These understandings serve as a foundation for sustainable environmental practice.  The Institute offers hands-on service learning opportunities for students and sponsors workshops and programs about sustainable living and business practices.  This month the Institute is hosting a workshop featuring Cynthia Barnett, an advisor to the Water Ethics Network and author of Blue Revolution: Unmaking Americas Water Crisis, and Mirabel Balbin, Program Manager for the Miami-Dade County Office of Sustainability responsible for green economy initiatives and water resources.  For more information, contact the Director, Colleen Ahern-Hettich, cahemhe@mdc.edu.
NEW Wilderness Alliance.  NorthEast Wisconsin (NEW) Wilderness Alliance is an emerging initiative to restore the water ecosystems of the Fox River Basin and the region surrounding the city of Green Bay.  Making the beaches of Green Bay swimmable and fishable serves as the overall goal of the Alliance.  But while the central focus is water, the Alliance is taking a broad approach and addressing six themes: Green Infrastructure, Ecological Planning and Design, Restoring the Health of Local Nature, Leave no Child Inside, Cultural/Artistic Perspective, and Climate Change.  Members of the Alliance will include local governments, businesses, Indian tribes, civic and enviornmental organizaitons, and local schools and colleges.  Click here for a background paper. Click here for a background paper.  For further info, contact Paul Linzmeyer at isointernationalllc@gmail.com.

Are You Working on Water Ethics Issues?
Please share your news with interested colleagues. Submit a brief description to network@waterculture.org. Submit before 12 November for the next Newsletter to be issued on 15 November.

No comments:

Post a Comment