“Mark Twain once said there are lies, damned lies and statistics. And that was over 100 years ago, before we had computers and billions of data points to analyze. All the numbers available to us these days can lead to some odd statistical reporting…Newfoundlanders are not the highest water users, statistics just make them look that way,” concludes Neal Klassen.
“Across the country, governments, decision makers, civil society, and people from across sectors are realizing the critical importance of clean, accessible fresh water, and the need for innovative solutions to the governance challenges facing this vital resource,” states Oliver Brandes.
In 2011 the Pacific Institute, in collaboration with Google, launched a smartphone application that could help address a major water challenge: finding, supporting, and expanding the United States’s public drinking water fountains. “The average American now drinks nearly 30 gallons of commercial bottled water per year. One of the reasons for this explosive growth in the sales of bottled water is the disappearance of public drinking water fountains,” stated Peter Gleick.
Part of the rollout to stimulate a national dialogue on sustainable water management, the Nanaimo Region Water Pricing Workshop is decribed as the first of its kind in Canada. “The desired outcome for the workshop was that participating practitioners would connect the dots between three initiatives; and would understand why ‘conservation-oriented water pricing’ is a tool to achieve a larger end – that is, Sustainable Service Delivery,” stated John Finnie.
“The Strategy brought together technical information and highlighted the most important water management issues and how they connect to one another. The 2010 Progress Report outlined the progress made on the Strategy’s 45 action items over the first two years. It highlighted successes to date, identified areas where more work needed to be done, discussed barriers to implementation, and suggested next steps,” stated Nelson Jatel.
The United States Water Prize Program is a celebration of sustainable solutions that advance holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges.
The best way to achieve a sustainable future for fresh water is to develop decision-making processes, institutions, and technologies that emphasize both efficiency and conservation.
New Yorkers will save money on their water bills through the rain barrel program by using a natural resource to water lawns and gardens instead of their outdoor faucets.
Don Degen (City of Kelowna):
New landscaping standards will help to reduce water consumption across the city and reduce residential landscaping water consumption by a further 15 per cent. This makes Kelowna the first city in BC to set this level of landscape water usage standards.
This is the first comprehensive analysis of the water soft path, drawing on studies from Canada and around the world. The book demonstrates that soft path analyses are both analytical and practical. It emphasizes that soft paths, beyond being conceptually attractive, can be economically and politically feasible.