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October 2010 Vol. 9 - Issue 10

Fact of the Month

It takes 3 liters of water to a create a 1 liter water bottle - 1 liter of drinking water and 2 liters to process the plastic bottle.

Feature of the Month: The Pending Water Shortage

Everyone has heard the statistics on the global water supply. Out of all of the water on earth, only .01% (24 quadrillion/24,000 trillion gallons) is usable and easily accessible for consumption. The demand for this limited resource has been steadily increasing due to the rising standard of living in many developing countries. The most obvious effect of this is the increase in agricultural production. As disposable income increases, individuals consume more corn, soybeans, wheat and sugar. We have seen the effects of this demand by water usage for agriculture nearly doubling in the past 40 years. Along with the emerging countries demanding more agriculture, underdeveloped countries will be demanding access to cleaner water. Current estimates suggest that water-related diseases kill more than 5 million people each year and about 50% of these deaths are related to dirty water.

Proctor & Gamble has taken a charitable approach to help people access more water. In coordination with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) they have developed a PUR powder packet that converts 10 liters of dirty water into a day’s supply of potable water. P&G plans to contribute 2 billion liters of water per year to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Another way to combat water shortages is to convert seawater into potable water. reports that South Africa has been seriously considering desalination plants because of their recent drought. Keyplan, a subsidiary of engineering group Aveng, has been advising three different projects in South Africa ranging from a 2Ml-a-day plant in Plettenberg Bay to a 20Ml-a-day plant in Port Elizabeth. Although these would be very beneficial for the water shortage, experts cite it would add pressure to an already struggling infrastructure.

There are obviously many problems that need to be addressed and many ways to fix them. The efforts by Proctor & Gamble and the country of South Africa are steps in the right direction and must be continued by other organizations around the globe to effectively address this issue.

From the globalEDGE Blog

Ahhh water. Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than a nice, cold glass of water. Unfortunately the world's supply of this wonderful substance will soon be threatened. One of the reasons for this is that water is the only natural resource for which there is no alternative. Think about it, instead of drilling for oil we can create biofuels, instead of using coal to create electricity we can use solar power. However, once our fresh water is used up there will be nothing left to drink or use in agriculture. No food, no water.

To read more about how the government and global corporations are cooperating to reduce the use of water click on to the globalEDGE blog.

Featured Resources

NORTH AMERICA: Commission for Environmental Cooperation
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is an international organization established by Canada, Mexico, and the United States to address environmental matters. The site includes many articles providing information on environmental topics such as Economy, & Trade, Conservation of Biodiversity, Law and Policy, Pollutants and Health, etc. Site is available in English, Spanish and French.
Category: Social Responsibility

This resource is provided by the World Resources Institute. It provides a rich source of information on the environmental, social and economic trends in the world. Information, presented as searchable databases, data tables and country profiles, covers a range of topics from economics, business and the environment, energy and resources, environmental governance, water resources and much more. (Free registration required).
Category: Statistical Data Sources

Featured Academy

Market Access Provisions in the AoA
The Market Access Provisions in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) module provides one with a general understanding of the following: what the market access provisions (MAP) of the WTO AoA mean for countries involved in global agricultural trade; the specific provisions of the MAP; restrictions on the application of tariff and non-tariff measures to traded goods; specific reduction commitments made by WTO member countries; tariff rate quotas and how they are applied under the AoA; the effects of tariff rate quotas on trade; the special safeguard provisions of the MAP; how the SSP are applied; the anti-dumping provisions of the AoA; the application of the MAP; how countries have engaged in dirty tarrification as a way around the MAP; and how countries have used variable tariff rates to impact trade.
Category: Agricultural Business

globalEDGE Business Review

"2010 Benchmarking Study on International Business Education at Community Colleges: International Business Knowledge"
by Sarah Singer, Tomas Hult, & Bill Motz

In this series of benchmarking studies, institutional-level data from 2008 (n=428), 2009 (n=336), and 2010 (n=309) – from a sampling frame consisting of the roughly 1,200 community colleges in the U.S. – provide answers to a multitude of questions regarding international business education. About two faculty and/or administrators participated per institution each year and were asked about five constituency groups (administrators, faculty, students, local community, and the country). This article looks at international business knowledge within the context of community colleges as we believe an increase in international business knowledge among all the five constituency groups is a minimum requirement for U.S. firms to achieve international competitiveness.

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