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 […]

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 […]

Desalination in California: Coming to a City Near You

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A couple days ago my friend asked me to join her at a meeting about a ballot measure related to the construction of a desalination (desal) plant in Santa Cruz, California. The idea of the public gearing up to oppose desal in the city encouraged me to do background research on the issue, and it […]

Water-Art Activism Hits New York City

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It always strikes me how a small but creative idea can spread spurring people around it to see the world in a new way. Or its ability to influence individuals to engage in positive change. Word Above the Street is one such idea. Mary Jordan wants to “draw attention to Water as a precious resource […]

Plastics in the lunchbox. Plastics in the sea.

While eating lunch at work recently, my co-worker pulled out a sandwich wrapped in a colorful sash of woven materials. This wrapper, probably part of a rice sack from a distant place, was washable and reuseable. And – I thought – perfect. Looking into my own lunchbox, plastics abounded. Sure I washed and reused a […]

The World Cup, Water, and Sanitation – PSA-a-thon Series

Many around the world have just finished watching the USA vs. Algeria game in South Africa. USA won the match (1-0) and will be able to continue to play in the 2010 World Cup. I’m happy with the final score (sorry, Algeria) but not so happy about something else. During the time of each World […]

Tribute to Women and Water by IWMI

Stunning and breathtaking visual imagery of women from around the world using water for drinking, cleaning, cooking, growing, working, praying, and living. This striking video was produced by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) for International Women’s Day on March 8th. The video is posted on their new Gender Topics page.

Disaster in Haiti: Loss of Life and Lack of Water

A catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The 7.0 magnitude quake was centered offshore the populated capital of Port-au-Prince. One of ten deadliest in history, causalities range from 50,000 to 200,000 people. Almost three million of the country’s nine million people are affected, and many are still trapped in the rubble. Aid efforts […]

‘Women Need Water Rights, Not Just Technologies’ by Masum Momaya

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Just finished an interesting article examining roles and limitations of technology for solving problems in water access, planning, and management for women around the world. “In poor communities, technologies are often touted as panaceas for poverty. For women in productive and reproductive roles, technologies, such as those for fetching and storing water, can make daily […]

Guest Post: Photo Essay on Water Loss due to Leaks

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A guest blog post originally published on the India Water Portal (IWP) by my friend and colleague Praveena Sridhar. She has given me permission to re-publish her beautiful pictures and insightful post about water leakage in India. As I had been waking up to a leaky tap in my new house for quite some time, […]

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