Archive for UW Resources

Water, Water Everywhere

A wise guy once said, “Invest in real estate, they will never make any more of it.” Mostly true, but a very similar thing can be said about water, or as the National Geographic put it: “All the water that will ever be is, right now.”

Is there a resource any more vital than water? Of course, not. And all over the globe agriculture is one of the leading users of water resources. The trick is, of course to use that water wisely as water in some form and some quantity is absolutely necessary for crops. But what is wise use? And even, what are we actually doing to and with our water?

Unmanned plane from UWOne project at the UW-Madison is seeking answers to what is happening with surface water discharges by using an unmanned, over grown radio controlled airplane to gather data to answer questions like these.

If you are interested in learning more about water resources in Wisconsin here are two sites to check out.

The UW Water Resources Institute is clearinghouse of water related research and information. And if you prefer your information in hard back, perhaps you should check out Wisconsin’s Water Library. You can check out real books on our water resources here in Wisconsin for free (assuming you are a Wisconsin resident…if not perhaps you should consider moving here).

You can’t start working on what should be until you know what is.

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Wisconsin Food System Partnership

Being new to the blogosphere I was worried whether or not I had picked an appropriate name for this little effort, but fortunately my fears were soon allayed.

Brilliant me started doing google searches after I had picked the name and registered with WordPress, but the first result when I searched “Wisconsin Food Web” was quite heartening.

The Wisconsin Food System Partnership is a cooperative program among many branches of the UW system that, in the words of their website:

…brings people from the community and the university together in partnerships to build a more food-secure future for all.

The program provides small grants and other support to community-university partners for a wide range of teaching, research, service, and action projects.

Hmmm…maybe I should ask them for a grant for this little project.  I would say that we are definitely walking on the same side of the street.  Here is part of their vision statement from their website:

The Wisconsin Food System Partnership seeks a more food-secure world in 2020 — a world with less poverty and a plentiful food supply that is varied, enjoyable, safe, and healthy.

Food will be produced and distributed in profitable, equitable, and environmentally sound ways that:
  • invigorate and regenerate the earth and its people;
  • equitably address local, regional, and global needs;
  • are consistent with community resources and objectives; and
  • take advantage of the most useful information and technology.

If I was smart and articulate it is just the sort of thing I would say that I was hoping to accomplish with my little electronic scribblings.  So, you can take that as somewhat of a vision statement for this blog as well.

And finally, the site even says what I was trying to get across on the “About” page and the first post here:

The food system involves people, the environment, and agriculture. It includes the following linked set of activities and organizations:

  • agriculture and agribusiness;
  • natural resources and the environment;
  • rural and urban community development;
  • health and nutrition;
  • biology and biotechnology;
  • science education;
  • international development; and
  • public policy.

I do see a lot of very nice words there, and I hope that as time goes on I can highlight more in the way of actions — people doing things to achieve the goals laid out.

Stay tuned.

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