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Awareness of Water Scarcity

Water sacarcity is one of the main problems that is expected to happen. Do we contribute to this problem positively or negatively?

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    Jun 24 2011: Anyone know anything about the Global Conservation Fund and their involvement in these watershed protection initiatives?

    Their web site is very vague but has references that sound like more of the "privatization of water " that has taken place through the Wolrd Bank and the IMF. Are they legit? Are they good guys?

    .Whoever these folk are they have a bill pending in both the U.S. House and Senate
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    Jun 23 2011: Omar (& all who have posted here)


    Wanted to share this very interesting work by an Australian comany that uses wave power both for cheap local sustainable renwable energy and also for desalination. Very low cost. Very lo tech


    We have a tide power project right here in maine that is doing very well and feeds directly into any electric grid. Although it is not being used at the moment for desalination, it certainly could be. It's also a very lo-tech system that works from a floating barge. I will bring that link here but meanwhile here is some interesting background on tide power in Maine
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    Jun 22 2011: Please also see the discussion just starting on the "Internationalization" of the amazon

    . I am juts learning about it there but seems closely related to what we are discussing here as the global politics but also possibly about the watershed of the amazon

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    Jun 18 2011: Omar, Ricahrd, Brent & Jo

    Here is another great link with background and documentation on the most notorious case of privatization of water through World Bank policies.

    The images of this event in the movie I cited above “World Water Wars: Blue Gold” are wrenching. An introductory quote from the article linked above

    “ In the 1990s, under World Bank guidance, the water systems of some of Bolivia’s poorest regions were put up for sale to private investors. In the area of Cochabamba, a US-owned company, Bechtel, was awarded a long-term contract to manage and deliver water in that region. The results of this deal shed light on the complexities of water privatization and differences between economic theory and what happens in the real world.
    Widespread privatization efforts grew in the late 20th Century with the backing of international finance institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. For decades, both institutions have called for the privatization of water services through stipulations in trade agreements and the conditions for loans to developing countries. The intention was to push these countries to make fundamental economic and political changes away from heavy state-control of industries and toward free market systems. Such free market systems were thought to better at producing economic growth, to the benefit all citizens in that country. “

    Privatization of water and all public infrastructure is still official policy of both the World Bank and the IMF and is perhaps central to the great controversy attending what their involvement has actually brought about in these countries.
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      Jun 21 2011: I think one of the problems about raising awareness of water scarcity is that it is a local issues, that either effects you or doesn't. It does not exist in any abstract form (yet) that can help galvanize a movement. That said it can be used as a wedge issue in the larger context about rights of the commons and against privatization.
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        Jun 21 2011: anthony..did you watch the movie? it is a global issue..not a local issue
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      Jun 21 2011: No I have not seen it yet, I know I should. I really was not trying to say water scarcity doesn't have global implications as much trying to think of why this isn't a bigger issue. Water rights can be a huge issue in places that lack water, but there are plenty of places where people have a good supply and can be complacent about the issue. Sadly I think will take a while to hit a tipping point. Hope I'm wrong.
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        Jun 21 2011: Hi Anthony

        when you see the documentary you will see it is exactly the countries with the greatest water resources who have been victimized.
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          Jun 21 2011: Lindsay, thank you for bringing this to our attention. In my view, if the privatization or the free-market system is already infringing on the rights of the people then the government need to make it right. How's the UN and NGO's addressing this issue today?

          According to wikipedia:

          The Unitied Nations' FAO states that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.[3] Water stress is considered "set to become a permanent feature of British life".[4]

          How does our scientific research today is addressing this issue? How will climate change complicate this issue?

          This are the kind of information that I think we need to organize and so we can focus our ideas and our solutions. Wikipedia for example is great resource for information but what I want to see also is a resource or a website that I can go to and see how our scientific solutions and the NGO and government efforts are driving the solutions and comprehensively implementing our solution strategies.

          Do we teach this in schools, do we see it in every public water fountain, are all our leaders aware?
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        Jun 24 2011: Hi Joe..I posted to your lovely "rollcall" at your blog.

