Water is stored, divided, cleaned, guided, reused, consumed, returned, delayed, degraded and cycled. Water puzzles humans in ways that that can test and grow our humanity. Water and irrigation interested Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom throughout her career. Water’s coaching of society’s early civilisations drew the attention of Karl Wittfogel. Water joins nations in treaties and brings together villagers in small associations. Yet water asks engineers, lawyers, economists, anthropologists to watch how nature and people actually use water (and other resources) without recourse to training and ‘disciplines’. I call people who closely and carefully rely on water for their living ‘waterists’.

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Who gets the money?

On April 29, 2015 By

Episode six in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan’s predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.

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Only a few weeks after news broke that the Pentagon lost track of $500 million in arms transfers to Yemen, including small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles, and other equipment, the US government has decided to send more firepower to the region.

Despite the fact that Pentagon officials reportedly told Congress that […]

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Episode five in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan’s predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.

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Episode four in the eight part comic illustration of South Sudan’s predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.

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What we need to think about when we talk about water cooperation

Increased climate uncertainty, changing lifestyles and disparities in socio-economic development make finding solutions to water scarcity and water-related hazards significant. Today, there are both persistent and emerging water insecurities that can have major impacts on communities, nation-states and the natural environment. […]

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