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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Community Well Water Analysis in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla

From Nelly Fernandez Tellez Water for Humans-- Mexico Operations

On 25 April, I paid a visit to the community of Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla.

I was there to obtain a copy of the results from annual analysis of community well water conducted last year, and to talk with the manager of the water committee.

Initial results show the water is fairly good quality, however the well pump failed last year and the new replacement pump is starting to show some corrosion.  Currently, the municipality does not have the funds to perform new water analysis, and they have asked Water for Humans to help them determine the root cause of the pump failure and better understand the water quality.

In response we are invigorating the costs of performing a more complete water analysis, and forecasting the funding requirements to support this request.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Severe Water Shortages Predicted Within A Few Decades

Scores of people worldwide are in trouble. Safe, clean drinking water, already a very precious resource, is predicted to become extremely precious--and harder to find, within a few decades. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences warns us that by the year 2050, more than 1 billion people--living in major cities in the developing world, will face water shortages. That is equivalent to roughly 20 percent of the world's current population!

More than 3 billion people are predicted to experience water shortages "at least one month of every year." Climate change is expected to worsen this already catastrophic problem, as the warming of the planet is likely to cause another 100 million people who live in cities to not have adequate access to safe drinking water.

Water for Humans has been documenting this world-wide crisis with sound science and in partnership with other environmental sustainability organizations. You can fine clear and compelling statistics on the severe magnitude of the global water shortage on the Water for Humans website.

The below report is not to be taken lightly. Too often we read or hear about dire warnings, and if they are far enough into the future, we tend too often to become "tuned out" to such credible calls for action. We encourage you to read this article, and then we invite you to join Water for Humans in our international campaign to provide low-cost, clean water solutions to underserved populations while ensuring that water remains a local, public resource.

By 2050, more than 1 billion city dwellers may face water shortages if no new infrastructure is built or no new water conservation efforts are undertaken, according to a new National Academy of Sciences study [1]. More than 3 billion people may suffer similar water shortages at least one month of every year, according to this study. The shortages are projected to hit mega-cities ranging from Beijing to Delhi, Mexico City, Lagos and Tehran.

This recently released study looks only at water availability within a metropolitan region. Many more people lack access to clean water if problems of inadequate water quality or delivery within cities are taken into account.

To define “water shortage,” the study used a standard of 100 liters per person per day, which the World Health Organization says is the minimum a person needs for “optimum” long-term health and sanitation.

Researchers found that urban population growth will account for most of the big projected increases in water shortage. Climate change may add an additional 100 million more people to live without adequate water supplies unless cities take measures on time.

Common infrastructural solutions to address water shortages such as transporting water longer distances, building dams and desalination are all expensive. Better ways to address shortages, says one of the study’s authors Rob McDonald of One solution, are more efficient water use by agriculture and industry, payments to farmers to reduce areas of irrigated agriculture, and removal of non-native water-hungry vegetation such as eucalyptus.

“The thing I’m really worried about,” says McDonald, “is how the poorest cities are going to be able to afford to get water to their residents. Right now, many poor cities have trouble delivering clean water to their residents, and unless new capital is available for investment the situation will get worse.

“There’s a real shortfall in investment right now in solving this problem, and the developed countries in my opinion need to play a larger role in helping close that shortfall.”

Footnote: [1] McDonald, R.I. … [et al.] (2011). Urban growth, climate change, and freshwater availability. PNAS, Published online before print 28 March 2011. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011615108 [open access]

Source: Robert Lalasz, Cool Green Science, 28 Mar 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

International Organization Calls for Renewed Focus on Sustainable Sanitation

In an effort to prompt greater awareness and action among the world's leading governments, the United Nations has strengthened the "Sustainable Sanitation 5-Year Drive to 2015". Read article below for details.

The hope is that by taking this significant measure, the United Nations will put political pressure on various countries, including developed, developing, and under-developed nations, to meet this critical part of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

"Ensuring Environmental Sustainability" is the 7th of 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were created in September of 2000 to address--on a worldwide scale, the paramount issues of universal primary education, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and halving extreme poverty--all by the target date of 2015. All of th
e world's countries and leading development institutions formed this blueprint more than a decade ago to meet the needs of the world's poorest people.

