Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 113
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October 1st, 2009

Earth to Laliberte: Solutions to Water Crisis Need Grounding

Ever wonder how far $35 million could go in helping to relieve the world‚ water crisis? For that amount of money, you could dig 23,000 wells in India, give 500,000 families in Uganda cisterns for rainwater collection, or install filtration systems for 350,000 households in Honduras. Or if youre Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, you could take one trip into space. Read the full article…

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Sustainable Chinese Fish Farms: Good Effort, or Greenwashing?

SeafoodSource recently reported that China will be hosting a forum on sustainable seafood production this November, co-sponsored by China‚ Ministry of Agriculture and Sea Fare Expositions of Seattle. While any attempt to “go green” and begin to reduce negative environmental impacts should be supported and lauded, the “Sustainable Seafood Forum” in China gives us significant pause. With so many companies now claiming their products are “ecofriendly,” it‚ important to watch carefully for greenwashing, the practice of marketing things as being environmentally friendly when they are not. Read the full article…

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September 30th, 2009

Citizens Fight to Protect the Santa Fe River from Bottlers

Last week, citizens in Florida got a strong commitment from Columbia county officials that no new water bottler on the Santa Fe River would be allowed.  The county‚ statement is expected to carry serious weight in whether the Suwannee River Water Management District, which has final say on water permits, gives the bottling facility a thumbs up or a thumbs down.

Part of the success is due to the work of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), an organization of North Florida citizens working to protect the river. The group, a strong ally of Food & Water Watch, continues to successfully lead the fight against several dangerous bottling proposals that could harm the river‚ ecosystem and contribute to declining water levels in the region. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Alex, Week 4

Halfway through Food & Water Watch‚ own Water Challenge, Jon and I have finally seen the film that inspired the challenge- No Impact Man. This past Friday night, the two of us attended the DC premier of the movie. Actually, maybe ‚opening” is more accurate- ‚premier” makes it sound kind of glamorous, which it wasnt. While there were no celebrities or red carpets (although I did have my own entourage, consisting of my friends, my sister, my officemate, and girlfriend), it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the movie, and seeing it has made me reconsider some of my feelings about this whole project. Read the full article…

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Safe, Affordable Water is Elementary

All school children should have access to free, clean water at school. Yet according to an Associated Press investigation released last week, the drinking water at thousands of schools across the country is unsafe to drink, containing ‚unsafe levels of lead, pesticides, and other toxins.” This situation is unacceptable and requires swift government action.

Much of our water infrastructure in the U.S. was built 100 years ago or more and is starting to break down. Without significant federal investment to upgrade our systems, reports like this will only become more common. Read the full article…

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September 25th, 2009

Nestlé Makes Bad Product Marginally Less Bad

Fresh on the heels of its defeat by activists in McCloud, Nestlé ramped up its efforts to appear a responsible corporate citizen this week by unveiling plans to use a new, ‚lightweight” plastic for its bottled water. According to the industry publication Food Production Daily, the new bottle will weigh 9.5 g, down from 12.5g. In the same article, Nestlé Waters North America CEO Kim Jeffries touted the ‚environmental impacts” of the new bottle: ‚Lightweighting our bottle is the single biggest impact we can have from an environmental standpoint on our carbon footprint,” said Jeffries.

While we are obviously all for being gentler on the environment, we have an even better idea for Nestlé: stop bottling water for profit altogether. Read the full article…

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The Water Challenge Chronicles – Jon, Week 3

Wow, this has been a long week–one that seems will never end. Due to various work-related demands, focusing my energies on the Water Challenge has been especially difficult. I am also discovering the limitations of my own abilities to reasonably cut my water use. Seeing that I rent an apartment and therefore have fewer wasteful habits to begin with, as well as less control over the changes I can enact, Im finding more and more difficult to find ways to reduce my water use.

Of course, the new shower head is paying off. I am getting used to the lower water pressure, although I do find that I stay in the shower longer in order to compensate for that, so Im not really sure if that measure is paying off or not. Read the full article…

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September 24th, 2009

Greenopia Greenwashing

I dont think any oil company deserves to have an environmental rating, but when I saw that Greenopia rates British Petroleum (BP) as #1, I was really outraged. I guess a huge PR budget and pretending to be post-petroleum works.

BP is no more beyond petroleum, than McDonalds is beyond burgers.

As an oil company, BP comes close to being criminal. It has repeatedly skirted the law, most recently in developing the Atlantis project, which has the potential to cause a catastrophic accident that could shut down the oil, fishing and tourism industry in the Gulf of Mexico. The deepest moored semi-submersible oil and gas platform in the world is precariously positioned in “hurricane alley,” 150 miles of the coast of New Orleans. Under the management of Minerals Management Service, lapdog of the oil industry, BP has been allowed to get away with what may end up being murder. Not only is most of the required documentation proving the platform is safe to operate missing, there is evidence that if a hurricane hits the area, an accident bigger than the Exxon Valdez could be the result. But, it shouldnt be a surprise that BP cuts corners.
Read the full article…

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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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