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World Water Day (March 22nd, 2011)

Deep Cove and Indian Arm and Baden Powell Trail

World Water Day was instituted as an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The theme for 2011 is Water for Cities. I recently spoke at the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers, hosted by Simon Fraser University, on the urban geography of wastewater governance using the Lerma-Chapala river basin as a case study.

My research has had a focus on water since 2004, when I began analyzing the Lerma-Chapala river basin and exploring wastewater management. As a chemical engineer by training, and a social scientist by choice, I have been fascinated by why wastewater seems to be neglected in the social science literature. I have focused on water governance in cities, but more recently, I’ve begun exploring transboundary water issues, particularly across the US/Canada border.

I have also begun to explore the cultural perceptions of drinking water in the Metro Vancouver region, and I’m working on a couple of joint-authored papers on water poverty and energy poverty, teaching transboundary water conflict and the water soft path.

This World Water Day is also colored by the recent events in Japan which showcase how water can have both a vital role and a destructive one. Water for life, but also water can be lethal/destructive.

river flow

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Posted in water policy, World Water Day.

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