Initiatives in Other Countries

Reflections by Australia’s Dr. Peter Coombes (2nd in a 3-part series): “Integrate water balance strategies with existing infrastructure strategies to visualise what a ‘resilient future’ would look like”

“A history of top down management of water in Australia was challenged by drought. Concerned citizens called for implementation of bottom up strategies and inclusion in the decision making process. It was an emerging insight that there were no ‘silver bullet’ single solutions for water management. Both bottom-up and top-down approaches were needed,” wrote Peter Coombes.

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Reflections by Australia’s Dr. Peter Coombes (1st in a 3-part series): “Through Consensus and Challenge: Essential Fabric of Resilient Society”

“The easy going ‘she’ll be right mate’ culture of Australians masks strong aversion to change ‘we’ve always done it this way’. Our water management is, mostly, a centralised top down (driven by institutions) process. In contrast, Canadians have a bottom up (driven by people) discussion ‘let’s talk about this’ about ideas – consensus via non-government organisations and community governance,” wrote Peter Coombes.

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“Definition of Water in the U.S.”, known as WOTUS, increases reach of American federal regulations

“The definition of ‘water’ is not typically a controversial subject. But….. The final rule for WOTUS takes into account the ‘interconnectedness’ of tributaries, wetlands and other waters to downstream waters. This means the federal government would substantially increase federal control of Minnesota’s lakes, streams, wetlands and drainage ditches,” wrote Rich Sve, local government politician.

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Water Sensitive Urban Design Slakes Thirst for Sustainability

“A new report — Water Sensitive Urban Design in the UK — reinterprets the WSUD concept for the UK and its conclusions might best be summed up simply as: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in,” writes Jonathan Nettler.

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Water Footprint Assessment: towards sustainable and efficient water use

“The interest in the water footprint is rooted in the recognition that human impacts on freshwater systems can ultimately be linked to human consumption, and that issues like water shortages and pollution can be better understood and addressed by considering production and supply chains as a whole,” says Professor Arjen Y. Hoekstra, creator of the water footprint concept

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Raising Water Productivity to Increase Food Security

With water shortages constraining food production growth, the world needs an effort to raise water productivity similar to the one that nearly tripled land productivity over the last half-century. Since 70 percent of world water use is devoted to irrigation, raising irrigation efficiency is central to raising water productivity overall.

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