Portland, Oregon is a hotbed of ecosystem restoration in a highly urban area. Today, I am attending the 2011 Urban Ecology and Conservation Symposium at Portland State University. For the first time, I am tweeting from a conference with a focus on topics related to watersheds. Keep an eye on my twitter for updates. This conference is hosted by the Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium of Portland/Vancouver.
As you may know, I’m intrigued by new films about water. An upcoming documentary, The Guarani Project, looks to provide a balanced perspective of water-management challenges surrounding the Guarani Aquifer in South America. The Guarani Aquifer is one of the largest sources of underground water worldwide. It is shared by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. A proposed plan to allocate this groundwater has seemed to fail. Why? How are the people who rely on this water supply affected?
My professor from OSU – Dr. Michael Campana (a hydrogeologist with considerable global experience) – shares his insights in the film. He recently wrote a post about the film on his blog WaterWired. The full documentary is forthcoming. The film-makers are seeking YOUR support in making this happen. Visit their website, Facebook, and Twitter for information. In the meantime, here are two clips from the film.
A worldwide map of groundwater resources crossing national boundaries has just been published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This map details 273 shared aquifers – sources of ground water – across the globe. It is the culmination of eight years of research and development of an extensive ground water database by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP). The map also indicates water quality of the aquifers, recharge of the aquifers, streams and rivers in the region of the aquifers, and population density near the aquifers.
The unveiling of this project is set to coincide with the United Nation’s review of a new draft Convention on Transboundary Aquifers on October, 27, 2008. This convention is an international treaty to assist in the management and protection of ground water resources across country boundaries. This project is very important because shared ground water resources could increase conflict across political boundaries in the future. The delineation of transboundary aquifers will assist countries in current and future water planning.
Ashoka’s Changemakers and Global Water Challenge are asking for your opinion on the project proposals for their recent competition: Tapping Local Innovation: Unclogging the Water and Sanitation Crisis.
Three winners will be chosen to receive a 5,000 dollar grant for “innovative approaches to providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation”. Over 265 entries have been received from 54 countries, and now you may help to decide the winning projects.
Vote for your favorite three participants by May 11, 2008!
- Naandi Foundation, India
- WaterPartners, United States
- City Garbage Recyclers, Kenya
- Ecotact – Innovating Sanitation, Kenya
- Swayam Shikshan Prayog, India
- Himanshu Parikh Consulting Engineers, India
- The Clean Shop, South Africa
- Centre for Community Organisation and Development, Malawi
- Manna Energy Foundation, United States
Here are two of the projects, but don’t take my word for it… go to the web-site and vote!
One man’s dream will soon raise the world’s awareness about the complexity of water challenges occurring in India. Beginning Saturday April 26th in Bangalore, CS Sharada Prasad will travel 19,000 km (11,807 m) on motorbike to document the meaning and encompassing challenges of water to people in India. Crossing 15 major rivers, 28 states, and 7 territories, Mr. Prasad will document his journey on a blog called “K2K – In Search of Water“. His route will be mapped with a GPS unit attached to his motorbike and uploaded to Google Maps. Geotagged blog posts will be updated everyday and photos from his journey will be available on EveryTrail and Flickr.
The trip will take over two months to complete visiting places such as the Khardung La Pass at 18,380 feet to Kanyakumari at the southernmost tip of mainland India. Mr. Prasad will meet with local citizens, organizations, and community leaders to bring light to their accomplishments and challenges regarding sustainable water supplies. This event will be a great opportunity for students, classrooms, and people around the world to follow along with his adventure and become educated about water supplies in India. Sharada Prasad is a project officer for the India Water Portal developed by Arghyam, a non-governmental organization. Arghyam “seeks to support strategic and sustainable efforts in the water sector that address basic water needs for all citizens”.
Visit the cool interactive Google Map of the Journey across India here.
Wayne Amtzis (photographer and writer himself) sat down with the author to translate the poems into English. He has so graciously given permission for some of these translations to be featured on the Cultural Earth page on Water for the Ages. His translations have also appeared in The Drunken Boat, a web magazine of international works.
In addition, the Library of Congress has recorded Purna Vaidya reciting portions of LA LA KHA in his native language of Nepal Bhasa.
Photo above courtesy Wikimedia Commons. Mount Everest is the peak with the clouds to the left. Ama Dablam is the peak to the far right.
A series of cyberseminars will be offered very soon by CUAHSI – universities allied for water research. You can watch the seminars from your computer in the comfort of your own abode, with a call-in number to access the lecture.
February 1, 2008 –
Hydrogeology is the key to understanding the arsenic crisis on the Ganges Delta
February 22, 2008 –
What does a hydrologist need to know and do about climate change adaptation?
March 14, 2008 –
Flooding in the Urban Environment
April 25, 2008 –
Hydro-NEXRAD: Community Resource for Use of Radar-Rainfall Data