        I agree that NGO's will lead the way. That is where new institutions will be born and old institutions will be scrapped or dramatically reorganized

        I am not seeing in the movement right now an emphaiss on water scracity or any global NGO effort to protect the weaker countries from exploitation and control of their water

        .. Do you see that anywhere?
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      Jun 21 2011: True. Overall I find the idea of privatizing natural resources to be a disturbing trend. that needs more light shed on it.
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        Jun 21 2011: indeed
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        Jun 21 2011: Yes, I want to have TED Conversation on what "privatization" really is

        .I.have been building a reference of sites, links, quotes etc. When people understand what "privatization" has brought to the poorest nations in the world under the guise of "eradication of poverty"..maybe they'll think twice when they hear the word applied to domestic policy issues

        .It's one of those catchy attractive sounding propositions like "eradicating poeverty" until you look underneath and see what is really happening...what has been happening since the early 50's under Eisenhower.Did you see the TED Talk on harvesting water..beautaiful and he also makes reference to what American policies did to to "deliver clean drinking water"
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          Jun 21 2011: Thanks for the link. I would love to see some more videos that explored technology and design from other cultures at TED. We need to acknowledge that we are here today because at least some of our ancestors were pretty darn smart.
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        Jun 24 2011: I love this rainwater harvesting initiative of Tucson, Arizona here in the States.. They are tcahing and encouraging personal rainwater harvesting systems.:

        It takes this kind of focsued an supportive initiative to introdce people to the concepts and show us how to put these practices to work.
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    Jun 18 2011: Omar, Thank you for bringing this extremely important issue here to TED Conversations

    If Ted conversations were all its cracked up to be ( and definitely it is not) there would be 400 comments here by now. This would be featured conversation but of course, it is not

    .I just did a conversation search on "water" and saw that there have been 8 pages of conversations on water posted here at TED over time..all closing with no comment or with one or two comments. Absolutely shocking.

    But I understand it because I am newly awakened myself to the issue of water scarcity and how that plays out in global politics. I learned about it through this award winning movie that literally made me cry. I cried all the way through it to think that institutions supposedly about eradicating world poverty, the IMF and theWorld Bank were actually taking the thing most vital to human life "water"..away from the worlds poorest peoples

    .To any TEDSTER checking in here..I beg you please see this movie so that you will understand how crucial this issue is WORLD WATER WARS:BLUE GOLD

    "Narrated by Malcolm McDowell, this award-winning documentary from director Sam Bozzo posits that we're moving closer to a world in which water -- a seemingly plentiful natural resource -- could actually incite war. As water becomes an increasingly precious commodity, corrupt governments, corporations and even private investors are scrambling to control it … which leaves everyday citizens fighting for a substance they need to survive"

    At our TED survey on global values I posted the following"All nations have the right to protect their own natural resources aganist exploitation from outsiders

    "It isn't supported by most who have vote there. If you care about water..go there and vote for that.,gl/mod/0073

    Omar..let's do what we can to bring as much information about this isue here..even if no one else joins us
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    Jun 14 2011: There's great opportunity to overcome all scarcity. Unfortunately, right now, too much emphasis seems to be on energy and not on water. I understand that an unlimited energy supply could desalinize water but even if we started that today, too many people will die before it gets to them. So I agree Khobar, water scarcity is a huge problem. I cannot stereotype others but personally, I've dedicated a portion of my time to raising awareness on water scarcity issues on our island.
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      Jun 16 2011: Hi there Brent, fellow islander! I would like to hear what are these great opportunities. One solution is of course raising awareness like what you are doing in our island. This is solution 5 ( in what I think is the direction of our efforts to right our planet. How can we amplify this solution and effectivel put a dent in solving water scarcity and earth-sustainability? What are the NGOs or government programs that are doing this? How can we rally more people and leaders to transform our world both from the top and the bottom?
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      Jun 22 2011: Brent could you tell us more about your water initiaves onyour island and also the condistions to which they respond?