Expertise. Intuition. Ingenuity. Applications
Converting to Low Water Use Economy
The biggest water users are farmers and land owners, growing valuable food. Ineffective governance of land and over use of water resources returns losses - in biodiversity, in livelihoods and in economies. To resolve these, the first step is to consult with those that are most affected and devise practical answers in the field. The next step is to ensure that sound science underlies the alternatives. The choice of suitable alternative options has to be fixed to affordability and the ability to pay.
Suitable 'low water use' solutions have been developed for such diverse regions as Balochistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Somalia, Ethiopia - which serve as some examples.
Converging Land, Water, Biodiversity with Social Needs
Land, water, biodiversity and human livelihoods coincide with each other in well defined landscapes, signified by 'catchments of rivers'. Imbalances in one, reflect in the other three. Overgrazing degenerates biodiversity, which in turn degenerates lands and soil, completing the vicious circle with water running off too fast and carrying nutrients and sediments.
The range of solutions lie in starting with the geomorphological frameworks, and overlaying them with hydrology, land use, biodiversity and the human needs. The process for finding suitable solutions is iterative and structured to have flexibility. People's needs change with time and evolving climate variability drives process.
Solutions have been developed in the Sub Saharan region, the arid Steppes of Central Asia, for tropical lands being subjected to industrial scale cultivation.
Sector Restructuring: Coal, Post Industrial Recovery, Urban Regeneration
For centuries coal mining has driven economic prosperity all over the planet. Associated with these are huge industrial complexes that have now collapsed from change of economy. Closely related to both are the declining urban sprawls. The externality of the past prosperity from this history has been coming home to roost in the last couple of decades. It is expressed through climate change in our global commons - the atmosphere, in rivers and degenerated landscapes. We now know the cost of that prosperity in floods, droughts, hurricanes and the dying off of some species. The legacy of coal mining, industrial complexes and unplanned urban sprawls will not go away. Whether this is through the mine water pumping, slag heaps, mining waste or self igniting remainder of the coal in dumps, or through industrial wastes remaining un treated, or collapsing slum dwellings.
The solutions are found in a combination of technical and natural attenuation of the pollutants and wastes. Calculations show both economic and environmental gains can be achieved in a short time, if adopted efficiently.
Solutions for this have been develped for the defunct Ukrainian and Polish Coal mining regions, for post industrial cities of Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan and reversal of land degredation in Higland of Lesotho.