%date% | Food & Water Watch - Part 109
Victory! Cleveland passes resolution against antibiotic misuse on factory farms. more wins »
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September 23rd, 2009

Graywater: Part of the Conservation Solution

With California experiencing a third dry year, we should be looking to conserve all the water we can. Yet every day, millions of us do our laundry or take a shower without recapturing that water and putting it to good use. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week, there is an easy, affordable, and now legal way to recapture that water and use it for landscape irrigation.

Landscape irrigation uses up to 40% of urban water use in some California communities. Installing graywater systems, made significantly easier by new regulation, will allow us to recapture water from washing machines and dishwashers and divert it through pipes to gardens for as little as $200, resulting in significant water savings. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Alex, Week 3

In my last entry, I wrote about how, because of my current living situation, Im somewhat limited in the ways in which I can cut back on my water usage. Renting an apartment means I dont own any of my own appliances or have a yard, so many of the methods I see on these ‚ways to save water” lists dont really apply to me. I wrote a letter imploring my property management company to replace its antiquated washing machines with new, efficient models, but Ive yet to hear back from them. Read the full article…

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September 22nd, 2009

The Ugly Truth About Miss America‚ Bottled Water

Last week, the Miss America Organization announced it would embark on a mission to “preserve the planet. Its method of doing so? Switching to Nature Bottles, a so-called “environmentally friendly” brand of bottled water. Although we appreciate the good intention, the fact is, there is no such thing as “environmentally friendly” bottled water.

While wasteful, polluting plastic bottles are one reason that bottled water is bad for the environment, they are not the only one. In fact, the recent trend towards packaging water in “environmentally friendly” or “green” bottles is really just a trick on the part of the bottled water industry to distract you from the fact that its product is a destructive waste of money. Read the full article…

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September 18th, 2009

Rep. Rahall to Help Stop Harmful Offshore Fish Farms

A new bill introduced by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV), H.R.3534, includes language crucial to prevent development of offshore aquaculture , the mass-production of fish using open net pens or cages located about three to 200 miles offshore , in U.S waters. Also known as ocean fish farming, open water aquaculture and other similar terms, the approach to growing fish in ocean waters has been a hot topic for some time. Effects of such an industry, including serious ecological problems and the loss of many fishing and related jobs, are well-documented from similar operations worldwide. The bill, entitled the Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009, includes an important section that would prevent the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the primary agency tasked with conservation and management of ocean resources, and Regional Fishery Management Councils, bodies that help make regulations for fishing, from developing plans to allow offshore aquaculture. The bill would be an important step in stopping these destructive operations from expanding in the U.S. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Jon, Week 2

So, it‚ been a week since my adventure to Target to buy a dishpan. How‚ it working out, you ask? Well, I have to tell you: I really, really, really wish that I had one of those fancy double-bin sinks. I am happy that my contribution to nature is saving water, but I find that using this dishpan extends my dishwashing time by about 15 minutes every time I wash dishes. Now, with getting the pan ready, washing it to make sure it‚ clean, filling it with hot water, and then actually washing my dishes, I am beginning to suspect that this particular water conservation measure may be a waste of time. I think that many of us waste so much water because it‚ the convenient thing to do. On the up side, I have saved over 170 gallons of water since my last post. Read the full article…

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Water Privatization Threat in Mexico City

Mexico is a country facing staggering water problems. Pollution, scarcity, and lack of access to safe water throughout the country have united many Mexicans into a broad movement in recent years. Now, residents of Mexico City, such as myself, are seeing a new challenge to our already compromised access to a reliable supply of clean water.

Water scarcity has been in Mexico City‚ headlines for several months. Since January of this year, there have been increasing scheduled cutoffs from the Cutzamala system, one of the most important supplies of drinking water for the city. The Cutzamala system is a huge complex of dams, pumps and pipelines that transports 16,000 liters of water per second 1,100 meters up and over the mountains and then 90 miles to the taps of Mexico City. Read the full article…

Louisiana Seafood Safety Bill: A Small Step in the Right Direction

On September 8, a new seafood safety bill authored by Representative Fred Mills (D-46) was formally signed in the Louisiana State Legislature by Governor Jindal.   The bill comes at a time when nearly two-thirds of the shrimpers in the state have participated in a strike in the last month to protest the low prices they receive for their catch. (Read more about the strike and the shrimpers’ position here.) The primary problem is the low prices of farmed imported shrimp, which domestic shrimpers can’t compete with. It’s the same problem that’s undermined so many other U.S. industries: it’s cheaper to produce things in other countries where there aren’t strong labor and environmental standards. While purchasing less expensive products may seem to be a short term answer to difficult personal economic times, it can perpetuate domestic financial problems , by causing loss of U.S. jobs. In this case, there is a risk to consumer health as well. Read the full article…

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September 16th, 2009

The Water Challenge Chronicles – Alex, Week 2

I’m a few days into Food & Water Watch‚ own Water Challenge, and I can report that my life isn’t really drastically different so far. I haven’t been flushing my toilet as often, and I’ve had fewer beers at happy hours. I already take pretty fast showers, so I’m not sure I could really reduce the time spent in the shower without offensive results. Ive been careful to really pack my dishwasher before running it, and Ive been washing pots and pans by hand since they really take up a lot of space in the dishwasher. Read the full article…

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September 11th, 2009

The Water Challenge Chronicles – Alex, Week 1

When I was approached about participating in Food & Water Watch‚ own Water Challenge, I accepted without hesitating. Id like to reduce my impact on the planet and become more aware of how my lifestyle choices affect the environment, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to become more educated. Now that Ive started looking into ways I can reduce my water usage, I must admit Im not as enthusiastic. I think this is one of the biggest challenges facing the environmental movement- most people are reluctant to make real sacrifices or endure any kind of actual suffering, especially when there‚ no obvious, immediate reward for doing so. It‚ easy to recycle; it‚ not so easy to give up your long, leisurely shower. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Jon, Week 1

I consider myself to be fairly environmentally conscious. I care about the planet as a future home to millions, so I do my part to help aid larger organizations in their goal of educating average consumers like me in the ways of water conservation as well as water privatization organizations like Food & Water Watch and Environment Maryland, of which I am a member.

I was not really shocked when I was asked to join the Water Challenge project at Food & Water Watch since I think I’m fairly removed from the core issues that our organization is advocating. Well, not really shocked, but in a way, kind of scared. Would I have the patience to continue with the project over a long period of time? Would I be able to make a difference as just once person? What I did know, was that this experience would be fun! Read the full article…