2012 News & Comment

  • Note: The entries below are links. Clicking on their text will bring you to more information about that news entry.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program November 28: Davis Center Fellow Anastasia Likhacheva shared insights from her research on the politics of water between Russia and China in a talk organized at the Carr Center.
Sharmila Murthy November 16: Sharmila Murthy spoke about the right to water at a Faculty Colloquium Series of the Program on Human Rights in the Global Economy at Northeastern University School of Law.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program November 14: Journalist and Nieman Fellow Sam Loewenberg shared his first-hand experiences reporting on water and sanitation projects in India and Kenya at a Carr Center study group.
Sharmila Murthy November 10: Sharmila Murthy gave a presentation at the Stockholm Environment Institute's International Conference on Inequality and Sustainability on "Human Rights and Sustainable Development in the Water Sector: Reconciling Inter- and Intra-Generational Equity." The conference was held at the Fletcher School, Tufts University.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program November 7: MIT Professor Alan Berger gave a dynamic talk at the Carr Center based on his research on two wetland reclamation projects - one on an abandoned mine in Breckenridge, Colorado and another on agricultural land in Italy's famed Pontine Marshes.
Sharmila Murthy October 25: Sharmila Murthy gave a talk organized by the Yale Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. The talk was based on a forthcoming article in the Berkeley Journal of International Law on "The Human Right(s) to Water and Sanitation: History, Meaning and the Controversy Over-Privatization."
Sharmila Murthy October 16: Sharmila Murthy delivered a lecture about the human right to water at a Tufts University Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program October 15: MIT Professor Susan Murcott spoke at the Carr Center about her experiences working on household water treatment and storage around the world, including a project she started in Ghana to manufacture and deliver household-scale ceramic water filters.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program October 12: Radcliffe Institute is hosting a series of events related to water this semester. There is an all-day conference called "Cloudy with a Chance of Solutions: The Future of Water" on Friday, October 12, as well as lectures on several Monday evenings throughout the fall. Click this news item for more details.
Sharmila Murthy October 3: Sharmila Murthy gave a talk at the Carr Center on "Why a Human Right to Water and Sanitation."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program September 26: Stephanie Cappa, Masters in Public Policy Candidate, a former Hill staffer and advocate gave a fascinating talk on the real world challenges of effectively translating ideals into policy with a focus on the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act and the proposed Water for the World Act."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program September 20: Professor David McDonald of Global Development Studies at Queen's University, Canada, and Co-Director of the Municipal Services Project gave a thought-provoking talk on "alternatives to privatization" in the delivery of basic services in the water sector throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. The conversation was framed by books he co-edited: "Alternatives to Privatization: Public Options for Essential Services in the Global South," and "Remunicipalization: Putting Water back into Public Hands."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program September 13: Professor Tom Gleeson of McGill University gave a fascinating talk on a new tool called the "groundwater footprint" that can be used to assess the sustainability of groundwater extraction practices around the world. The talk sought to bridge basic science and policy, drawing on examples from around the world, including India and China.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program September 12: Philip Hamilton and Maya Mahin, who interned with the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program this summer, gave talks today at the Carr Center. Phil, who recently graduated from Wheaton College and will be starting on Masters program at London School of Economics, spoke on "The Foreign Land Grab and Bilateral Investment Treaties: Implications for Human Rights." Maya, who recently graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and will be working with researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Carr Center, spoke on "Slum Resettlement Policy in Mumbai."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program August 1: The Carr Center hosted a talk by Fatima Mendikulova on "Water Issues in Central Asia."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program July 25: The Carr Center hosted a talk by Erik Wurster on "Leveraging Carbon Finance for Development Benefits."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program July 18: The Carr Center hosted a talk by Dr. Arani Kajenthira on "Seeking sustainability in water management: from the natural sciences to public policy."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program June 26: The Carr Center hosted a talk by Dr. Ramnath Subbaraman on "Thirsting for change in Mumbai's slums: water and health in a setting of legal exclusion."
Right to Water and Sanitation Program June 20: The Carr Center hosted a talk by Dr. Sharon Davis on "The challenge of setting sustainable water diversion limits: lessons from the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia."
Charlie Clements June 11: Carr Center Executive Director Charlie Clements and Fellow Sharmila Murthy served as faculty members in an Intensive Course on Health and Human Rights: Concepts, Implementation and Impact at the Harvard School of Public Health. They spoke on a panel that explored the relationship between climate change, environmental degradation, health and human rights.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program April 24: Carr Center hosted writer and journalist Alex Prud'homme for a fascinating conversation about the importance of water in various aspects of life on earth, about its future and the need for changes in the way we perceive and manage this vital resource. The conversation was framed by Prud'homme's book: "Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the 21st Century."
Sharmila Murthy April 23: Carr Center Fellow Sharmila Murthy spoke at the Belmont Hill School in Cambridge as part of a special program focusing on water and international security.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program April 17: On April 17, 2012, the Carr Center hosted Tufts University Professor Richard M. Vogel for a fascinating talk entitled"Balancing Human & Environmental Needs for Water: The Hydromorphology of Human-Hydrologic Interactions." Professor Vogel discussed the new field of hydromorphology and highlighted the importance of balancing human and environmental needs in water management practices. He also emphasized the need for research to focus on current problems, such as addressing the challenges of increasing urbanization and of realizing the human right to water.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program April 16: On April 16, the Carr Center held a Policy Analysis Exercise (PAE) information session with three graduating Master in Public Policy candidates, Sophie Brion, Lesley Fleischman and Wendy Barreno. They presented the key findings from their PAEs, which focused on topics relating to human rights, the environment and corporate social responsibility. The session was co-sponsored with the Corporate Responsibility Initiative of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program April 10: On April 10, 2012, the Carr Center hosted Professor Steven Caton, Professor of Contemporary Arab Studies, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University. Professor Steven Caton discussed his seminal work on The Politics of Water Governance in Yemen: Shari'a, 'Urf and Water Rights in the Nation-State. He discussed the evolution of water law in Yemen from an ethnographic perspective, highlighting the challenges of developing a coherent policy in this water-scarce country. This presentation was co-sponsored by the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
WCFIA Poster March 28: Carr Center Fellow Sharmila Murthy, along with Carr Center Faculty Affiliates Martha Chen and Jacqueline Bhabha, were panelists at the Weatherhead Center's WCFIA Roundtable on World Affairs, titled 'Women, Rights & Development: Issues and Insights.'
Word Water Day March 22: March 22 is World Water Day! To celebrate World Water Day, the Right to Water Study Group is having a special event: a field trip to the Cambridge Water Department. Led by Susan Redlich, the trip will include a full tour of this state of the art facility. Click on this message for more trip details.

