Resilience links: Waste water, water storage, and cooperatives

06 Sep 2010

I find myself always posting about the bad news, the problems. I guess I’m trying to push people to see there are problems to deal with, instead of trying to pull them in with solutions.

So I’m going to start posting links to solutions I run across, as I find them, even if I don’t find time to say much about them. Here’s today’s installment:

Here’s one way to boost resilience:

“The Wealth of Waste: The Economics of Wastewater Use in Agriculture”:
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says: “Recycling urban wastewater and using it to grow food crops can help mitigate water scarcity problems and reduce water pollution, but the practice is not being as widely implemented as it should [be].”

Here’s another:

“Water Storage in an Era of Climate Change”:
With “extreme weather wreaking havoc around the world, a new report warns that increasingly erratic rainfall related to climate change will pose a major threat to food security and economic growth,” there’s a need for ways of storing more water.

“The report argues against overreliance on single solutions like big dams, proposing instead an integrated approach that combines large- and small-scale storage options, including the use of water from natural wetlands, water stored in the soil, groundwater beneath the earth’s surface and water collected in ponds, tanks and reservoirs.”

And here’s an example to follow (which I found first on the P2P Foundation blog):

“Cooperatives and the crisis”:
“Cooperatives have been more resilient to the deepening global economic and jobs crisis than other sectors,” says the International Labor Organization.

“The financial crisis which has transformed the financial world for the past two years is bringing some unaccustomed attention to this diverse family of businesses, which share the common feature that they operate to bring benefits to their members-customers rather than to investor shareholders. The business magazine The Economist, for example, earlier this year reported that cooperative banks had been steadily increasing their market share in Europe in recent years. Customers, it seemed, were seeking security and reassurance. A recent study by the German central bank (Bundesbank) found coop banks more financially stable and less likely to fail than shareholder-owned institutions.”

A reason for this, two researchers write, is that cooperatives have “the virtues of [being] a customer-owned cooperative banking system that is more risk-averse and less driven by the need to make profits for investors and bonuses for managers.”


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »