Happy Thursday, dear friends. I just watched an old movie called Sullivan’s Travels. It was about a rich Hollywood screen writer who felt that he needed to do a serious movie in order to feel successful.
He went out on the road to experience real hardship, and discovered that his comedy movies were truly a gift to those who were suffering. He had previously rejected the talents and gifts he was already sharing with the world. He didn’t feel they were important.
I find we all tend to do that sometimes. We look for something more important, or concrete, to share with others, when we are already doing a great job just by being ourselves. I honor each one of you for being who you are, because all together we make this world a tapestry of wonder.
Today, we share news from the water world and then revisit a few previous topics.
Bringing water rights to the masses.
Can you imagine walking for miles in order to find water for your family? This is the norm for many people in developing nations. They spend hours, every day, just getting enough water to survive, and often this task is relegated to the youngest members of the family. These young people are unable to attend school because they spend so much time hauling water. The water that they do find is often unhealthy, so many suffer from disease as well.
In 2010, George McGraw founded DigDeep with a group of young Los Angeles based visionaries to bring water ownership to developing nations. They first provide infrastructure to dig wells and develop distribution systems. They also ask villagers to serve on water-councils so the community can feel ownership of their water resources.
Their programs have been extremely successful in South Sudan, Cameroon and New Mexico. They are also blessed to have the support of globally-conscious philanthropists who sit on the DigDeep water-council. They provide the means for expanding clean water, which they believe is a human right, to more people in the world.
Children in Zambia discuss finding water and how a village well would change their lives.
World Vision is another non-governmental organization that brings clean water to developing nations. This short video presents information on their Zambia Project.
Young children from rural villages are usually the water suppliers for their families. Here, they discuss their routine, how the water affects their health, and what they would be doing if they were not tasked with finding water. Finally, we get to see their reaction to a newly installed village well.
Digging up urban streams in Washington, DC.
When the US capitol city was laid out, many of the area’s streams were forced underground to prevent flooding in the low-lying Chesapeake Bay location. Many cities also tried to remove as much surface water as possible in an effort to contain malaria.
The underground streams actually caused more trouble than good. Flooding continued and pollution was transferred directly to the Chesapeake, which experienced dramatic species decline. The bay once supported huge populations of shell fish and a thriving sea food industry, which suffered due to the ailing waters.
Keith Underwood is a landscape architect who has restored about 50 streams in urban areas. To bring them back to the surface is not an easy task, as their original river beds have long been destroyed. To do it, he has to think like a stream.
Underwood brings in natural materials as food for healthy fungi and bacteria. This establishes the bottom of the food chain, which attracts higher animals and plants to the area. This re-colonization, allows much of the nitrogen-based fertilizer pollution to be eaten up along the way, so it does not overload the bay.
Funding for such projects is difficult to obtain. Even so, the results are so dramatic, that more and more states are looking to implement re-surfacing projects using his environmentally-sound techniques.
Never run out of water on a bike trip again.
Kristof Retezár is a design student who recently became a finalist in the James Dyson Award innovative design competition. Kristof designed a water generating system that uses bike pedaling to create water from air.
The Fontus water generating prototype works best in warm and humid conditions. The system can harvest 0.5 Liters of water from the atmosphere in an hour of leisure pedaling. He is still fine-tuning the prototype and looking for investors to further his project.
He believes the basic premise could be expanded to harvest water in developing nations where ground water and electricity are scarce.
Judge in Fort Lauderdale issues temporary ban on arrests in homeless feeding controversy.
A judge in Fort Lauderdale issued a 30-day ban on arresting people who feed the homeless in public places. The city instituted a new policy in October that would make public feeding illegal.
90-year-old World War II veteran Arnold Abbott has been feeding the homeless for decades through his organization Love Thy Neighbor. He was recently arrested for breaking the new law. This drew outrage from many citizens across the US as the story went viral on social media.
The new ordinance was recently ridiculed in the media on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Religious and homeless advocacy groups also came out in support of individuals who continue to feed those in need despite the threat of fines and jail time.
Dong Energy drops plans for Wind energy off the Irish coast.
We recently reported that Dong Energy would partner with the Irish government to create a large wind farm off the north coast. The project was one of a number of sustainable energy initiatives in the area.
There have been delays by policy makers in the design of the new energy markets and incentives for Northern Ireland, while the building deadlines remain the same. With such uncertainty around future policy, Dong believes they will not be able to construct the project in the required timeframe and so they have declined the award. While sustainable energy has the ability to innovate international energy infrastructure, policy makers must fast track their rulings in order to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
A flipping girl gets the attention of a dolphin.
While I believe that marine mammals should not live in containment unless they are unable to fend for themselves in the wild, this video is really cute. A friend of mine runs a wild dolphin sanctuary, and she is always sharing stories of how interested dolphins are in humans. This dolphin certainly likes the girl’s antics.
That’s the news for today. Have a spectacular day. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!