Posts tagged under water
The independent, non-industry based UK charity Tourism Concern has published a report on tourism and water equity. It sheds a lot of light on the inequalities of water consumption and the enormous water waste caused by hotels and resorts. While many of us have stayed in hotels and serene resorts in exotic destinations, reading the report I wonder, how many of you (myself included) have given our water consumption during the holidays a serious thought?
- Are you aware of how many litres/day of clean water you are consuming when on holiday?
- Did you know that it can be up to 16x the water consumption of the average local household?
- A 5-Star hotel room can account for up to 3,200 litres of water consumption per day!
In addition, many holiday destinations are in water scarce environment. While tourists splash around at the pool, surrounding villages might struggle to meet their daily needs. In Zanzibar, this has led to serious conflicts between hoteliers and local residents over how access to water resources should be handled fairly. It also opens up the question of how to define water equity and how to enforce it?
Our latest issue on water governance has some figures that show massive deficiencies in the provision of water services to major ASEAN cities. In Jakarta, for example, it is reported that only 1% of the city’s inhabitants have access to a piped water connection.
In our recent visit to Jakarta, we conducted a survey in the slums of the city that sought to confirm this data. We wanted to see whether the water coverage in Jakarta is really as poor as the secondary data suggest. More importantly, we wanted to see whether the lack of piped water connections were a serious impediment to clean water access for Jakarta’s poor.
(The survey itself was administered to 345 poor households across seven different slums in Jakarta.)
The results of the survey were interesting, to say the least. Almost half of our respondents reported private water vendors as their primary source of clean water. As written in Bulletin 15 on water governance, obtaining water from private water vendors can cost up to 15 times more than having a piped water connection. As for the piped connections themselves, a large number of people still rely on communal connections, which can cause difficulties in terms of cost-sharing, queuing, as well as rationing in times of shortage.
Providing clean and safe drinking water remains one of the most important challenges in Asia. Increasing urbanisation, more extreme weather patterns and bad water management practices all add to list of obstacles in the way of supplying clean water, in particular to the poor.
The Asian Trends Monitoring team spoke to Prof. Asit Biswas, one of the world’s leading authorities on water management, about the challenges and solutions available to water utilities in Southeast Asia. We asked him about the main obstacles and the most promising approaches to extending piped water supply to Asia’s slum dwellers. Prof. Biswas stressed that we have to get away from conventional thinking when it comes to solving the global water issues. During the interview he further asserted that:
“Money is not the problem, technology is not the problem, management is not the problem, water availability is not the problem, the problem is us!”
Watch the entire interview below.
According to the United Nations, unsanitary water kills more people worldwide than war. As the precious water supply dwindles, it may prove to be more than just a crisis for developing countries.
(The ATM team is working on a new issue called “Innovations Against Inequality”, where we highlight a variety of poverty alleviation projects that are interesting and innovative. We will be previewing some on the blog throughout next week leading up to the issue’s release. Here’s the first. Enjoy!)
Sometimes you come across an invention that, in retrospect, seems so obvious that you wonder why it took so long for people to invent it. This happened to me recently, when I first heard about this particular effort to provide the poor with access to clean water.
That product is the water roller.
The water roller was created to address the problem that many poor households face: living very far away from sources of clean water. For them, collecting a day’s supply of water does not only imply long walks carrying heavy water urns, but also multiple trips back and forth in order to collect enough water for the entire family.