Good Agriculture in Indonesia and Drought in Ethiopia

 

In Lampung, Indonesia Agribusiness owner Great Giant Pineapple is working hard to meet he demands of a modern agricultural business model that meets environmental standards from governments and consumers alike. (http://wbcsdpublications.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IBCSD-GGP-Casestudy-Soil-Health-Management.pdf) The leader in pineapple exports had several areas of concern in keeping up with a business that required achieving high yield while reducing waste, complying with environmental regulations and customer requirements, and participating in global warming prevention by reducing green house gas emissions. They were able to meet their goals by practicing “Good Agricultural Practices.” The corporation has been quite successful in creating a sustainable development plan. They reduced waste by 100% by building a biogas plant that turns their previous waste product into a natural energy source. They also switched over to all organic fertilizers (cow manure) as a natural source of soil fertilization to comply with customers needs as well as the health of the soil. In a further effort to meet standards they switched the products they use to treat their crop and they now include bio fertilizer and organic fertilizer application, as well as organic pest controller, nutrient conservation, soil conditioner, plant rotation, and nutrient storage.

In Adigrat, Ethiopia, The Economist reports on the massive drought that the country is experiencing. (http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21693624-governments-achievements-appear-increasingly-precarious-edge). Although nowhere near the national emergency the country experienced in the 80’s, citizens are suffering on a large scale due to a lack of water. The drought has caused the loss of crops, as well as the deaths of hundreds of thousands of livestock animals. The government is doing their best to address the sustainability crisis and also to provide for those citizens who are too poor to afford the food that is available. The government created the Productive Safety Net Programme, which provides jobs for about 7million people who work on public-infrastructure projects in return for food or cash. In this way the government is able to provide for its citizens as well as invest in infrastructure development within its cities. In a further stage of development, as well as to address the crisis Ethiopia managed to accelerate the building of a new railway line—the country’s only one—to bring food supplies from Djibouti on the coast of the Horn of Africa.

I currently live in Southern California, where we too are experiencing a massive drought, just as in Ethiopia. Thankfully, El Nino is bringing California some much needed rain, as opposed to further drought. However, the scarcity of water still exists, thankfully we have the infrastructure to be sustainable for the moment, although the increasing drought threatens this ability. In connection to the same water crisis in California, I chose the Pineapple exporter’s Good agricultural practices, because the farmers of California are not held to this same high standard by the state government. The overuse of water by farmers is one of the reasons for the extremity of the drought in California. I think that the state government could learn from the policies of the Ethiopian government and the good practices of the Great Giant Pineapple company to be proactive in addressing the need for sustainable crops and sustainable water, especially in a crisis like a drought. The government can’t expect the daily citizen to turn around a drought, it will take a massive reform effort and new rules for everyone.

“Water Water Everywhere…” – So Where Does It All Come From? – Module 4 – Bernstein

In my town (borough, technically), our water comes from 2 wells stationed on either end of the borough. Each of these wells are stationed at different elevations from one another in order to compromise for the water table level. Using jet-pumps, the water is moved through the pipes (using suction; almost like a straw), and deposited into storage tanks. The water in these storage tanks can then be pushed through the pipelines to the homes (it is important to note here that some people in my town actually have their own personal well – a good example of private ownership). Obviously from there, the individual households can use the water in whatever ways they wish: cooking, bathing, laundry, etc. After the water goes down the drain it goes to our local sewage treatment plant. After the plant, it gets released into Blue Marsh Lake. Blue Marsh is a man-made lake whose purpose is to keep the Schuylkill River from flooding Reading, Pennsylvania (approximately 12 miles away from my home).

 

WATER REPORT

 ~ 210.3125 gallons/day

Hand/Face Washing: 7 times – 1 gal/wash -> 7 gallons

Toilet Flushing: 5 times – 4 gal/flush -> 20 gallons

Shower: 1 (10 min) – 5 gal/min -> 50 gallons

Teeth Brushing: 2 times (water not running while brushing) – < 1 gallon

Water Drank (8oz): 5 servings -> 40 oz

Dish Washing (by Hand): 3 times – ~9 gal/load -> 27 gallons

Clothes Washed: 3 times – ~35 gal/wash -> 105 gallons

 

 

The Experiment

The areas of water use during my experiment was teeth brushing, face/hand washing, and drinking – although I did wash my arms some (with a wet rag) from getting dirt on them at work. Out of these areas, my main priority was drinking as it is vital to function properly, then face/hand washing, followed by teeth brushing and the wet rag “arm cleanse”. In order to have the best chance for success, I tried to cut corners wherever I could: eating “watery foods” such as cucumber, watermelon, bell pepper, etc. (I understand this would not be in my options of food if I were in Mozambique or Haiti) in order to stay hydrated, used hand sanitizer when I could instead of using water (even though water is a base ingredient), chewed an incredible amount of minty gum and mints, and overall was very frugal with it. I am proud to say it was a success and even more proud – and relieved – to say that it’s over now. I suppose it is just me being used to the “first world”, but I found this to be really tough. It really made me put my priorities in order. Geography and one’s environment affects water use by dictating how much water is available to an individual. Obviously if one is in a drier climate or a more drought-stricken area, water shortage occurs and becomes a collective problem. If one were to live where water was common and clean water was readily available, it would not be as big of a collective problem, although that doesn’t mean one should use without thinking.

