Celebrate World Water Week With Us!

5 Water Purification Designs for Third World Countries

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 748 million people lack access to uncontaminated drinking water sources. Moreover, WHO estimates that 1.8 billion people use a fecally contaminated drinking water source, 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities and more than 840,000 people die from water related diseases annually. 

Contaminated water is the number one cause of death in developing countries, causing diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, typhoid fever, malaria, ascariasis, dengue fever and many other deadly illnesses. In fact, contaminated water is the number one public health concern globally based on its impact to society, according to the WHO. Fortunately, the WHO estimates that 10% of the global disease burden could be prevented with improved water supply and sanitation. In light of this, a number of innovations and technologies are providing growing solutions to this problem.


The Race for Water Odyssey in Guam For New Scientific Analyses



To read it in French, click here


Press Release for immediate distribution
July 13th, 2015 - Guam (USA)

The scientific teams of the Race for Water Odyssey in Guam for new analyses on plastic pollution in oceans

Leaving Honolulu on June 30, the Race for Water Odyssey has since travelled with the purpose of going to Guam (Mariana Islands) for a new scientific stopover. The simultaneous presence of two typhoons in the area has forced the crew to change its itinerary.  Despite the absence of the navigation team in Guam, the planned stopover in this archipelago can still be conducted under good conditions. The R4WO scientific team arrived on the island yesterday and will deploy the protocol as initially planned. 

The R4WO crew was forced to go off-route over these last few days because of the formation of tropical cyclones Chan-Hom and Nangka in the North-Western Pacific. This is more specifically the Nangka typhoon (ranked category 5 on a scale of 1 to 5) which has forced the crew of the R4WO to bypass the Mariana Archipelago. However, these necessary safety measures did not undermine the continuation of the expedition. 

Tomorrow the shore crew will carry out beach samplings on three selected beaches on the Guam Island. On site up to July 18, the teams will also meet local stakeholders from the scientific and associative communities during a round table discussion on plastic pollution organised at Guam University.

Next stops: Tokyo and Shanghai

During this stopover in the Mariana Islands, the MOD70 Race for Water trimaran will continue its route towards the next stops of the expedition: Tokyo first of all, then Shanghai. In the two Asian megacities, the aim of the R4WO will be to exchange and raise awareness among local actors on the problem of plastic pollution in oceans.   

Click here to follow the expedition live! 

Click here for more information about the program in Guam!


About the Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) 

Initiated by the Race for Water foundation, the "Race for Water Odyssey" is a unique expedition that aims to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the 5 trash vortexes. In less than 300 days, over 40,000 nautical miles will be traveled, punctuated by 11 scientific stopovers and 9 outreach stopovers, involving a total of 13 countries. The Race for Water Odyssey benefits from the support of ISAF, Duke University, Oregon State University, senseFly, Swisscom and Swissnex. 

About the Race for Water Foundation 

Founded in Lausanne in 2010, the "Race for Water" Foundation's mission is to preserve our planet's most valuable resource: water. The foundation is an officially recognized non-profit organization seeking to implement concrete and sustainable actions, focusing on two main themes: protecting oceans and freshwater. "Race for Water" initiates projects aimed at raising awareness and taking concrete action on the ground. These actions are directed at four target audiences: economic players, political bodies, the scientific community, and the general public—with particular emphasis on future generations. "Race for Water" collaborates with organizations such as UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN, WWF, and WBCSD. 



Seeing Green - New Book by Arch Institute Senior Advisor

Seeing Green—by Annabel Hertz

Annabel Hertz is senior advisor to the Arch Institute and, like Arcani, the novel's protagonist, she grew up in San Francisco and lives on avocados and espresso.
Compelled by the indigenous peoples at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Arcani Kirsch, a recent graduate with Jewish-Hopi roots, leaves her west coast cocoon to join EnvironMentality, an international association of green-minded businesses in Washington, DC, committed to getting the Earth Treaty ratified. The first step is ensuring next US President attends a Ministerial meeting in Paris and Arcani spearheads a campaign to do just that. If only an ultranationalist professor had not plagiarized her work! Then there's the man who could derail her with his lustiness, the one that wants her to come to Christ, and the one she'd written off as dead, as well as an albatross of a sister to cope with. The path to Paris is indeed muddy. But Arcani plows ahead, trying to keep her vision true, her methods kosher, and her doting Aunt proud. En route to the Ministerial, she makes her mark in unexpected ways.
Described as a "timely, energetic and witty" story of a young woman on a mission to puncture the stasis of US environmental policy, Seeing Green pays homage to the DC scene, international---and office---politics, and idealism, providing "a refreshing contrast to the stale and polarized politics of our own time." The novel also explores the rocky and rewarding terrain of family and personal relationships from the perspective of a multicultural protagonist in "a felicitously fast-moving, tightly organized narrative."


