So, water is kinda my thing. I study international development, but I am trying to focus on 3 things, Water, Africa, and Conflict, or more specifically, how these three things fit together (African Pastoralists vs Agriculturalists in how they compete for scare water resources in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, ect.)
In terms of water, I feel that this is the 2nd greatest problem this world is facing, the first being how quickly we are approaching our 2 degree tipping point with rising temperatures around the globe.
With populations expanding and fresh water sources dwindling, we are facing a huge crisis. Now.. that's from a developed country point of view. But as many of us realize, we've been in crisis for a LONG time. And I wish I could share the fresh water I have with someone in Somaliland or Ethiopia, but it's not that simple.. So we must share our knowledge and come up with ways in which we can help generate fresh water for people and animals to drink, to irrigate our crops, and to generally be efficient with how we manage this precious resource.
I offer up a few things that I am a fan of. As always, I try to spread it around both from what the developed world should do, and what the developing world could do.
These are just a few ideas that I thought were good. The emphasis here is on collecting storm water. I'm sure this could be applied on some scale to monsoon water in developing countries, to save that which would otherwise just run off as surface water, or be evaporated.
I feel that is a significant element of solving our water crisis: Gaining a larger "market share" of fresh water, by capturing rain and storing it, rather than letting it evaporate, or run away! In cities, we can do this easily by utilizing storm water, while in rural areas, I think that one solution could be to pump water back down into aquifers, increasing the recharge rate and replenishing vital levels of groundwater as a "store" for dry seasons. Monsoon flooding is a perfect example. If we could find a way to filter it, and pump it back in for future store, bringing levels back up, ground water could become viable in many areas where it now has been drained below viability (Parts of Rajasthan, India, are good examples of where this has happened)
In terms of developing countries, a serious need exists in two areas: Increasing access to enough water for people to survive on; and ensuring that it stays safe to drink.
I offer up two suggestions, though I realize this is merely getting the ball rolling. First, is an EXCELLENT SOURCE OF INFO! for ALL THINGS!!!!! haha If you dont know about TED.com, well. let me be the first to introduce you, through a relevant talk:
Second, I think there is a HUGE need to promote sustainable groundwater usage. So much of the agricultural sector in India is built on groundwater that is disappearing at such a fast rate. There needs to be more foresight, and better policy - better to make the changes now, while only x amount of people are effected, rather than later, when 10x the amount of people are effected.
On a side note, but related, I was wondering how people felt about the Tata Swach? Has anyone tried this? is it considered too expensive? does it work well? problems? It can be viewed here: http://www.tataswach.com/