H20 GLOBAL !
A great example of attempting to make a systemic imapact by strategically targeting one variable in a complex system
that will have very broad, very positive, downstream effects:
Guest posted at Critt's Conversation Base Blog
by Dr. Timothy Foresman
"Watering Hope with Action and Technology (W.H.A.T)
"" A Proposal
Challenges facing the poorest and most disenfranchised peoples of the planet may seem insurmountable as scarcities of food and income are compounded by disease, ignorance, conflicts, and losses of ecological goods and services to support their survival. These conditions become further compounded as negative impacts from land cover change and climate variability reverberate and exacerbate local conditions. These serious conditions facing humanity will require unprecedented cooperation among all nations and businesses to affect shifts in the current trajectories. Provision of safe drinking water is the one arena for immediate action, above all others that will provide critical relief and ameliorate some of the compounding impacts of poverty and poor sanitation for billions of people. Safe drinking water can mean the difference between life or death, between health and sickness, and between hope and hopelessness.
The United Nations community, and recently the United States of America, have raised the banner of water needs, but underemphasized the catalytic effect that water brings to individuals, families, villages, and regions. With water comes hope. With hope comes focus on the proper direction to follow to seek improvement in ones’ own conditions. When seeking further actions for improvement, behavior changes may be necessary in taking the proper steps towards self improvement and sustainability. And people do need to create the conditions for health, education, employment, and the betterment of the environs within their villages and regions as a necessary prerequisite to sustain their existence. This proposal defines the concept of watering hope for people around the globe by applying a recipe containing the best of design experiences, the best in applied technologies, and the best in community-based financing models but with a significant difference. This proposal puts the call for action into the hands of those in need by empowering villages to broadcast their requests for assistance directly to those that can provide philanthropic, financial, and technical support. All of these are prescribed as scalable ingredients for a global paradigm shift away from our current set of unsustainable practices and programs. Watering Hope with Action and Technology (W.H.A.T.) is the first step for empowerment and uplift of people and villages located around the world in order to equip them with coping mechanisms in preparation for the coming decades of major climatic changes.
In the aggregate, the dimensions of the challenge are impressive if not daunting. Best estimates indicate the requirement for 5 to 10 billion dollars (US) per year to address the provision of safe water and sanitation to approximately two-billion people in most need (ref). A total of 50 to 100 billion dollars (US) will probably be required each decade in the near future to initially guarantee that a human safety net can be established and then maintained during the coming turbulent decades. While this may seem a vast amount of money, perspective can be gained by viewing what the US currently provides at this level of funding to supply military weapons to countries around the world during each decade, using American tax dollars, more often with counter intuitive results when temporary allies transform into enemies. It has been well documented that the civil discontent from the poorest segments of society is breeding ground for conflicts and wars (reference Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Non-Integrating Gap). Therefore, with international cooperation, these financial requirements are not viewed as insurmountable and indeed, economically sound according to leading economists, from a cost-benefit perspective. The peace dividend from these investments represents a fertile area for thoughtful analysis. What has been missing are the political will and a proven blueprint or pathway for success. Watering Hope with Action and Technology provides just such a blueprint.
Dr. Timothy W. Foresman is President of Global Water, a 501(c)(3) Corporation. He has a distinguished career leading technology advances (remote sensing, geographic information systems, water, energy) for international environmental protection and management and has been a pioneer for the global expansion of the Digital Earth vision. "