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Pacific Institute Insights is the staff blog of the Pacific Institute, one of the world’s leading nonprofit research groups on sustainable and equitable management of natural resources. For more about what we do, click here.

  • water-vlogged-no-water-utility

    Water Vlogged: Where There Is No Water Utility

    By Misha Hutchings, Senior Research Associate

    September 27, 2013

    In cities throughout Indonesia, utilities employ some of the latest technologies to supply treated water to millions of residents. However, service still isn’t available to thousands of those who are living in informal neighborhoods (slums) or just outside service networks. How, then—and from where—do these residents get their daily water for drinking, bathing, and washing? Here are just a few examples of typical urban water sources in medium and large-size Indonesian cities. …»

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  • blog-7-8-13-frackmap-ceres

    The Need for, and Value of, Science in the Debate over Fracking

    By Peter Gleick, President

    July 8, 2013

    As most people now know, hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a method for enhancing the production of natural gas (or oil, or geothermal energy wells). Fracking involves injecting fluids – typically complex mixes of water and chemicals – under high pressure into wells to create cracks and fissures in rock formations that improve the rates of production.

    Whether you support or oppose fracking depends on many complex factors: the economics of the practice, perceptions about the implications for national security of relying on domestic or imported energy, the consequences for climate change from the emissions of different amounts of greenhouse gases from different energy strategies, the positive and negative implications of fracking for employment and quality of life in rural communities, and the scientific evidence about the environmental consequences of the practice, including risks to water availability, water and air quality, and local ecosystems. …»

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  • blog-akudago1-6-25-13

    Improving Access to Water and Sanitation: Is the Answer Individual Behavioral Change?

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Affiliate 

    June 25, 2013 

    Born and raised in rural Africa where I spent my youthful life, open defecation was not only the norm but preferred to outhouses that were poorly ventilated and unbearably hot. We did not understand the consequences of exposing human waste around our houses. At that time, the best practice for sanitation and hygiene was to use a hoe to excavate the ground and bury our feces during the farming season so that the food we grew in the wild did not get contaminated. …»

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  • Notes from the Field: What We Know about Indonesian Urban Residents, Water Utilities, Local Government Agencies and NGOs at the Beginning of Our Third Year Developing WASH SMS

    By Misha Hutchings, Senior Research Associate

    February 5, 2013

    Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. – Henry Ford.

    December marked the beginning of year three in the development of the WASH SMS platform through our pilot project in Indonesia. The Institute and our partners Nexleaf Analytics and PATTIRO have been developing two Indonesia WATER SMS systems …»

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  • Rosyid awaiting customers in his shop where he sells secondhand mobile phones, handpon bekas, at prices the poor in Malang can afford.
Source: Misha Hutchings

    Notes from the Field: Mobile Phones Within Reach

    By Misha Hutchings, Senior Research Associate

    Septemeber 26, 2012

    Due to their ubiquity in low- and lower-middle income countries, mobile phones are being used throughout the developing world to connect the poor with a range of information and services that can transform their lives: education, election polling information, peer-group (mental health) support, health services, disaster relief, and micro-banking. Indonesia is ranked fifth in the world for number of mobile phone subscribers …»

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  • This pond is where the people of Bissighin access water.

    Notes from the Field: Resident Says He Would Use Information from Community Choices for Water Tool to Be an Agent of Change

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    August 13, 2012 

    Jean Zoundiis a 51-year-old man from Bissighin, a community located in the Commune of Saaba, which is about 25 km East of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. When I learned that the village was 22 km away from the Burkinabe Capital, I thought there was no need to go there to treat water since there would be running water. To my surprise, Mr. Zoundiled me to a pond that over 600 people depend on for drinking and other domestic purposes (see photo). …»

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  • CCW_biosand_filter_may_2012

    Notes from the Field: Pilot Testing the Community Choices for Water in Ghana

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    May 16, 2012

    Over the past 12 months, the Pacific Institute – in partnership with its West Africa partners NewEnergy, World Vision, Rural Aid, Pronet North, and Water and Sanitation for Africa – has been conducting learning sessions to develop the Community Choices decision support tool to help communities and NGOs make informed decisions for  their water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges. The internet-based prototype includes many field-proven technologies and is designed to empower water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) professionals and communities to choose technologies based on their responses to a set of questions that reflect cultural, socio-economic, hydrological, and religious factors. …»

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  • CCW_gofai_sahi

    Notes from the Field: Gofal Sahi Gets Excited with Community Choices for Water

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    May 8, 2012

     “When you arrived from Wa at our community, we thought you were another group coming to deceive us,” said Ms. Barakisu Yusuf. Though Gofal Sahi community has received several promises of a borehole, the government officials have never returned to fulfill the promises. She added, “We never knew we could ever get clean water in our community.”

    …»

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  • CCW_zouzugu_water_supply

    Notes from the Field: Household Water Treatment Could Improve or Maintain Access to Water Coverage

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    May 7, 2012 

    I heard the good news from the Director of Water and Sanitation for Africa, Mr. Idrissa Doucoure, at a sustainability framework workshop in Acrra, Ghana, on April 3, 2012: Ghana had achieved its Millennium Development Goal for water supply. But, Mr. Idrissa was quick to add that a high percentage of water coverage and access to an “improved source” of water today did not mean that the goal of “sustainable access to safe drinking water” has been met for the years ahead. …»

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  • Mr. Nachinab pilot-tests the alpha version of the tool with one household. Based on recommendations on where to acquire parts for the chosen technologies, households were able to get potable water to drink.

    Notes from the Field: Pilot Testing the Community Choices for Water in Ghana and Burkina Faso

    By Dr. John Akudago, Senior Research Associate

    April 12, 2012 

    After 12 months of conducting learning sessions in Ghana and Burkina Faso to develop the Community Choices for Water (CCW) tool, an alpha version of the tool has been tested in Cheshei community. The Pacific Institute and NewEnergy field staff tested the tool in the community between March 19 and 29 to examine how households could be empowered with knowledge of water treatment technologies to solve their acute water shortage challenges that compel them to drink unclean water. …»

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