Find out more about World Water Day >

Right to Water and Sanitation Program March 20: The Carr Center hosted James Wescoat, the Aga Khan Professor of Architecture at MIT for an interesting talk entitled The Ethics of Evapotranspiration. Professor Wescoat's talk illuminated many issues including human rights and their applicability to water in large-scale agro-ecological systems. He also explored how the duties of evapotranspiration management in relation to the life of soils, plants, and animals can help provide an environmental ethic in support of the human right to water.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program March 6: The Carr Center hosted Dr. Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics, for an informative and well attended discussion on The Economics of a Right to Safe Water. Professor Michael Kremer discussed his work on the economic challenges faced in supplying water to rural areas in developing counties. He also discussed alternative approaches to water treatment as well as future research studies on a range of issues in resource economics.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program March 2: Researchers at the Carr Center and at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights offered comments on India's draft National Water Policy to India's Ministry of Water Resources.

Read their comments >

Right to Water and Sanitation Program February 28: The Carr Center hosted MIT Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal for a fascinating talk entitled "Beyond 'Rights' and 'Development' for tackling the sanitation challenge: Lessons from Gujarat, India." He explained the social, cultural and technical challenges of trying to end the practice of "manual scavening," which is the act of human removal of excreta from dry pit latrines. In water-scarce Gujarat, this practice is often the sole economic opportunity for Dalit (also known as Untouchable) women. He described the work he did with a team of students and an NGO based in India to introduce an EcoSan latrine, concluding with a series of lessons learned that implicate both human rights and development.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program February 2: The Carr Center hosted Professor John Briscoe for a thought-provoking talk entitled "Water Rights that Help and Those that Don't." Professor Briscoe explained how water rights, which are grounded in property law, can be used as a tool for effective water management. He then contrasted these rights with the human right to water and also critiqued the way that human rights are invoked in debates around large-scale projects, like dams.
Private Connection January 12: Human Rights to Water & Sanitation Program releases a new working paper: The Human Right to Water in Israel: A Case Study of the Unrecognized Bedouin Villages in the Negev.

Download a copy of the paper >