Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October 11 - Art Opening and Reception, Washington DC

Less blogging today, more partying. Carl Ganter is a rock star of the safe water sector. No one tells a story like this guy - check out www.circleofblue.org.

Please join the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and Mexico Institute for the opening of:

Water Stories: A Focus on Mexico

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Art Opening and Reception
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Comments by Circle of Blue director J. Carl Ganter at 5:30 p.m.

Fourth Floor Atrium
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Please RSVP to ecsp@wilsoncenter.org.

More than 1 billion people lack access to potable water and more than 2.6 billion do not have adequate sanitation. The Woodrow Wilson Center’s new photography exhibit, “Water Stories: A Focus on Mexico,” in collaboration with Circle of Blue, offers a vivid glimpse of the lives that lie behind these statistics. Circle of Blue director J. Carl Ganter chronicles water and sanitation challenges facing families in the Iztapalapa region of Mexico City. World Press-winning photographer Brent Stirton documents how water shapes everyday life in the Tehuacán Valley southeast of Mexico City, as residents struggle to obtain enough clean water to meet their basic needs. In Mexico, as with many other places around the world, the quest for water consumes time, energy, and valuable resources. Understanding this human struggle is one step toward ameliorating the global water crisis. In conjunction with the photography exhibit, the Woodrow Wilson Center is launching a new publication, entitled Water Stories: Expanding Opportunities in Small-Scale Water and Sanitation Projects, that features photographs taken by J. Carl Ganter. For more information please visit www.wilsoncenter.org/water.

This exhibition and the Navigating Peace Initiative are made possible by the generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Circle of Blue’s Mexico coverage, Tehuacán: Diving Destiny, was made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation. Additional support from FEMSA and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute.Location: Woodrow Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (“Federal Triangle” stop on Blue/Orange Line), Fourth Floor Atrium. A map to the Center is available at www.wilsoncenter.org/directions. Note: Due to heightened security, entrance to the building will be restricted and photo identification is required. Please allow additional time to pass through security.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

And a belated Happy Birthday to the Great Soul

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.”


And to honor one of Mahatma Gandhi's greatest quotes (even if two days after his 138th birthday), I shall extol the virtues of two Indian organizations which seem to be living up to Gandhi's ideal. The leaders of these organizations are certainly determined, their work is vital to man and beast, their faith in their mission unalterable, and I can only hope they will change the course of history.

Tarun Bharat Sangh deals in community-based water systems in India. Those systems are based on millennia-old rainwater capture technologies. That captured monsoon water, which would otherwise flow directly into the sea for the most part adding little value along its way, now replenishes groundwater tables, provides drinking water for people and animals, and irrigates cropland.

TBS' founder Rajendra Singh is who I want to be when I grow up.

SCRIA does related work in arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan, northern India, led by their Director Sunder Lal. Their most interesting work is detailed here.

The work of both organizations is replete with best practices regarding community involvement and ownership, gender inclusiveness, decentralized planning, long term planning and budgetary cycles, and a holistic approach which incorporates the needs both of homo sapiens and the rest of the ecosphere simply by better utilizing the water resources already available to that part of India.

Give them many rupees.