The World Resources Institute has launched “Watersheds of the World,” an online application that provides maps of land cover, population density, and biodiversity for 154 watersheds and sub-basins around the world. The interactive application allows users to scroll over individual basin profiles by continent and review information on the aforementioned basin variables. The variables were determined according to the watershed’s value, current condition, and vulnerability to potential degradation and give a unique global perspective on the largest watersheds in the world. The application also provides 20 global maps on water resources issues such as wetland areas, urban and industrial areas, the environmental water scarcity index, virtual water flows, and many others.
Agrilinks offers a space for agriculture practitioners and specialists to access current information and resources on important agriculture and food security issues around the world. Its library of resources provides access to presentations, webinars, screencasts, documents, blog posts, and reports on a variety of agriculture-related subjects. This collaborative learning environment allows users to submit their own resources to be added to the library, promote knowledgesharing through the portal, join a new community, and rate and comment on the provided resources.
Mercy Corps works all over the world to “alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.” Their report, “From Conflict to Coping,” which was released in February 2012, demonstrated that effective peacebuilding interventions help build resilience to crises. Communities that participated in the program reported greater freedom of movement and fewer barriers to accessing resources, markets, and public services. More importantly, the increased peace and security has allowed participating communities to adapt to climate change and improve their livelihoods.
The U.S. Department of State released its FY11 Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act annual report to Congress in September 2012. In FY 2011, the U.S. Government and USAID made great strides toward a comprehensive approach to water programming. U.S. Government investment for all water sector activities worldwide totaled $734 million. As a result of USAID investments, 3.8 million people gained improved access to drinking water and 1.9 million gained improved access to sanitation.
This animated video on food security explains that factors like crop disease, unstable market prices, and intermittent rain patterns can ruin an entire year’s worth of planting. Nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every day. Millions of farmers around the world, many of them women, are unable to feed their families or make a profit because they lack quality seeds and tools to help maximize their crop yields. By introducing tools, training, and improved technology to farmers, USAID is increasing global food production, bolstering the livelihoods of millions, and empowering communities to break the cycle of hunger and build a more stable world for future generations.
Water services for the poor often focus on a single use, such as drinking water or water for crops. But the poor need water not only for drinking, but also for their animals, for growing food, and for earning an income. Consequently, livestock contaminate drinking water, people drink irrigation water, high water demand creates conflict, and health and livelihoods are compromised. Winrock’s multiple-use water services offer a different approach: Provide the poor with water for all of their needs. While this more efficient approach is slightly more costly, it has improved health and inspired communities.
Last updated: July 17, 2013