WORLD WATER DAY
In 1993, the United Nations proclaimed the first World Water Day on March 22 to draw attention to freshwater issues around the globe, where one in ten people lacks access to fresh water. The theme of this year’s World Water Day is ‘Water and Jobs’. As with everything else, water is a crucial factor in the workplace too. Almost half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion – work in water-related sectors and obviously there would be no jobs at all without water. You can hear the message of the Director General of the International Labor Organization, Guy Ryder, at www.ilo.org.
On Wednesday, March 23, Pima Community College hosts a lunch presentation from noon to 1:30 pm on the 107th Arizona Town Hall “Keeping Arizona’s Water Glass Full” recommendations. Admission is $20, unless you want to forego lunch, in which case the event is free. Pima Community College, Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave., Room A-109/A-112.
On Thursday, March 24, the Water Management Group hosts a free class on graywater use titled “Home Graywater Made Easy”. The class will be from 3 to 5 pm held at the WMG Living Lab and Learning Center,1137 N Dodge Blvd. The class will be repeated on April 21st.
In Green Living Magazine’s Water Sustainability series, a seminar will be held on Thursday, March 30, at the Laura Tanzer Atelier, 410 N. Tool Ave. There will be presentations by Tucson Water and the Water Management Group, as well as beer tastings provided by Borderlands Brewing Co. Light refreshments will be provided too.
Details of these and other upcoming water-related events can be found at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/events.
Partnering with the Pima Association of Governments, the Tucson-based start-up company Metropia markets and manages a smart mobile traffic navigation app engineered to alleviate traffic congestion by suggesting alternative routes and departure times. At the time of its launch in March of 2015, the app was only available in the Tucson area, but now, one year later, it is also operational in Austin and El Paso and will soon be available in Los Angeles, Houston, Orange County and New York City.
New features have been added in the meantime: a parking feature and a carpooling feature.
The parking feature alleviates congestion by showing available space in parking garages and parking lots near large public events, such as the Tucson Book Festival last week, where it was tested successfully.
The carpooling feature, known under the acronym DUO for Drive Occupancy Up, matches drivers and passengers in a scheme known as ‘casual carpooling’, because the driver on the way in does not have to be the one on the way out. The DUO feature will be put into operation at the Roads and Streets conference of traffic engineers, held this week at the La Paloma Resort, by matching up attendees at other hotels in the area for the drive to and from the conference.
Metropia encourages traffic decongestion by awarding incentive points, which can be redeemed at Amazon, Starbucks, Target, local restaurants, and more. Moreover, Metropedia partners with American Forests to plant a tree for very 100 pounds of CO2 saved by circumventing traffic congestion.
The Metropia app is available for Android on Google Play and for iPhone and iPad at the App Store.
Find out more at metropia.com.
A BIT OF GOOD NEWS: CO2 EMISSIONS DECOUPLED
A recent analysis by the International Energy Agency confirms that worldwide CO2 emissions have leveled off over the past two years and even decreased in the countries with the largest emissions, the U.S. and China. Global CO2 emissions have leveled off before, but always during an economic downturn. This time, the world economy grew by about 3 percent annually, indicating a decoupling of economic growth and increasing CO2 emissions. Solar and wind power accounted for about 60 percent of new U.S. energy capacity last year.