Watershed and Water Resource Management

 Today at <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

 

Watershed and Water Resource Management

This program delivers credible scientific information, practical guidance, and proven decision-support tools and technology assessments to help program members, regulators, and other stakeholders develop and implement effective strategies for watershed assessment and management, water resource sustainability, water quality trading, TMDL analysis, ecosystem protection, individual power plant water use, and condenser and cooling system design and operation. The program facilitates cost-efficient, risk-based strategies capable of achieving environmental, social, and economic goals. The projects in this program are complementary and integrated around watershed and energy/water resource sustainability themes. The resolution of most watershed and water sustainability issues will require a combination of results from two or more of the projects. For 2007, a new project has been added to the program, Advanced Cooling Technologies. This project was formerly in the Facilities Water Management Program (Program 56). It has been transferred to this program because its scope and content are complementary to and synergistic with the overall goals and objectives of this program.

Nice comment Hans STROCK (Great Big Plants)

I received this nice comment from Hans STROCK:

http://greatbigplantsblog.com/

greatbigplants@buzzoodle.com

Thanks Willem! I’m glad you had a chance to check out the site! Sorry about the delay in response, things have been hectic lately. It’s good to see other people who agree with keeping kids involved with gardening. It’s always important to give children some culture and experience they can take with them when they get older. I think all children should have something fun and creative they can do. It helps them feel good about themselves. Keep up the good work!”

Well said, Hans ! In the western countries, so many people are complaining about the fact that young people are only interested in TV-programs. Why don’t we offer them a chance to do something useful and fun, instead of leaving them hanging (or laying) around in front of the TV-set? Impossible to change their attitude ? Yes, if you start early enough (e.g. with pubers). And what if you start even earlier, let’s say in primary school? I am sure kids love to do practical gardening in a very simple way. As a biology teacher I always got fantastic reactions when my pupils (12-18 years old) got an individual project to grow different plant species from seeds. They did it in plastic bottles at the window sills in my classroom ! They learned how to grow things with a strict minimum of water ! And they loved to write their personal report with observations and drawings. That is: EDUCATION WITH A PRACTICAL SENSE.
I am currently working out a similar project for the kids in the refugee camps in Algeria. Those children will most certainly be happy to have a “useful task” to grow vegetables in plastic bottles. There is not only the educational aspect of learning something about gardening, but one can also imagine how proud the kids will be to bring from time to time some vegetable (lettuce, parsley, onion, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, etc.) home. An later on they can always use these new skills (capacity building) to start gardening for their families. Wherever they are or will be!

I would like to suggest also the possibility of growing young fruit trees in plastic bottles at school. At the end of each school year, the children could then take “their tree(s)” home and plant them there. It would be a remarkable contribution to public health (vitamins through fruits), but also to reforestation in hostile environments like the Sahara desert in Algeria or, more generally, in all the drylands.

I really believe in a successful contribution to the combat of desertification and the alleviation of poverty when kids would do some gardening, be it in plastic bottles or even plastic bags, at school. Anyway, it can help to get rid of all those millions (billions ?) plastic containers (bags and bottles) dwelling around in the developing world (care for ecology and environment). A nice way to recycle those things, isn’t it ?

Any comments ? You are welcome.

Sustainable integrated water resources management

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Special Issue on: “Integrated Water Resources Management in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas”

In an increasing number of countries, in arid and semi-arid areas, water scarcity and deteriorating quality of natural water sources have become critical factors limiting national economic development, expansion of food production and/or provision of basic health and hygiene services to the population. There is an increasing urgency to develop new scientific means for sustainable management of water resources, and to offer solutions for improving living and working conditions for the present and future generations. Sustainable integrated water resources management is a concept that emphasises the need for a multi-disciplinary study of changing demands in the exploited water ecosystems which considers the development without their degradation in a long-term perspective as well as at the present. The purpose of this special issue is to better understand the key aspects of the sustainable management of water resources in arid and semi-arid area, to construct new mathematical and physical models using modern instruments of system engineering, management science, and information technologies, and to attempt to determine what is needed to improve effective water resources management in arid and semi-arid areas. We invite submissions of articles for consideration; manuscripts may be technical, conceptual, case-studies, policy or practice oriented and can range from original research to overviews, assessments, and reviews.

Water management: more crop per drop

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Basin Water Management: Understanding Water Productivity

This research theme seeks to provide a better understanding of the tradeoffs and options in agricultural water management at the basin scale and contribute to improved equity and productivity in water use through the development of appropriate tools and methodologies for analysis and management. Key Research Areas Sustainable water use in agriculture: To develop, test and apply analytical frameworks, water accounting methodologies and supporting tools to quantify and manage water resources for agriculture at a basin scale and to assist managers apply them in selected basins. Understanding water productivity at basin scale: To understand the impacts of field, farm and system level improvements in land and water productivity at the basin scale and to provide methods and tools for planners to develop appropriate policies and supporting strategies to increase net basin level water productivity. Institutions, policies and economic instruments for better water management at a basin scale : To analyze, contextualize, evaluate and recommend appropriate institutional arrangements to manage water resources for agriculture at the basin scale, over a range of contrasting conditions, and with special emphasis on the balance between sustainable and productive use of water. Historically, water management for agriculture was equated with the development and operation of water systems and structures, largely for irrigation. However, the rapid growth of urban centers and industry has led to increasing competition for water across sectors. Thus, the key challenge now for agricultural water management is achieving “more crop per drop” ─ an approach that marked a paradigm shift in IWMI’s thinking on how to increase food production for a growing population while simultaneously meeting the water quality and quantity requirements of other economic and environmental sectors.