 

Water Usage – Hollabaugh

a.

My hometown is Sunbury, PA. According to our municipality, the primary source of our water comes from a dam located along Little Shamokin Creek. The dam contains a 3 million gallon reserovoir. This reservoir then uses gravity to feed into a 17 million gallon, and 25 million gallon reservoir. During dry seasons, the Susquehanna River is used as a secondary source. The Susquehanna River is one of the longest and widest rivers in the US, and as such is most likely used as a water source for other cities that lie along its banks. The water from either of these two sources is treated at a filtration plant, and sent through 35 miles of underground pipe to the residences of Sunbury. The transmission and distribution service has nearly 5000 connections that helps to serve a population of nearly ten thousand.

b. Total of about 77 Gallons/day

water_usage_sch5183

c.

If I had to make an attempt at living on 2 gallons of water for a single day, I would have to prioritize mater water usage, and in some cases possibly reuse it. Obviously I would have to eliminate the dishwasher, toilet use, and shower from my already existing regime. I would have to use an outdoor latrine in place of the toilet use. Drinking water would be the highest priority, followed by cooking, and then cleaning. I know that I can boil water in order to reuse it for drinking or cleaning purposes, so the only aspects that would matter would be tasks that require me to dispose of the water. These would probably only include cleaning (i.e. brushing my teeth, dishes, or bathing), or consumption where I can’t get it back. In order to make the most of the 2 gallons, I would save all of the cleaning until the end of the day, except for brushing my teeth once in the morning. My water schedule for the day would consist of the following;

  1. Brush teeth and drink a glass of water (-0.125 gallons, 1.875 remain)
  2. Pasta for lunch while collecting, and reusing the strained water to boil for distilled water. Leave dishes for end of the day. 2 glasses of water to drink. (-0.5, 1.375 remain)
  3. Essentially the same concept for dinner (-0.5, 0.875 remain)
  4. With the remaining water I would clean the dishes, and then give my self a sponge bath. I would brush my teeth, and any remaining water would be used to wash my hair. (-0.875, 0 remain)

This would most likely succeed, and would be possible for everyone regardless of where they live. This experience greatly differ from part 1-b. It requires much more work on my end for the same results, which really comes down to being a luxury. Water use however greatly depends on location. Some western state experience droughts often and need to limit their consumption, while eastern states use it like an infinite resource. Then there are some developing nations who don’t have the luxuries of indoor plumbing, and have to retrieve the water from streams with buckets daily, which essentially turns into the schedule I created.

Joseph Carlamere-Module 4

Part 1-a:  I live in Woolwich Township, New Jersey; our community has a water tower deep well water delivery system.  The way this type of system provides potable water is through pumping water from an underground water reservoir into a cleaning tank.  The water is then processed through a cleaning process and fluoride is added; from this point the clean potable water is pumped into a steel spherical tower tank.  The water is then distributed to the residents of the town through an output gravity feed pipe system; this is created through hydrostatic pressure produced by the elevation of the water tower compared to the low-lying dwellings.  The pipe sizing of the system may be the most important part of the water distribution.  The pipe size decreases in diameter as it moves away from the supply tank, which increases the pressure within the pipes in order to keep the water moving through the supply loop.  Once the water reaches my house it passes through a water meter and used for household consumption.  The water is then disposed through a wastewater treatment plant; the unpotable water is cleaned to about 95% and dumped into the Delaware River.

Part 1-b: I live in a 2 story house with my wife; here is a table of the amount of water we use per/day.

Device Gallons of Water
Shower 150
Teeth brushing 8
Hand washing 12
Shaving 30
Dishwasher 16
Clothes washer 40
Toilet flush 36
Glasses of water 1
Total 293 per/day

Part 1-c: I have to say that I am more than a little embarrassed about the amount of water we use per/day.  In order to use two gallons per/day as many people have to do, I would have to cut out showering, shaving, toilet flushing, washing my clothes, everything, but drinking water.  Ways that I can reduce water usage is by installing low-flow faucets and showerheads.  Additionally, I have to turn off the water while shaving and brushing my teeth.  Small things like these will save water, electricity, natural gas and money. Geography is important when designing a water supply and disposal system; there are many things to consider. For example; an analysis of the water table the location of the supply system and the current and future capacity.  This project really opened my eyes to the amount of water I use. If as a class we can reduce our water consumption by 50%; we will not suffer the “Tragedy of the Commons”.

Water Source and Supply – Kyle Hoke

1a.

