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New publication on water insecurity in Brazil

What are the factors that push households over thresholds of water insecurity -- from lower levels to more severe experiences? How do we measure this shift, and what are the implications for public policy, specifically in Brazil? These questions are at the center of our paper on urban household water insecurity using survey and qualitative …

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NSF awards $500K for the Household Water Insecurity Experiences Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN)

The National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Sciences Program, recently awarded $500,000 to support the Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Research Coordination Network to operate at the strategic intersection of social science discovery, policy, and practice to address the complex dynamics of household water insecurity across the globe.  The RCN's mission is to build a community …

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New project on urban water security and sustainability funded, $1.5M from TAMU

Texas A&M University announced last week that it will fund a new interdisciplinary project on urban water security -- "Pathways to Sustainable Urban Water Security: Desalination and Water Reuse in the 21st Century" -- for $1.5M over the next three years. Desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater and wastewater reuse are seen as major technological …

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Social conflict over wind power in Brazil

I am happy to post this mini-documentary on the social conflicts and land grabbing as a result of the wind-power boom in Ceara, Brazil.  Low-carbon projects are not inherently socially just. Innovation requires not only technological change but attention to the social and economic structures - and how they are either changed, reinforced and for …

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Emerging water conflict in Fortaleza, Brazil

"Do not take our water." A simple message.  Don't take our water. Over the past ten months, communities in the peripheral northwest region of Fortaleza, Brazil have begun to organize against the state's "water security plan" to manage the five-year drought for the metropolitan region of 3.5 million people. The plan, which attends to the …

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Service Learning in Costa Rica

This past year I had the privilege of working with freshman from the College of Geosciences on a year-long service-learning experience that addressed water security and water provision from a global perspective.  In fall, these freshman met once a week to discuss global water challenges and to read a Doc Henley's book Wine to Water: …

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Water insecurity during drought

Calamitous drought in the Brazilian Sertão (Backlands) inspired songs, poetry, and oral traditions that infuse culture and society.  Migrants leaving the desiccated soil populate the regions cities, driving metropolitan populations since the 1970s.  Reading the stories is one thing.  Visiting the region, which faces a five-year drought, is an entirely different experience. Dried reservoirs are scattered …

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Photos from the Field

Here are a few photos from my research trip to Ceará.  My time there quickly passed by as my colleagues scheduled many activities and meetings almost every day of the trip -- including unsuccessful visits to register my visa! Leave that for October.  I forgot about the Brazilian bureaucracy -- Brazil is not for beginners, …

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Building Bridges in Fortaleza

Fortaleza, which is located on the Atlantic Coast, offers the opportunity to study water insecurity in Latin America. Unlike the mega-cities like Rio, Fortaleza and the smaller urban areas in the Northeast represent the everyday life far from the glow of Olympic glory or global Carnival. The residents, many of whom are immigrants or from …

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New Texas A&M Water Security Initiative

The Water Security Initiative, started in the College of Geosciences, is now part of the Provost's Environmental Grand Challenge Program. I am pleased to act as the initiative's program lead, working alongside partners and colleagues who engage in research on the many dimensions of water security.  As a Land Grant institution, we also seek to …

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