Freshwater conservation

An interesting announcement at <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>:

 

An Economic Analysis of the Livelihood Impacts of Freshwater Conservation Initiatives

Freshwater ecosystems play an important role in all our lives. They are the mechanism whereby water is gathered and delivered for human use. They provide important services that are conservatively valued at hundreds of billions of dollars. In the developing world particularly, proper functioning of freshwater ecosystems have a proportionately greater impact on the livelihoods, health and security of the poor. MDG number 7 particularly aims to ensure environmental sustainability, including to “reduce by half the proportion of people living without sustainable access to safe drinking water”. However, the recently published Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded that the degradation of ecosystem services is a significant barrier to achieving the MDGs, and this impediment could grow significantly over the next 50 years. The harmful effects of ecosystem service degradation will continue to be borne disproportionately by the poor, and they are often the principal drivers of poverty and social conflict. The links between ecosystem services and poverty are strong. It is therefore essential to recognize and maximise the potential linkages between freshwater ecosystem conservation and poverty reduction. With this imperative in mind, WWF and its partner organizations are developing and implementing conservation projects with clear ecological goals and ambitious aims for improvements in livelihoods. The cases presented in this report illustrate how these links can be made successfully.

Green revolution in Africa

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Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

September 8, 2006;
press release

Bill & Melinda Gates, Rockefeller Foundations Form Alliance to Help Spur “Green Revolution” in Africa

Major Effort to Move Millions of People out of Poverty and Hunger Begins with a $150 Million Investment to Improve Africa’s Seed Systems

SEATTLE, NEW YORK – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced today that they will form an alliance to contribute to a “Green Revolution” in Africa that will dramatically increase the productivity of small farms, moving tens of millions of people out of extreme poverty and significantly reducing hunger.

“The original Green Revolution was a huge success in many parts of the world,” said Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. “Unfortunately, in Africa, while there are many positive efforts, momentum is going the other way. Over the past 15 years, the number of Africans living on less than a dollar a day has increased by 50 percent. Working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and with African leaders, farmers and scientists, we’re committed to launching an African Green Revolution that will help tens of millions of people who are living on the brink of starvation in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Over the long term, the partnership, called Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), intends to improve agricultural development in Africa by addressing both farming and relevant economic issues, including soil fertility and irrigation, farmer management practices, and farmer access to markets and financing. Almost three-quarters of Africa’s land area is being farmed without improved inputs such as fertilizer and advanced seeds.

“No major region around the world has been able to make sustained economic gains without first making significant improvements in agricultural productivity,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. “In Africa today, the great majority of poor people, many of them women with young children, depend on agriculture for food and income and remain impoverished and even go hungry. Yet, Melinda and I also have seen reason for hope – African plant scientists developing higher-yielding crops, African entrepreneurs starting seed companies to reach small farmers, and agrodealers reaching more and more small farmers with improved farm inputs and farm management practices. These strategies have the potential to transform the lives and health of millions of families. Working together with African leaders and the Rockefeller Foundation, we are embarking on a long-term effort focused on agricultural productivity, which will build on and extend this important work.”

Continue reading Green revolution in Africa

Semences KOKOPELLI

 

Pour ceux qui s’intéressent aux variétés de plantes potagères

Manuel de production de semences

et

Collection planétaire de variétés potagères

“ Semences de Kokopelli ”, dans sa sixième édition, se présente pour la première fois en quadrichromie. L’ouvrage est en grand format, avec 648 pages couleur, 927 photos et une couverture cartonnée.

L’auteur est Dominique Guillet. L’introduction est de Jean-Pierre Berlan, directeur de recherches INRA.

 

Par rapport à la 4 ème édition, les nouvelles rubriques de la 6 ème édition comprennent: 257 nouvelles photos; de nouveaux articles; des témoignages sur Semences sans Frontières; les processus d’érosion génétique; les chimères génétiques dans divers pays du monde; des chapitres sur le blé, le seigle, l’orge, l’artichaut, la stevia … L’ouvrage fait également 140 pages de plus.

Il présente tout d’abord 50 pages d’articles sur la biodiversité, la confiscation du vivant, la folie des chimères génétiques.

C’est un manuel de production de semences pour le jardin familial avec des informations très détaillées permettant à tous les jardiniers, et maraîchers, de produire leurs propres semences en toute pureté variétale. Semences de Kokopelli présente aussi une analyse précise des processus d’érosion génétique pour chaque espèce alimentaire ainsi que des informations récentes quant à la présence de plantes transgéniques alimentaires dans diverses parties du monde. Cet ouvrage présente une collection planétaire de 2700 variétés et espèces principalement alimentaires.