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blogs in English

Finally a GWW blog. Is there a need of it?

For years I have been pondering if there is need of another blog out there in cyberspace, a GWW blog. Probably my excuse for not having it earlier was to not dedicate time to write regularly and be able to keep the blog updated. However, the pressure of technology and other has made me finally give it a try and pursue this form of communication for GWW.  After all, a blog is apparently one of the best online platforms to communicate with the world; and we are Global Water Watch. For those who know me, you realize that of course I had to go and do a little research about blogs before I would publish anything.

I want the GWW blog to have things that are interesting, appealing and educative, and yet written in an entertaining way. In other words not to be boring. Which is not easy when addressing certain topics. I always will admire Isaac Asimov for his prolific and enchanting way of writing, on any topic you can imagine. I always wished I could write a little bit like he did. He said “a poor idea well written is more likely to be accepted than a good idea poorly written”, and that is so true. But I think to Asimov writing was not just a habit; it was a lifestyle. And I also think that watershed stewardship should also be a lifestyle as well. Everybody’s lifestyle since everybody lives on a watershed.

Water monitoring is the focus of GWW philosophy of watershed stewardship. And we would like for water monitoring to become intrinsic on everybody. Some say that most people can create or break a habit in just 21 days. Other suggest that creating or changing a habit will take 30 days, and if it is re-affirmed for another 30 days it will definitely get  imprinted on any person and they will have no problem to continue from there on. Water monitoring will take longer since GWW suggests to monitor only once or twice a month; therefore it may be more difficult to create that habit since it is not conducted everyday, and changing a habit is never simple. Nonetheless, experts say that in reality habits are easier to create than to break.

GWW hopes watershed stewardship can become the lifestyle to many, making sustainability an everyday practice. I am convinced that a world with zero waste and no toxic releases and a safe and stable climate, and equal access to ample, clean water and healthy food by everybody is far away or just a dream world. GWW appreciates the commitment of those scores of dreamers that have adopted the habit of monitoring and have learned to enjoy it.

I hope the habit of writing grows in me and of course we will accept ideas and suggestions about entries in this blog to make it alive and active. We all have a little bit of doctor, poet, and madman in us, my mother used to say; so please let me start reading your poems.

CBWS Training in Chiapas, México

Community-Based Watershed Stewardship (CBWS) workshop with Certifications in Water Monitoring concluded September 7, 2013 in Montecristo, Chiapas, Mexico.

As part of the project Mecanismos innovadores para un programa cooperativo dirigido a la adaptación al cambio climático en Sierra Madre y Costa de Chiapas, México coordinated by the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias–INIFAP-, a three-day Community-Based Watershed Stewardship with certifications in Water Quality Monitoring were completed on September 7, 2013 at the Community Center in Puerto Rico, Montecristo de Guerrero, Chiapas. This activity was co-sponsored by the Fondo de Conservación El Triunfo, The Nature Conservancy, the Comisión Federal de Electricidad, the Ministerio Federal de Medio Ambiente, Protección de la naturaleza y Seguridad Nuclear from Germany, and Global Water Watch. The purpose of the workshop was to provide training in the field of water quality monitoring as part of the model for community-based, science-based watershed stewardship promoted by GWW. The workshop was offered to watershed volunteers and students, with hands–on instruction focused on bacteriological and physical-chemical monitoring of water, and was conducted by Miriam G. Ramos Escobedo, Eduardo Aranda Delgado and Sergio S. RuizCórdova certified trainers with the Global Water Watch program.
The following post by GWW founder Dr. Bill Deutsch is so touching that I decided to post it here for those who have not read it in the Alabama Water Watch blog. Enjoy it!

Neither Rain, nor Snow, nor Dark of Night…

Posted on 

by Bill Deutsch

January 29, 2014…OK, so I procrastinated in my monthly monitoring of Hodnett and Saugahatchee Creeks in Lee County (Tallapoosa River Watershed).  Because the last day of the month was not an option, I was left with three choices: a) sample today with snow on the ground, b) wait until tomorrow after temperatures are forecasted to plunge to 13 F overnight, or c) the “unthinkable” … skip sampling in January.  Trudging through the snow for the first time in 15 years of monthly sampling of Hodnett Creek was fun, and my old Border Collie, Jazz, accompanied me to make sure I didn’t get lost (I made sure she drank out of the creek downstream of where I monitored!). Air temperatures hovered around 1 C, but the water was a toasty 4 C at both sites (record low for my data).


