Conserving water in cities: special series - the three paradoxes of water and how to solve them

22 March 2011 | News story

To mark World Water Day with its theme ‘Water for Cities,’ we’re featuring a four-part series of provocative articles by James G. Workman, a writer who has worked with IUCN for a decade. Author of Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought, he is translating the proven system that has sustained indigenous people of the Kalahari Desert into an online, utility-based system that could unleash a widespread, egalitarian race to conserve water and energy in cities worldwide.

'H2Ownership' versus the three paradoxes of water

> 1. The paradox of value: Water is priceless in use yet worthless in exchange

Check out the next three articles in the series to be posted this week:

> 2. The paradox of efficiency: Your water-saving device increases our collective thirst (23 March)

> 3. The paradox of monopoly: Thriving urban waterworks must encourage and reward waste (24 March)

> 4. Resolving the paradoxes: Forget about virtue, enduring conservation must tap human vice (25 March)

Have your say...

We'd like to hear what you think of the approaches outlined in this series. How do you think cities and water utilities can best conserve the planet’s water resources? What are you or your organization doing about it? Please post your comments at the end of each article.

* The opinions expressed in this series are those of the author.