Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rubbish Land

Green RiverImage by Giant Ginkgo via Flickr

Americans and people in relatively well-developed countries take clean water and infrastructure for granted. When I was in Chicago, one of my favorite annual event was the "greenization" of Chicago River. It's actually quite amazing what Chicago has done with its water system, including:

  • Reversal of flow to prevent Lake Michigan drainage
  • Beaches nearby downtown
  • Fish hotels underneath the Michigan Ave. bridge
  • Water Purification

During the early 20th century, the water was too contaminated for consumption, but the city has done a tremendous job at purifying it and making the riverside enjoyable for tourists and citizens. It's gotten to the point where a bit of color contamination on the St. Patrick's Day is acceptable.

In this country where people take clean water for granted, there are still a ton of startup activities geared towards water purification. Making this blessed country even more blessed is........ blissful.

On the other side of planet, more specifically Manila, rivers are covered in trash. Not sure if any technological advances will be able to clean up the river, but this is just too stunning. The picture below, first shown at The World Water Forum, makes me wonder, "What the heck are we doing working on incremental environmental changes when the same resources can be deployed to make a much bigger impact?"

(Source: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2323032.ece)

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