Response to an interview request 16 Feb 2018

I wrote this for a journalist a while ago. I don’t have time to make it pretty right now, but wanted this out there for a stressful presentation in a  short while. 🙂

Marcel Hartmann, science reporter for Zero Hora

Bernelle Verster, Future Water institute, University of Cape Town 16 Feb 2018

  • What are the reasons for the water shortage in Cape Town? Global warming? Population growth? Lack of environmental politics? I’d like to explain each one of them to our Brazilian readers.

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Scaling water interventions

Conversation with someone chatting to me after the UCT water crisis lecture today (by the way, this Future Water page has many interviews and chats about the crisis, in balances informed tones). I didn’t go. Was duckfood shopping with a brief stop to do retail therapy. (The stress to submit the thesis has caused insomnia and to get myself to fall asleep I have been watching, wait for it, nail art videos.) So I went buying nail art stuff. Yup. Glitterified.)

Neil’s been working on sustainable urban water management for a long time. – http://www.uwm.uct.ac.za/
His comment about the rainwater tanks (being: rain tanks are a waste of money for the amount of buffering they provide) comes from his PhD student Lloyd Fischer- Jeffes’s work, where they saw that rainwater is more expensive than stormwater harvesting and managed aquifer recharge – which is effectively a huuuuuuge rainwater tank underneath the city.

[another UCT researcher said “imagine if 1/2 a million people had 2000 litre rain tanks, that would be 1000 million litres of water buffered. ]

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Keeping the loop in mind

Presentation at the UCT Summer School, the pdf is available on the Future Water Institute website.

Kevin asked me to present on Innovations in Urban Water Management, through talking about my house. Instead I wanted to talk about systems, and took a term from the start-up scene ‘keeping the end in mind’, as in, keep your goal in mind, what you want to achieve, or what you want to sell it for. But really, we’re working with systems, and I want to focus on where these systems, these loops come full circle.

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Textile arts and crafts

Crochet is awesome – backstory, I picked up a crochet needle while walking the dogs, and thought, hmmm, maybe I should try this out (my partner at the time countered with – I picked up a hypodermic, think I should try cocaine? Well, whatever).

I also like sewing, my grandmother taught me and we share a blissful disregard for patterns.

While crochet and sewing is awesome there’s only so much I can wear. Turns out there is a whole world of people doing all sorts of creative things that have a blissful disregard for convention! This post is a collection for future inspiration.

Martine Celerin 3D dimensional weaving

These inspirations typically live on pinterest – let me know if you’ve found cool stuff!

Inter-generational dynamics

Quartz, my favourite international news-related website/newsletter shared this article about a management exercise about ‘user manuals’. I found it so beautiful, and so much to process, working across generations and being in relationship with someone in some other generation, and not quite fitting into/relating to whatever generation I’m supposed to be in… To me it speaks to the type of systems work, transdisciplinary work we’re doing, it’s not just about coping with people of different ages. As Leah mentions in her piece “The generational divide in today’s modern workplace is unavoidable. … But when generational frustration turns to judgment (which often leads to dismissiveness), no one wins.” I think even once we sort the generations out, or correct for this, different skills and personalities have the same issue. 

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Raw html in worldpress for d3.

YAAASSS!!! What? No, it just worked! Nooooooo

Using the Raw HTML plugin, and the raw/raw tags, I put in my html code for my sankey flow diagram. In preview, it worked! But once I published it, it didn’t.  The good news is that I know the code works. The bad news is it looks like either wordpress or this plugin is buggy – and its page warns about this. So I went to have a cuppa tea (in lieu of a frustrated cry), and now I’m going to try other raw html plugins.

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Jouissance toilet 2.0 – the foam flush

Why? We’re in drought, so we don’t have water to flush toilets. The nutrients in shit should be re-used, and that is difficult when we dilute it with loads of water and mix it with god knows what else to be shipped off somewhere to be so-called ‘treated’. Also, flushing toilets mean we are flushing nutrients into receiving water bodies (even with excellent wastewater treatment, we’re still not doing well enough). So flushing is just a stupid idea. More about this in a presentation (pdf, 5MB) I recently gave. Continue reading “Jouissance toilet 2.0 – the foam flush”