Sustainability (and such)

Water, transparently

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on March 30, 2012

It’s been quite a news month for water activists, given the celebratory news that 89% of the world’s population had access to safe water sources at the end of 2010.  THIS IS HUGE – that over 2 billion people have improved water supplies since 1990 –and, according to the United Nations and WHO, this also means that the  Millennium Development target on water had been reached ahead of schedule.

WAIT…Not so fast.  Some activists declare that these numbers are as flimsy as bubbles, implying that the simple installation of pipes automatically ensures the flow of clean water. “I worry that a report like this makes us feel the problem is on the way to being solved when, in fact, it is the exact opposite,” said Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, co-founder of the Blue Planet Project, and former senior U.N. advisor on water.

It’s a story worth watching, especially as people nervously watch so many MDG’s not met by the target year of 2015.   It makes me nervous, because any spin that’s put on such critical world issues might cause potential activists/funders/key leaders to think it’s resolved.   Another weird fact:  Where’s the U.S. media interest in such stories?

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