water news: elephants + malnutrition + Asian economics

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Periodically, we’ll recap recent news relative to the water sector. Have news to add? Email us.

Elephants in C.A.R.

This 60 Minutes segment caught our eye — it was shot in an area that almost never makes the news, southwest Central African Republic. That’s where we’re funding clean water projects with this year’s September campaign. Notice the rough terrain and lack of paved roads (1:40 gives a good glimpse); these are just some of the challenges to building water projects here.
Director of our local partner ICDI, Jim Hocking, has relayed many a story of elephants living among people in C.A.R. Our crew is there with him right now, filming for the September campaign trailer.

Stay tuned for updates from the field and more about C.A.R. here on the blog.

The battle over the Nile continues.

A few weeks ago, we noted that four East African nations had signed an agreement to obtain more access to the Nile’s precious water reserves. Since then, three more nations have joined the fight. The Boston Globe just published an Op-Ed by the World Peace Foundation’s Robert I. Rotberg, who calls for U.S. intervention to calm tensions and avoid “a war over water.” Read his short piece here.

commentDwindling water availability is bound to cause international tensions in the future. Should the U.S. or other nations get involved? Should countries controlling our biggest water reserves be forced to share? Tell us what you think; leave us a comment.

Malnutrition that shouldn’t be in the D.R.C. (or anywhere).

Half of all malnutrition in the world is caused by lack of safe water sources. charity: water has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2008 and last week, we tuned in to a special report from NGO Doctors Without Borders for an update from the D.R.C. on “the malnutrition that shouldn’t be.” Here it is:

See their complete series, titled “Starved for Attention” here.

asia news

Recognizing Asia’s water crisis.

Calls to act on the water crisis in Asia are coming from economic officials. The fear is that dwindling water resources will stymie Asia’s rapid economic growth.

Unless you radically improve the rate of efficiency of water use both in agriculture and in industry, you are not going to close the gap between demand and supply in 2030.

– Arjun Thapan, an advisor to the Asian Development Bank

The story cites Singapore as an example of conservative and responsible water use; nearby, water availability in the Philippines, China and India is falling fast. The ADB is encouraging Asian governments to invest in cleaning up their freshwater lakes and rivers to help relieve the stress.

Keeping it local.

We try to keep up with our mycharity: water fundraisers, who are always making their local press for their inspiring or unique campaign ideas. Here are a few from the week… if you spotted more, just comment or send us an email to let us know:

hunterdonFrom North Bergen, N.J.: Four-year-olds Sol Rivera and Lola Ahmed hosted a play-date for water (Sol’s mother is married to TV-host Geraldo Rivera).

From Lorton, Va.: Another man walks across the entire U.S. for water.

From Hunterdon County, N.J.: Teens put on a concert to raise money for UNSHAKEN, our campaign for long-term water solutions in Haiti.

Anything we missed this week? Just comment to let us know.

Previous campaign to watch: second graders sweat for clean water. Blog Home Next campaign to watch: seth godin’s birthday.