Pope Francis' Encyclical on Climate Change

posted by Paige Donner

Read the full original text, in English (also French, Italian, Spanish, etc.)  translation, HERE

.... aint Francis of Assisi

10. I do not want to write this Encyclical without turning to that attractive and compelling figure, whose name I took as my guide and inspiration when I was elected Bishop of Rome. I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. He is the patron saint of all who study and work in the area of ecology, and he is also much loved by non-Christians. He was particularly concerned for God's creation and for the poor and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving, his openheartedness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.



Update on Santa Barbara County Oil Spill Recovery Efforts - Gov. Brown Issues Executive Order


Friday, June 5, 2015

Information & Questions Coordinated by

Oil Spill Joint Information Center



Unified Command Website


Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Further Expedite Oil Spill Recovery Efforts in Santa Barbara County

SACRAMENTO - As federal, state, and local agencies continue working to minimize and mitigate the effects of last month's Santa Barbara County oil spill, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to further expedite recovery efforts and help ensure the natural environment is restored, beaches are reopened and economic impacts are minimized.

The Governor's order directs state agencies responsible for cleanup and restoration to take all necessary steps to issue emergency waivers and permits to facilitate the reopening of fishing, public access, and impacted beaches and waters, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach, and waives the waiting period for unemployment insurance for those workers affected by the oil spill. 


The Governor also directs the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response to continue working with other federal, state, and local agencies to clean up and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and to hold the responsible parties accountable for environmental and fiscal damages.


The Governor's May 20, 2015 proclamation along with today's executive order advance a combined effort across federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, local volunteers, conservation and environmental organizations, and citizens to deal with the effects of this substantial spill along an iconic stretch of California's remarkable coastline.


(Copy of executive order text below)




WHEREAS on May 20, 2015, I proclaimed a state of emergency to exist as a result of a pipeline rupture causing a significant release of oil and potentially other hazardous substances into the Pacific Ocean near Refugio State Beach located in Santa Barbara County; and


WHEREAS numerous state agencies and departments have been deployed to the impacted areas to respond to and mitigate the damage of the oil spill; and


WHEREAS those agencies and departments, joined by federal and local agencies and local volunteers, have worked tirelessly to contain the spill and to minimize and

 mitigate its effects on the environment, fisheries, wildlife, and the local economy; and

WHEREAS notwithstanding the best efforts of the state, federal, and local agencies and many volunteers, the oil spill has had a tremendous impact on the environment, resulting in the loss of marine mammals, birds, and fish that will continue long into the future; and


WHEREAS Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach have been closed due to the unsafe conditions created by the spill; and 


WHEREAS fisheries are closed resulting in 138 square miles of ocean being closed to commercial fishing causing significant damage to this industry; and


WHEREAS local governments and businesses along the Santa Barbara County Coast will continue to suffer economic impacts from this oil spill; and


WHEREAS emergency operations are now focused on restoring the impacted areas, but expedited efforts are still needed to restore the environment, reopen the beaches, and minimize economic impacts; and


WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property continue to exist due to the oil spill in the County of Santa Barbara; and


WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the California Government Code, I find that strict compliance with the statutes specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the oil spill.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, and in particular, sections 8567 and 8571 of the California Government Code, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:



  1. The provisions of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation declaring a State of Emergency remain in full force and effect, except as modified herein. 
  2. The Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response shall continue working with other federal, state, and local agencies to take appropriate actions to clean up and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and to hold the responsible parties accountable for the cleanup and mitigation of the environmental and fiscal impacts of the oil spill.
  3.  The provisions of section 1253 of the Unemployment Insurance Code imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are waived as to all applicants who are unemployed as a direct result of the oil spill, who apply for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning May 20, 2015 and ending on the close of business on November 20, 2015, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in California.
  4. Because emergency efforts are now focused on restoration, paragraph 5 of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation, suspending chapter 7 of division 20 of the Public Resources Code, is hereby revoked.  Subject to the primary authority of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response administrator for oil spill response under the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, and specifically sections 8670.5 and 8670.7 of the Government Code, all agencies, including the Coastal Commission pursuant to its authority under section 30600(e) of the Public Resources Code, with notice to and coordination with the administrator, shall take all necessary steps to issue on an emergency basis any necessary waivers or permits to facilitate the reopening of fishing, public access, and impacted beaches and waters, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach.
  5. Paragraph 8 of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation, suspending Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District Rule 326, is hereby revoked as it is no longer necessary for restoration efforts.

This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this fifth day of June 2015.



Governor of California





Secretary of State



Cal OES is responsible for the coordination of overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The agency is responsible for assuring the state's readiness to respond to and recover from all hazards - natural, man-made, war-caused emergencies and disasters - and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation efforts. 
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California Emergency Management Agency | 3650 Schriever Avenue | State Emergency Operations Center | Mather | CA | 95655