World Toilet Day recognized by UN: US network spreading word.

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Today – 19 November 2013 – is World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is being officially recognized by the United Nations this year, and a host of organizations are simultaneously working on sanitation efforts worldwide. Why is World Toilet Day important? Many people both in the United States and around the world have no safe […]

Empowerment and Gender Equality in Water and Sanitation: What does it mean? What does it matter?

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If you know of work done by non-profit or governmental organizations globally, you have likely heard the words -  empowerment and gender equality. Groups worldwide use these terms in apparent pursuit of more equitable water and sanitation projects ranging from entrepreneurship to provision. When first exposed to these terms during my master’s studies in 2010, I […]

Open letter in support of all-gender restroom demand by UC Student-Worker Union

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[Forgive my dearth of  Water for the Ages posts. I have been studying water and sanitation issues in a sociology program at University of California Santa Cruz. I am a teaching assistant and taking courses there. Our current student worker contract expired November 2013. One of our demands - besides calling for a living-wage, etc. […]

Does The Human Right to Water and Sanitation = Water and Sanitation Justice?

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Has anyone ever asked you “What do you do?” An interesting philosophical question for sure, but one of my condensed answers often is “I work for water justice and sanitation justice.” This means I want to participate in a more just water and sanitation world on individual, community, and political scales. In 2010, the UN […]

Communicating water science to policymakers: are we missing the point?

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A recent article from The Guardian Higher Education Network blog entitled “How academics can engage with policy: 10 tips for a better conversation” provided ideas to help scholars better convey research to policymakers. It explained appropriate times for sharing academic information, how to communicate with policy officials, and how to create relationships with policymakers. This […]

What kind of world do we want after 2015?

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Sometimes it can feel difficult to make our voices heard on this big planet. But I just found out about a new website created by the United Nations with civil society groups to collect ideas for solving global poverty problems [including water and sanitation] after 2015. It’s called The World We Want 2015. Like the […]

Talking Poo with You: World Toilet Summit 2012

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It seems a little progress is being made in getting the world to talk poo. Some people know that 2.5 billion humans lack safe access to toilets and over 4,000 kids die each day from diarrhea illnesses linked with poor sanitation. Fewer people understand toilet issues affect everybody either in natural disasters or through types […]

Celebrating World Toilet Day 2012 Locally and Globally

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Water and toilets are inextricably linked, but toilets sometimes take a backseat to water problems occurring worldwide. But if you don’t have water, you can’t have some styles of toilets or proper hygiene and around 200 million tons of human defecation pollutes waterways each year causing illnesses. Even though over 800 million people do not […]

Atlanta Artist Depicts People of Nature

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A human-nature binary exists today where many organized humans believe they are separate from wild nature. Some argue this perceived division is leading to ruin, and one visual artist is examining such ideas among others. The H20 Art page on the Water for the Ages blog is about to feature a new artist: Karley Sullivan. […]

Water and Toilets for Humans w/o Homes

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On a recent trip to my hometown, I traveled two hours north to visit a close family member living on the streets. He is chronically homeless, and it deeply saddens me he is unable to accept housing assistance. Someone chronically homeless is an “individual with a disabling condition who has either been continually homeless for […]

What is your definition of global water shortage?

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A few weeks ago a freshman from City College of New York contacted me to ask a simple question for her Environmental Psychology class: “What is your take on the global water shortage?” She believed many people were not aware of the issue, or they thought such a scenario wouldn’t affect them. After pondering her […]

Real Time Data for Water and Sanitation

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If you’ve been following recent events like World Water Week or the online Transparency in the Water Sector talk, you’ve heard a lot of buzz about real time data collection. Real time data collection happens when modern technologies (mobile phones, GPS, and computer systems) are adapted for data collection, organization, and dissemination with little time […]

Water and Food – PSA-a-thon Series

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In honor of this year’s World Water Week and World Water Day themes of Water and Food Security, it’ll be fun to see some Public Service Announcements conveying a similar message. It was actually a bit difficult to find them on this topic. The first PSA was posted on AlertNet not long ago. In a […]

Abuello Grillo vs. The World

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Words aren’t needed when watching this animation convey water justice issues using universal languages of imagery and sound. This animation was created at The Animation Workshop by a group of animators from Bolivia, a French director, music from Bolivia, and others from Mexico and Germany. It features Abuello Grillo (or Grandmother Cricket). Her melodic voice […]

#wwweek Talk Brief: Gender, Water, and Food Security

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The second event I tuned to was the Concrete Actions: Advancing the Integration of Gender, Water, Food Security talk. The theme of this seminar was exciting because I had previously grappled with developing a tool for measuring gender equality and empowerment in water and sanitation. And as Hon. Bigombe so eloquently said, “If you want […]

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