Please include a summary of the discussion, any recommendations or requests that the group had, and any resources the group noted regarding the topic.
Opening ?: "What type of water would you be? What do you want to contribute/take away?"
-Phil: steam, biomimicry/emulating nature's cycles
-Ben: waterfall, industrial ecology
-Betsy (Dvortygirl): wet/room temp, upcycling, is an engineer and composter/gardener
-Charles: greywater, learn our visions for clean water rights
-Works for Digen, whose mission is to create the tech solutions to the worst pollution
-Lives in Trillium Hollow cohousing community
-Jacob: raindrop, setting up an eco-wiki & bike co-op for Corvallis area
-Howard: water taken by that Japanese photographer while "listening" to Mozart
-Charles spoke at World Toilet Organization, Delhi, India
-41% of people have no toilets of any kind
-UN declared 2008 "year of sanitation"
-Consider where is the nearest public restroom
-Restaurants: "restrooms for customers only"
-Portland group Flush has installed a new public one recently
-Clean drinking water is sexier, but sanitation is the flipside (how to avoid polluting the water source)
Obama: Oil independence, enforce Clean Water Act
-If we do shale oil & tar sands, the former initiative will increase water pollution massively unless the waste water is treated
Changing water consumption patterns
-Betsy: nature doesn't use water on the same scale/at the same rate as we do
-In her community (San Jose), big issues are drought (past two years) and public awareness
-Rewarding only people who just started conserving is misguided, those whose usage rate was low last year too can't afford to get the benefit
-Phil: higher prices are what would motivate saving water
-Graduated rate: currently, more = lower price per unit volume, should be the reverse
-In his community (Portland area), drought of two months during this winter (predicted consequence of global warming) could be enough to cause big issues
-Charles: 7-8 middle-east countries don't control their water source
-Wars of the future will be fought more over water than oil
-Betsy: In 3rd-world countries, people have been making simple cheap devices like a $25 treadle-pump, drip irrigation
-Charles: In India, a typical woman spends hours a day carrying water from dirty wells with dead animals in them, are frequently assaulted while doing this
-Mesh over the well mouth is one thing that helps
-Need to bring water and sanitation aid projects together with childhood immunization, job training, affordable housing, malaria nets and microlending into single project
-Partial example: building toilets in poor areas that reinforce tourism, eventually owned by local people
-Phil: Avoid creeping privatization of water
-Choose to enforce certain laws (like Clean Water Act) more strictly, others more loosely?
-Create a pollution-added tax and pollution-prevention incentives
-Jacob: Have a "commons policy"
-Charles: CA and CO are almost at war over all the water LA is taking from CO river
-Betsy: Deal with the energy crisis (delivery and treatment of water is the biggest use of water in the Bay Area)
-But can't make policy to change the weather
-Ben: Ideally, establish rights to water (mandate public drinking fountains and restrooms proportionate to pop. density)
-How far can we go in restricting private behavior?
-Currently gov't is trying to keep consumption high
-Subsidize ex. organic food, high-calorie but healthier-than-McDonald's food?
Top 2 uses of water:
-also causes lots of pollution from runoff
-Howard: in this area, dead zones are NOT caused by runoff, more related to upwellings due to winds changing due to climate change
-Thomas Friedman, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: being vegetarian 4 days a week to reduce needed farm area is way more effective than any consumption change (CFLs, electric cars, etc.)
-Charles: Dilution is not (any longer) the solution to pollution--many places have reached the max on that
Usable byproducts from waste
-Ex. toxic river water
-greywater for drip irrigation
-salts (worth $20/ton)
-Need econ model where cost of not cleaning up water is higher than cost of cleanup
-Some European countries have dual sewer system (blackwater and greywater)
-Not allowed by code in the U.S.
-Greywater use is illegal in Portland
-Quayside cohousing in Vancouver B.C. is applying for right to build a greywater processing plant
-We need these types of demo projects
-Charles: Water reuse is going to become very big business
-How would this work for water?
-Could you require industry or even a home to do its own water treatment?
-Better in most cases to pay the sewage treatment plant to take care of it?
-Oregon requires the cost of recycling ex. electronics to be part of the product cost so you don't have to pay when you drop it off
-Ben: What if you could subtract the price the recyclers GET from selling the recycled materials?
-Betsy: Preventing poor buying decisions avoids the cost of recycling something you didn't really need
-"Flow" DVD: science and spirituality of water
-"The Upward Spiral" DVD/Google Video
-EcoTrust newsletter (ecotrust.org)
-Maude Barlow has done a lot of thinking about water as a right vs. water as a resource
-Hot, Flat, & Crowded book: looks at economic drivers of our problems and possible solutions
-Any wiki sites? How to find them?
-Betsy: Need to wikify ex. 3D models of how to build simple pumps locally in different regions (though people with this know-how may not have internet access)
-The Geography of Bliss: discusses how countries with lower consumption are often happier overall
-Cradle to Cradle: about making products 100% good so we don't have to focus on only using less of what is bad
-How do we get to a society that really cares about turning pollutants into resources?
-How does one create an integrated aid program?
-Betsy: Do we need that, or do we prevent the pollutants from being produced in the first place?
-Phil: How do we create a culture of contentment instead of dissatisfaction/consumerism?
-How to be a citizen/steward (with responsibilities in the community) instead of a consumer?
-Charles: What is the spark for change? What change models deserve our attention?
Outlandish ideas in action
-Has a friend in Seattle who wants to bring wiki into a more physical space (ex. replacing bulletin board at laundromat with a screen)
-Localization of resources in general, ex. collecting rainwater from your own roof for your garden
-Ben: Nat'l protest for water rights
-Matthew: A way to more quickly empathize with each other
-Debbie: Open Space world (More spontaneity rather than always being concerned with schedules, self-censoring, etc.)
-Charles: mobilize the political will and long sighted savvy to enact Pollution Added Tax and Pollution Prevention Incentives
Most value from today's session
-Betsy: Any solution has to be integrated
-Howard: Matthew's empathizing idea
-Matthew: Finding other practitioners, exposure to new ideas (general comment about RCC)
-Charles: Being a listener to our concerns and ideas--helps deal w/ challenges that seem too big to face
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