Water for Humans adamantly endorses this action by the United Nations. Nearly 1 billion people are unable to access clean, safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without adequate sanitation. About 84% of water-related deaths worldwide are of children under the age of 15! Water for Humans finds these deplorable and inhumane conditions unacceptable.

Would you like to play a vital role in helping us reduce by 50% the number of people who have no access to safe drinking water? Do you want to use your talents to help Water for Humans deliver the world's most precious resource to the hundreds of millions of people who risks their lives to get it? If you would like to join our humanitarian cause, we encourage you to visit our Water for Humans website and learn how you can positively impact the many thousands of people who need your help.

Thank you for your support!

Sustainable Sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015

April 15, 2011

As a follow-up to International Year of Sanitation (2008) and in the effort to attain sanitation and hygiene Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, Sustainable Sanitation 5 Year Drive to 2015 (5YD) was conceptualized by the United Nation Secretariat Advisory Board (UNSGAB) members.

The idea being that, ‘the 5YD is an advocacy vehicle to keep sanitation high on the political agenda, promote national coordination, improve sanitation monitoring while supporting sustainable sanitation solutions – all in all in an effort to meet the sanitation target.

The Drive aims to invigorate, galvanize and re-focus international, regional and national activities in the field of sanitation and maintain the momentum through raising awareness and facilitating action. The concept was drafted based on a recommendation made in The UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) report of 2010.

The Five Year Drive was officially adopted by Resolution A/RES/65/153 of the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2010 and now serves as a tool for engaging countries as well as non-state stakeholders for improving access to sanitation worldwide.

The official launch of 5YD will take place in the presence of the UN Secretary General during the UNSGAB (United Nation Secretariat Advisory Board) meeting to be held from June 21-23, 2011 in New York City.

In addition, regional launches are planned at the 4th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN IV) in April 2011 and at the 3rd African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan3) in July 2011.

Source: UNSGAB ((United Nation Secretariat Advisory Board) , Dec. 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Access to Clean, Safe Drinking Water Threatened by Rapid Urbanization

Water for Humans continues to work successfully with local experts, university personnel, and government officials in the Oaxaca Valley, Mexico to bring clean, safe drinking water there. Partnering with Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (UABJO), Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca (INSO), local Rotary International chapters, El Foro Oaxaqueño del Agua, Guadelupe Etla, Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla, State and Federal government officials, as well as the Department of Health--Water for Humans is building a constructed wetland for sewage treatment in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla. The goal is to eliminate the raw sewage currently flowing from the defunct wastewater treatment plant in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla downhill to Guadalupe Etla.

Water for Humans intends to continue its humanitarian initiatives like the one in Mexico in other under-developed and under-served countries in the world. Access to clean, safe drinking water is not a privilege for the select few who are fortunate enough to live in advanced countries. Water for Humans believes that being able to obtain fresh drinking water that is free of toxins is a right that all people must seize. And Water for Humans is committed to making that happen.

Addressing this formidable worldwide water crisis is a challenge that seems more daunting every day. We read in a recent article published in Urban Health Updates that the burgeoning population growth in many urban areas from Africa to Egypt to Bolivia are creating major hurdles to people in these countries from accessing safe drinking water.

Rapid urbanization is taking place throughout the world, and this is putting a tremendous strain on water supplies. Children are often the ones who suffer most in the form of contracting water-borne illnesses.
The UN Environment Programme says some 884 million people have no access to clean drinking water, yet three times that number have no toilets or sanitary facilities of any kind.

Below read an excerpt of this poignant article that should awaken all of us to the magnitude of this black water crisis. These stories should summon all of us to do our part to help alleviate this pandemic that is taking lives every day, and many of those lives are children under the age of five.

Article published by Urban Health Updates on March 22, 2011

Securing a safe water supply in urban areas is an increasing problem in 2011. The UN recognizes access to clean drinking water as a human right, but it remains out of reach for millions of people around the world

Some 400 million people in Africa live in urban areas, according to United Nations statistics – but as of 2008, 55 million of them lacked access to clean drinking water.

