Virtual Water

virtual water -s -nitocra 2 + RUWWhen: 15th of January 2013, 20:00 o’clock.
Where: C103, FORUM Building
What: A lecture and discussion on Virtual Water
Who:  Charlotte de Fraiture
Organisation: Nitocra and RUW Foundation

Virtual water is hidden water. For instance, your daily cup of coffee has usurped 140 litres of water before you drink your 200 millilitres of liquid at breakfast! This water is needed to produce all our goods and is not (immediately) available for other purposes.

After a short introductory quiz on what virtual water is, Charlotte de Fraiture from Unesco IHE gave a lecture on why virtual water is important using the following statement:

“The world is hungry, because the world is thirsty.”

With a growing population and changing food habits, more water is needed to fulfil our needs. But as the amount of water doesn’t change, we need to find other ways to save water if we want to be able to feed everyone. Food losses are estimated from 20 to 40 % and there is a lot to be gained in better cooling systems and storages.

Of course, the consumer plays his or her part in the water problem. Dietary changes, such as switching to a vegetarian diet, save water, because a meat rich diet uses twice the amount of virtual water. But there are less drastic ways to save water and that is saving food. And that’s an option your wallet is happy about too.

Movie Night – TRapped vs. Tapped

When: 4th of December 2012, 19:00
What: Lecture and movie night
Where: Room C76, Leeuwenborch, Hollandseweg 1

The night began with a short lecture from Sven Driessen from The foundation is the first community of tap water drinkers and has a dream to distribute water in a fair way to all those who need it. sells specially designed water bottles (from non-toxic plastics) and uses the raised money to build water pumps (that will not be easily broken) in Africa and Asia.  Sven introduced us to a number of debates currently going on in the drinking water world. For example, why do we buy bottled water if tap water is virtually free its quality is in many cases better? Why can you not choose to buy tap water at the restaurant? Why don’t restaurants sell it, instead of buying the bottled water in?

We then watched a documentary “Blue Gold: Water Wars” by Sam Bozzo (2009). This movie sketches how we are rapidly losing our fresh water supply through pollution, over-extraction and destroying the natural systems, such as wetland, that could restore this balance. The documentary looks on the politics behind water ownership and the consequences of multinationals owning drinking water supply in the world’s largest cities. Conflicts about water is not only about India, Bangladesh and the Ganges; but can be found almost in every country. In the end, the doom scenarios were somewhat softened by the looking at the positive side of things: that activism and conservation can achieve sustainable allocation of drinking water and that acting now is crucial to achieve this. In short, quite a good documentary, and after seeing this film you will also know why you should never buy Coca-Cola again.