Water, water, every…where?

Thanks , Rob, for submitting a news story on water research that highlights what is (hopefully) a trend: the delivery of clean water to the BOP and the increased efficiency of water usage during production of other goods.

For those of you who do not check the activity database faithfully, you might have missed the recent changes (Courtland and I updated and recategorized the 280+ activity capsules last week). There is now a “water” category, owing to the growing number of water-related activities. Some of these are focused on low-cost pumps for the BOP, others on individual or household water filtration , a village-wide solar-powered irrigation systems with delivery via “water credit cards.” , and nutritional supplements to mix with water.

While you’re checking out these amazing activities, note the other new categories: housing, general banking, and most controversially, the “role of the BOP.” This last one was the result of much ongoing debate. No one is surprised when the BOP is engaged as a consumer, but what about as a producer? This area is still gray, obscured partially by “fairtrade” and other MNC-outsourcing-of-labor models that we initially did not want to include. However, it is clear that the creation of local supply chains, when they provide jobs (particularly when they encourage entrepreneurship), teach skills, and add value to basic goods on the local level, is what alleviating poverty sustainably is all about.