A study by two UN agencies, released on Monday (March 21, 2011) to coincide with World Water Day on March 22, highlighted a troubling trend: As Africa’s cities grow more populous, an increasing number of residents there must do without clean water and sanitation facilities.

Read more

Monday, April 11, 2011

Water testing at the School in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla

MARCH 22, 2011.
By Our Oaxaca staff  Nelly Fernandez Tellez
I made a visit to the school in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla meet with the head master; Valentin Gomez Farias to test the water quality, receiving the parameters measured were: pH, hardness, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, iron, manganese, salmonella, E. coli, Aeromonas and other coliforms.

These tests were made because "Water for Humans", aims to get to install filters at school, and thus the school can stop buying jugs of water. The children will be able to drink water straight from the tap and the money save will be used to invest in material for children or school improvement in general.

The results were quite favorable and we can say that although the water is clean, We do not feel nor do the children & staff feel safe drinking untreated water. This is because none of the incoming well water is treated or inspected on a regular basis.  Thus we hope to install a water purifying filter to ensure the greater safety of the children and staff.

State Water Commission Ing Rolando García Rodrigo Varela. Meeting March 2nd

State Water Commission Ing Rolando García Rodrigo Varela. Meeting March 2nd 
By our Oaxaca Staff  Nelly Fernandez Tellez

Today, El Maestro Juan José Council INSO, Mr. Carlos Placencia Forum Water Oaxaca, the former agent Etla Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo María Soledad Díaz. and I, we held a meeting with the director of the State Water Commission (CEA) Ing Rolando García Rodrigo Varela.

During the meeting, the director of the CAA told us that the state has more than 80% of treatment plants that do not work and therefore water is not treated, that is why the CEA currently has a program to monitor treatment plants. This program is to conduct an assessment visit to the site of treatment plant, and generate a general opinion of the state that tells the plant and make recommendations to the various actions that must be done to rehabilitate the plant, or if is considered, building a new facility that meets the guidelines established with the Mexican standards.

Juan Jose  gave the preliminary estimate of the costs of steps required in Santo Domingo Barrio Bajo Etla, (acquisition of land for the project, generation of the executive project, construction of silver treatment, operation and maintenance) will be presented to the Governor, Mr. Gabino Cue Monteagudo.

The directors agreed to a visit by the CEA to the treatment plants located in Etla, and for our part we conclude the record start integrating it takes to enter this institution and received some financial resources for construction the new treatment plant.


By our Oaxaca staff  Nelly Fernandez Tellez

On Wednesday 6 April, he visited the colony Bravo Ahuja, where it intends to implement systems to capture rainwater for eight families. The reason for the visit was to take pictures of the houses, the beneficiaries and ceilings.We did a route which covered all the houses of the beneficiaries, most of them made collecting cans to sell and PVC recycling. They perform and the collection of rainwater but very rustic, in cans, buckets and all receptacles in which to store water, which is why they want to get the rainwater harvesting in a more formal with tanks and tanks, gutters and pipes.

La Maestra Rosa Lidia Barroso Moreno, who was the first to be approached with trepidation INSO to implement the project Capturing rainwater in your home develops some of the actions environmentally friendly alternatives such as: instead of chlorine for whiten the clothes she wears ash water according to his testimony helps to whiten the clothes and also reduces the amount of detergent you use. It also has vermicompost, compost conventional organically reared chickens, ways of saving and recycling water, for example, the wash water used to water the garden or for toilet, water from the clothes used for washing floors.On the other hand, Mrs. Avelina Ines Barroso already has dry toilet and also recycles water, your house is made of ferrocement and has organic shapes.

The other members of the project are:Hortencia Mendoza GarcíaCarlos Alvarez BautistaEva Susana Hernandez Vazquez .- In addition to her home 5 people live with her. Esther Pascual Lopez .- With her 8 family members live together. Norma Aguilar Gaytan .- There are 6 people in your home. Berenice Delgado Torres - regularly are 5 people in her house.

Each of the women members of this group is very excited and is eager to work on the project "Rainwater Collection" are moving to acquire resources from government institutions and other potential donors have even talked to the president City of Santa Lucia and pretend to have a conversation with the Governor to ask for your support.

However, they are constantly training and attending courses and workshops in order to overcome and be more environmentally friendly.