The Stream, July 25: Investing in the Future

The Global Rundown

A pipeline through the heart of Ireland could solve Dublin’s water woes. Flooding continues in China, causing loss of life and widespread property damage. An entrepreneurial team in Southeast Asia is using a floral surplus caused by flooding to treat a growing health concern. Tanzania takes the lead in Africa’s clean water efforts. And in Israel, a focus on desalination could lead to greater stability in the region.

“Desalination is turning the water issue from a zero-sum game to a win-win. Every drop doesn’t have to come at the expense of another.” –Uri Ginott, government relations manager for EcoPeace Israel. The small Middle East nation is putting increasing effort into transforming their sea water and wastewater into a drinkable commodity. However, controversy continues to swirl around the question of usage rights and the Jordan River. (Circle of Blue)

By The Numbers

40 percent Amount of water lost when transported through pipes in Dublin, Ireland. Aged infrastructure and increased water demand are causing concern in the capitol. Proponents of a hotly contested plan to solve these issues feel a 170 km water pipeline running from the River Shannon to Dublin is the solution. Opponents say the pipeline will disrupt communities along its proposed route and will cost too much, costs they fear that will be passed down to taxpayers. The Irish Times

$2.5 billion Cost of flooding related damage in China’s northern Hebei province. Nearly 53,000 houses and 30,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed. Additionally, 114 people have been killed, 111 are missing and 308,900 have been evacuated. Four government officials have been suspended, pending an investigation into their handling of the crisis. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

The Malaysian-Filipino start-up company HiGi Energy is converting water hyacinths—or water lilies—into clean-burning cooking fuel briquettes for low income communities. Thanks to widespread flooding in parts of the country, hyacinth have run rampant and are clogging up key water infrastructure. HiGi Energy says its product, Uling Lily, is meant to negate the negative health effects from the smoke of charcoal cooking fires. The briquettes also burn longer, emit less smoke, are easier to ignite, are cheaper and have higher energy content than traditional fuel sources. HiGi Energy recently won a Silicon Valley prize for their product, and is looking to scale up production. The Philippine Star

On The Radar

Gerson Lwenge, Tanzania’s former minister for Water and Irrigation, recently became president of the African Ministers’ Council on Water. Lwenge assumed his new position during the 10th AMCOW General Assembly, a meeting which brought together ministers from more than 40 African countries. At the council, Lwenge reaffirmed his dedication to the collective group’s stated goal of insuring water security for 100 percent of African citizens by 2030. Daily News