NEGEF News: July/August 2010 the water issue
Report Explores Community Responses to Water Withdrawal
We are happy to announce the release of "Water Withdrawal: New England Community Responses to Protect Groundwater". The paper investigates the issue of large-scale water withdrawal for water bottling, an issue gaining attention in many water-rich New England towns. This paper is the first in a series of issue-specific white papers that highlight the role of grassroots community groups in crucial environmental work.
Procession Protects Pawtuxet Watershed
130 Rhode Islanders took part in the 3rd annual parade throughout the city organized by NEGEF grantee Urban Pond Procession. Teaming up with fellow NEGEF grantee Environmental Justice League of RI, the procession included local youth, giant puppets and local music to celebrate the protection of the Pawtuxet watershed and raise awareness about the impact of toxins and storm drain runoff on the health of RI's urban ponds. Participating artists and community members led educational presentations along with flag and fish costume making workshops in schools, parks and social service agencies across the city, reaching approximately 200 youth and adults with information about the environmental conditions of the ponds.
Greening Events Saves Water x2
In an area that sees one million visitors each year, citizens in Salem & Beverly, MA have seen enough post-event mountains of water bottles and piles of cigarette butts on their precious coast. Citizens for Salem/Beverly Water Resources recently received a NEGEF grant to establish a refillable water canteen and cigarette receptacle equipment program so that hundreds of coastal events can readily reduce waste and protect the coast. This innovative approach protects water resources by promoting tap water while discouraging single-use water bottles, in addition to keeping coastal waters clean from chemicals leached from tossed cigarette butts. The new portable equipment will be housed by the city of Salem Park, Recreation and Community Services Department and will be available to public event planners to help reduce the waste streams of seasonal events for years to come.
UN Votes to Recognize Right to Water
BREAKING NEWS On July 28, the UN officially voted to recognize the human right to water. The Bolivian government introduced a resolution to recognize water and sanitation as human rights, and it passed with overwhelming support. The text of the resolution expresses deep concern that an estimated 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. A decade ago, civil unrest erupted in Bolivia's third-largest city, Cochabamba, after the water supply was privatized and put under the control of a multinational corporation. The final vote was 124 countries in favor and 41 abstaining, including the U.S.
Cold Wash Proven to Save Energy
A New report published in the journal Energy Policy proves that small steps, like washing laundry with cold water and turning off unused lights, could have a much bigger impact on reducing CO2 emissions than initially thought. The results of the report show that the carbon dioxide emission rate for estimating the effect of a small change in electricity demand is 0.69 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, which is 30 percent higher than the average emissions rate. Washing with cold water and air drying laundry are actions strongly promoted by NEGEF Grantee Project Laundry List.
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