On the Water Front

How public-private partnerships can improve water sustainability

The scale of the global freshwater crisis requires an all hands effort. Fostering diverse, sometimes difficult, partnerships — particularly between policymakers, producers, and frontline communities — is at the heart of EDF’s water program.

Buzz Thompson’s new book argues the scale of the water crisis requires stronger public-private collaboration.

Partnership is also at the center of an intriguing new book from Stanford law and environmental social sciences professor Barton “Buzz” Thompson. In Liquid Asset: How Business and Government Can Partner to Solve the Freshwater Crisis, Thompson argues partnership — between the private sector, lawmakers, state agencies, philanthropic foundations, and non-profits such as EDF — gives us the best chance to address the growing freshwater challenges confronting the world today. He explores exactly how such public-private partnerships can develop by addressing four key questions:

    1. Does the private sector promise anything unique in solving the global water crisis?
    2. What are the risks of private involvement given the “public-ness” of water?
    3. What are the challenges of working in a traditionally public sector?
    4. How exactly can the private and public sectors partner?

Read More »

Also posted in Agriculture, California, Land Repurposing / Tagged , | Authors: / Leave a comment

‘We are driving a car without a fuel gauge’ — data and localization needs dominate the emerging global consensus on groundwater

Groundwater professionals have long united around the desire to “make the invisible visible.” It’s a slogan that finds its way into most conversations, publications, and speeches on the global groundwater crisis. Last year’s United Nations World Water Development Report focused entirely on groundwater. It’s chosen title? Groundwater, making the invisible visible.

One could be forgiven then for expecting groundwater to be highly visible at last week’s World Water Week—the sprawling annual gathering around which much of the global discussion on water pivots. Yet, mirroring ground-reality across much of the world, groundwater remained largely out of the spotlight. Only a handful of sessions, out of hundreds on offer, focused on the topic and none received center-stage treatment.

That is not to say there were no fruitful discussions on groundwater in Stockholm. In fact, the sessions that did focus on the topic produced some substantial conversations that provide a glimpse at the emerging global consensus on both the need for improved management at multiple scales and specific steps required to facilitate such improvements. Read More »

Also posted in Community, Groundwater / Tagged | Authors: / Leave a comment