AWW Director, Bill Deutsch, and companion Jazz monitor hardness of Hodnett Creek

AWW Director, Bill Deutsch, and companion Jazz monitor hardness of Hodnett Creek

Most of Alabama’s streams, including mine, are back to good flow after a year of seasonable rains, and Hodnett Creek had near-zero turbidity, thanks to those filtering Coastal Plain sandy soils and good vegetative cover in the watershed. We water monitors get to see the full range of conditions, from those steamy late summer outings to today’s adventure. And great news: AWW ended 2013 with 68 active groups statewide! What a tribute to the dedication of monitoring and stewardship that certified AWW volunteers have continued to demonstrate. Check out our long list of workshop opportunities in 2014 and register online or by calling our office toll-free as part of your (belated?) New Year’s resolutions!

GWW launches CBWM in Argentina

GWW~CBWS Workshops in Argentina

The first Community-Based Watershed Stewardship (CBWS) training workshops were held in Argentina in December of 2013. This was in response to several years of communications between Global Water Watch (GWW) and Argentinean partners that resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2013 between GWW and the Environmental Protection Agency of the Santa Fe Province in Argentina (SMA). Initial goals include the establishment of a citizen-based water monitoring program in the Río Carcarañá. This river and its watershed are of great importance to Argentina and was added to the Natural Protected Areas system (Dcto. Pcial. 1579) in 2012; and the SMA as well as residents have increased interest in its protection. The river begins in the neighbor province of Córdoba, flows into Santa Fe and the Coronda river before empties into the great Paraná river.

The three-day CBWS workshop with certification in bacteriological and water chemistry monitoring was conducted for 25 people that plan to conduct water chemistry monitoring in at least eight sites in the Carcarañá River, two in each one of the participating communities, and identify additional sites in 2014 as needed. Bacteriological monitoring will wait until monitoring supplies are secured and more likely provided by the Secretary of Environment. Click here to read more about this project.

Beekeeping and River Protection components of CBWS in Kenya

Beekeeping and River Protection in Kenya

A new project of Global Water Watch and the Green Belt Movement in Kenya is finding innovative ways to link honey production with improved nutrition, higher incomes, community development, and river protection. In 2012, the Green Belt Movement (GBM) in Kenya contacted GWW through the Sub-Saharan Africa Program Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. GBM is a nongovernmental organization founded by Wangari Maathai, a woman who grew up in the Central Highlands of Kenya near snow-capped Mt. Kenya who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.Beekeeping builds community solidarity and economic stability that allows people to consider other activities, including community service and volunteerism. As learned in previous GWW projects, livelihood activities integrated with watershed stewardship programs “create space” for water monitoring. A steady flow of high-quality honey can net a Kenyan farmer a much greater income than most other agricultural crops that the farmer can produce.

Keeping the riparian zone in natural vegetation and trees provides a biodiverse area where some plants are flowering year-round to provide a continuous supply of nectar and pollen for bees. These eco-friendly zones filter polluted runoff before it enters streams. Streamside vegetation traps sediments, excess nutrients, and pathogens; provides important habitats for wildlife; and helps maintain both water quality and quantity. Bees do their part by pollinating plants of this area and serving as “watchdogs” for potentially destructive livestock or people.

After launching field activities of the GWW–GBM watershed project in October 2013, it became clear that local people enthusiastically embraced the concept of “citizen science” and water monitoring, and have new attitudes and skills regarding their health and that of the environment and their bees. The goal of many Kenyan beekeepers is to expand their market and income, and this would be greatly enhanced by achieving a government-certified label that ensures honey purity, organic production, and sustainable practices that protect and improve the environment and communities.

International travel expenses, beekeeping supplies and equipment distributed to the community members in Kenya, were funded by the Jack and Mary Tankersley Edowment to the Auburn University School of Fisheries for community development projects to benefit underserved people worldwide.