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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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3月22日は何の日?

 
3月8日が国際女性でしたが、3月22日は国連が定めるWorld Water Day(世界水の日)なんだそうですね。Businessweekの水問題の特集で初めて知りました。

Fix This/Water
Water Quality: An Ignored Global Crisis
By Cecilia Tortajada and Asit K. Biswas on March 21, 2013

As we mark World Water Day on March 22, it is appropriate to reflect on why a critical problem such as water pollution has disappeared from the global agenda and what that means for our future.

Ignored for decades, water pollution has increased in both developed and developing countries, undermining economic growth as well as the physical and environmental health and quality of life for billions of people.


いろいろよく考えつくなと思いますが、このようにでもしないと意識向上のきっかけがつかめないかもしれません。国連事務次官だけではなく、大阪の高校生や熊本市の職員の方が英語で対応している動画がありました。お二人とも上手に対応されています。







水問題については2012年度 第1回の英検1級の作文問題でも出題されましたね。

TOPIC
Can the global demand for water be met in the future?

POINTS
● Agricultural practices
● Climate change
● Government regulations
● Household consumption
● Infrastructure
● Territorial boundaries

もう水問題が出題されることはないので英検対策にはなりませんが、このような問題の現状をしることは国連英検などにも生かせそうですね。BusinessweekのFix ThisというシリーズはFood and Agriculture、City Planning、Cyber Securityなど現代社会が抱えている問題を専門家を招いて現状や対策を伺うというもののようです。インタビュー形式なので分かりやすいので、このような問題が苦手な人のとっかかりになりそうです。(本当に苦手な人は日本語で学んでからの方がいいかもしれませんが。。。)





Fix This/Water
How the Experts Would Fix the Water Supply
Posted on March 21, 2013
Is water the new oil? Population growth and agricultural demand, combined with aging infrastructure and waste, have produced water scarcity in many countries. Prices are rising, and the lack of a dependable water supply is a massive health and economic issue. So how do we fix our water quality and management problems? That’s the question Bloomberg Businessweek Chairman Norman Pearlstine put to our panel: Ahmet Bozer, President, Coca-Cola International (KO); Jae So, Manager, World Bank Water and Sanitation Program; Carlos Riva, CEO, Poseidon Water; Thomas Powers, Commissioner of Water Management, Chicago; and Jeff Sterba, President and CEO, American Water (AWK). Their conversation has been condensed and edited.

水が貴重な資源となることは知っていましたが、具体的な現状を知るとその深刻具合も想像しやすくなります。アメリカの水が乏しい地域の例としてカリフォルニアのCarmelが挙げられていました。家を再建する場合には、蛇口、バスタブ、シャワーなどの数を変えてはいけないなんてすごい条例ですよね。

Is conservation the most important issue with regard to water in the U.S.?
Sterba: I think of it as increasing efficiency of use. I spent a lot of time in the desert Southwest, and the way that you think about water there is very different than the East Coast or the Midwest. A lot of home stock has already gone through the retrofitting of low-flush toilets and all of those kinds of things. California is an interesting one. In Carmel they literally have an ordinance that if you rebuild a home, you can only rebuild it with the same number of faucets or bathtubs or showers that were in the original. You’re talking about homes that were built 50 years ago, when you had one bathroom to four bedrooms. Well, you’re stuck with that.

米国の問題としては他にもインフラの老朽化があるようで水漏れで70ガロンの水が失われているそうです。途上国での水の効率的管理の必要性は大いにありそうです。

Are there other technologies on the horizon that are going to become part of our water system? Every once in a while you read about icebergs being dragged to the Sahara and so forth.
Riva: (Laughs.) I don’t think we’re there yet.

(中略)

Bozer: India is a perfect example. When you have the monsoon season, so much water comes and gets wasted. So how do we fulfill our commitment of returning the amount of water we use back to nature? A rainwater harvesting system. Now these systems don’t cost too much. And we’ve actually placed somewhere around 500 of them. And that water is stewarded back underground, and you’re replenishing the sources. So maybe there are emerging-market solutions that can also be applied to developing markets.

途上国らしい統治の問題が絡むのだなと思った例が水道代を払わない人がいるというものでした。カンボジアでは社会的地位の高い人が払わないケースがあるというのです。

So: In developing countries the World Bank is the largest financier of water projects. Last year we lent $7 billion. But it’s a tiny, tiny portion of what’s needed. One of the reasons that in developing countries water utilities cannot make ends meet is that people don’t pay their water bills. And these are sometimes the most powerful people in the country. (Laughs.) Ek Sonn Chan, who runs the Phnom Penh Water utility in Cambodia, looked at the situation and realized that there was no way he could make the utility viable until customers started paying. And he started cutting people off. He cut off the military. He cut off the powerful ministers.

最後の締めはやはり、水を大切に使おうということでした。People don’t value water until it’s gone.ですから。

And if we don’t manage it correctly, it’s not going to be there in future years. So we have to change our habits. People don’t value water until it’s gone. Until they go to take a shower and it’s no longer there. I’ll be honest with you, I was one of those people. (Laughs.) And I am now the biggest proponent in the entire city for the water system.

So you brush your teeth with the tap off now?
Powers: Absolutely. (Laughs.) The challenge is getting your kids to do it.
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