I am from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. There is not much information on the water supply chain, but there is a little history and info on the borough website for east Stroudsburg. The main source of water is the East Stroudsburg Dam and Reservoir that holds 302 million gallons. There is also the Middle Dam and Reservoir less than a mile downstream from the East Stroudsburg Dam and Reservoir. Just downstream from both of these reservoirs is the East Stroudsburg Water Filtration Plant. It is capable of outputting 2.3 million gallons of treated water per day. In case of a drought, the PA Department of Forests and Waters allowed for the engineering of the Michaels Creek Diversion. This directs water from the close Michaels Creek to the Reservoirs with a swale that follows the land downhill. The Borough is allowed to divert the water only from September 1st to May 30th each year. After being treated the water is piped downhill and in to town. The Borough’s customer base is primarily residential and uses around 1.3 million gallons per day. Any extra water is used to supply neighboring Stroud and Smithfield Townships. All the information can be found here: http://www.eastburg.org/water_sewer.php

 

 

1b.

Water usage for Sunday February 7th, 2016:

Activity Time (mins) or Times/day Gallons/min Total
Shower 20 5 100
Teeth Brush 4 1 4
Face Washing 1 1 1
Dishwasher 1 9 9
Clothes Washer 1 25 25
Toilet 5 3 15
Drinking 8 (8oz glasses)   0.5
    TOTAL 154.5
       

 

 

1c.

The day after I tracked my water usage, I decided to attempt to use just two gallons of water for one day. I knew showering and washing clothes were the biggest sources of my water usage. Drinking is obviously a necessity so I knew I could maybe only cut that down by half. I also knew that I wouldn’t need to use the dishwasher or clothes washer because I had just used them the previous day. My strategy was to skip the shower for the day, and shower the next morning instead, since I had just showered the night before. My only usages for water were to be drinking and hygiene like teeth brushing and hand washing, as well as flushing toilets. Ultimately, after just one flush of a toilet, that is typically more than 2 gallons. Therefore, the experiment was failed. I was able to reduce my water usage to around 15-20 gallons, but it adds up quick. Compared to the day where I did not try to reduce my usage, it is easy to see that people can overuse water, and should be more conscious about what they are using. Geography plays a huge role in this because in places like State College, we have an almost limitless supply of water. It makes it easy to go about your day without thinking about how much water you are actually using. In other places that have restricted resources, it brings to light something a lot of others take advantage of.

Module 4: Water usage

1A.

The city I am from is Seoul located in South Korea. My city runs its water supply by draining out the river water and is run by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The water we use is named “Arisu” and it used to be the name of Han River, the main river source for water supply, and now stands for Seoul’s brand of tap water. To be more significant, ‘Ari’ means big in Korean traditional language and ‘Su’ means water. Furthermore, as Seoul has four distinct seasons, precipitation gap between the seasons leads to defined differences in the water quality. Also, as Han River became more polluted by the people of Seoul, the city is strictly managing and developing the water quality. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the purification of water work in this order: Intake stations, Pre-chlorination, powdered activated carbon, mixing basins, condensing stations, depositing reservoirs, filtering stations, advanced water purification facility, post-chlorination to discharging stations.

Source:

http://citynet-ap.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Seoul-Tap-Water-Arisu-English.pdf

1B.

Record of water usage on February 5th 2016 (Friday)

Activity Amount of water used (gallons)
Shower (Morning and Night combined) 5 gallons * 10 minutes * 2 times = 100 gallons
Bathroom (Toilet): 8 times 1.6 gallons * 8 = 12.8 gallons
Drinking (water bottle used) ½ gallon
Brushing Teeth (2 times) 1 gallon * 2 = 2 gallons
Face cleansing (2 times) 1 gallon * 2 = 2 gallons
Washing dishes (1 time for dinner) Approximately 27 gallons
Cooking (soup and rice) 1 gallon

Total = 145.3 gallons per day

 

1C.

If I were to live in an area where water usage is restricted to two gallons per day, I think it would be hard for me to live the way I used to and would start to define where I should use water or not. In this case, I think I would prioritize the water consume and my sanitation usage. Human basic needs are food, shelter and clothing. Therefore, I would place my water consumption more than any other needs I have to use. I would drink less than I used to but still put in on the top of my needs. Also, I would definitely shower shorter and shower within three or four days just to help myself to stay clean. Brushing teeth would still be essential for me, therefore I would try to use minimum of water to clean my teeth. For cooking, I would try to cook without water. Moreover, I don’t think I can use water for laundry or washing dishes. In the end, even after the reduction of water usage, I would most definitely fail to live this life. Comparing this life to the daily life I had, there is approximately 143 gallons of water difference. Therefore, I will fail to live this life. As shown in 1B, I place my sanitary on top of my priorities but if I had to live with 2 gallons, I would completely shorten in down so water consumption could be provided. Through this experience, I have learned and realized that geography is essential for water use. If there aren’t water resources around the geographic scale, it is hard to consume and use water in our lives. Not only does the geography matters, sadly socio-economic status matter as well.