Many environmental business leaders involved in water restoration, waste management, and recycling now envision the 21st century as one that will be full of opportunity to turn waste into highly sought after resources. For example, phosphorus recycling is one consideration already at the forefront, given the important role it plays in agriculture.
Several water initiatives, including The Changing Town Park, Decentralized Water Purification Strategies in Haiti, Multipurpose Public Space, and City River Restoration at its Best, were chosen for further investigation throughout the previous year because of their unique approach at addressing water management issues. All had unique objectives, but they all used similar overarching strategies to successfully implement their purpose. These commonalities are important to highlight so that future projects can utilize similar strategies for success
Approximately 1.1 billion people do not have access to improved sources of drinking water (WHO, Water Sanitation Health, 2013). Even so, these current estimates are probably not as high as they should be. This is because the assumptions about the safety or quality of water is based on its source (lakes, rivers, ground), and does not take into account recontamination during its distribution for use (Sobsey, 2002).
The City of St. Albans, Vermont has just changed the way they look at their town park. Rather than just simply growing grass, they have installed a technology that makes an impact right away in the management and resiliency of its town center. While the Taylor Town Park has been established since 1799, St. Albans makes a great case for why it shouldn't just be business as usual.
Haiti has severe market constraints in its water sector, and clean water distribution is often poor due to the nature of it being traveled far distances by truck. For this reason, only about one third of Haiti’s urban poor and rural poor have access to clean water (Access to Water in Haiti, 2010).
The Pearl District in downtown Portland, Oregon is an interesting place of old and new. It was once only a creek and lake, fed by small streams from the nearby hills in southwest Portland. In these old times, the forested hillsides provided natural filtration for this water before it reached the downtown Willamette River (Health Parks, Healthy Portland, 2013).
The Cheonggyecheon (CH) was once a naturally formed stream, long before the Joseon Dynasty designated South Korea’s Capital, Seoul, along its banks in 1394 (Cheong Gye Cheon Tour, 2013). Throughout the City’s long history there has always been a connection to water, most likely because of its proximity to the mountains and several tributaries.
To Lich River is a major waterway running just south of the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam. For centuries it was the major fishing source for many small villages located along its periphery. This environment provided nourishment for the many families here as well as created a valuable transportation route north and south.
Follow-up to The Community Lake: Using plants as water filters for dealing with excess nutrients and chemicals is becoming a more popular phenomenon around the world. This is probably because this type of remediation is really affordable and effective in doing its job. After all, its natures adaptability which make these such powerful organisms. Throughout the City of Hanoi, this is a really widespread process - specifically using one type of aquatic reed.
Throughout Vietnam there are the traditional hamlets, turned villages, turned suburbs. Something they all still retain, or a characteristic that has withstood the period of development, is the community lake. Used for fishing, bathing and general dumping - they are quite an asset to the suburb. Obviously as time goes by, and trash grows thigh-high these lakes can be more of a burden than a benefit to its society
Hanoi. Beautiful, green, charming, well designed, oh and did I mention the overabundance of astounding street food? This place is actually* relaxing even though it has the real city grit.
Now that I have a new setting for reflection let me see what was realized in Ghana. First of all, what a special and new country for me. Some of the nicest people I have met, and remember that is after experiencing life on the Smiling Island.
The building process is over, and the village is eager to try out the new purification system. Final analysis to come.
After surviving a round of stomach sickness and ache, I am now feeling even better than normal, and ready to spring our project to the next level, up a level level. We have made great strides as a group over the past few days - and am happy to be working on team efficiency with Gabby, Katie and Jane.
Today we left at 6am for Kulaa with the initiative being to build our main water unit’s structure. Bricks were in place and cement was happily resting in the chiefs hut, anticipating our arrival. We visited the sandman and made sure to tie the back with rubber straps conveniently strewn right nearby.
Today we were excited to conduct a large community meeting to discuss our implementation of CWS water purification systems. It turns out by the time we had gotten there, an “urgent” matter had occurred so the village was considerably sparse. These curve balls seem to happen every day and flexibility is key for implementation of this kind.
Yesterday we visited the villages of Chani and kagbarasche. They had systems already implemented by Community Water solutions. This was our chance to see how they held up, how their dugout water was situated and how the village life was. It proved to be an interesting ride throughout the day.