Conserve & Prosper

Finding Nature’s Fountain of Youth

Remember the story of Ponce de Leon who sailed from Spain to Florida about 20 years after Columbus looking for the fountain of youth? He searched for spring water that could heal all ailments to live a long life.

My growing up with asthma, the fountain of youth seemed magical to think that nature could heal us. I’ve learned to control asthma by living in a healthy environment with clean air and exercise. We’re still looking for the mythical fountain of youth but know so much more about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle by combining the best from western and eastern practices to conserve and prosper!

When I developed acid reflux as a young adult, I tried various antacids which did not solve the problem. I explored various treatments like Ayurvedic medicine that focused on my diet to eliminating toxins. This helped tremendously but did not solve the problem until many years later I learned about Celiac disease and needed to go “gluten-free.” That was over seven years ago when it was hard to find many wheat-free options.  Now there are so many great gluten-free foods and meals at restaurants available! But just because the food is gluten-free it still many not be healthy if loaded with sugar or salt. In general, reducing carbs and eating more fish, fruits and vegetables keeps us from gaining weight.

Recently, I’ve been learning more about the effects of stress causing inflammation that can lead to many diseases. Check out the website and publications by Dr. Mimi Guarneri, a cardiologist who speaks passionately about her work in Integrated Medicine. Listening to Dr. G’s audio tapes on the Science of Natural Healing, I had no idea that my frequent sinus infections could be caused by eating too much cheese and other dairy products!

So nature does provide us a fountain of youth when we care for our environment and are careful with what we eat and drink!

Grand Junction Water Restrictions Imposed

The City of Grand Junction began requiring residents to restrict outdoor water use to twice per week. This changes to once per week in October. More details are available as discussed in the The Daily Sentinel.

This restriction does not apply to my neighborhood located in Mesa County with water supplied by Ute Water. At my home, we changed from less frequent watering with a longer duration to move the water deeper into the root zone of native desert plants. We've cut our water bill in half as compared to last year and our plants are doing just fine! 

Helping the Second Poorest Nation for Water Resources Find More

On August 3 – 12, I joined another American and a representative from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit Jordan for assessing water treatment options of naturally-occurring radium in drinking water supplies. We also obtained logistical support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) office at the Embassy in Amman. The mission supports the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Jordan is listed as the second poorest country in the world for water resources so potable water is only distributed to communities once or twice per week! Currently, groundwater containing radium is either not used or mixed with surface water. Innovative new treatment options that conserves water are being considered to remove radium and manage low-level radioactive waste. My contributions include touring well fields, meeting officials, reviewing extensive hydrogeology, geochemistry, waste disposal options, and planning a proposed pilot test of a treatment facility to be built that uses ceramic filtration with hydrous manganese oxides. If we can obtain success at one well location, future planning will use this technology at numerous other locations.

I found the Jordanian people to be incredibly gracious, peaceful, well educated, and very respectful. It appears to be an island of peace surrounded by conflict. The water situation is made even worse by refugees coming from many nearby countries. 

Please see the photo gallery for a few of the interesting views.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage with ESG

OMG! Will ESG be the megatrend that transforms our planet? Environmental, Social and Governance is certainly becoming an important trend for businesses, investors, and governments.

Robert Eccles, Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School, and other scholars have compiled articles on Sustainability and Shareholder Value.

He wrote in 2016 that, “Recent research provides persuasive evidence of a latent investor appetite for the reporting of material ESG information that goes beyond conventional financial statements… In April 2015, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, in his now-annual letter to the CEOs of portfolio companies, said that investors “also have an important role to play, which is why we engage actively with companies on the key governance factors that in our experience support long-term, sustainable, financial performance. Chief among these is board leadership—in our view, the board is management’s first line of defense against short-term pressures… In a world increasingly sensitive to income inequality and suspicious of the corporate quest for profit, promoting a broader understanding of the role of the corporation in society is one of the most pressing issues facing the sustainable development movement. It will become even more important now that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were ratified by all United Nations’ Member States in September of 2015. As social expectations continue to rise about how corporations, especially the world’s largest corporations, can contribute to a more sustainable society, companies have no choice but to respond. Ultimately, the company’s license to operate comes from civil society. However, the company needs to be clear on which issues are a priority, as determined by its chosen significant audiences, and which are not. The Statement of Significant Audiences and Materiality offers the board has a unique and unprecedented opportunity to present a clear and credible view of their company’s role in society—one that can guide management’s decision-making and its interactions with its significant audiences and other stakeholders.”

A recent positive example of ESG becoming relevant is the banning plastic straws and stirrers used in drinks to cut pollution, particularly in the oceans, which is gaining popularity in several coastal states of the U.S., in Europe and with many businesses like Starbucks and Alaska Airlines. I learned that a Girl Scout began a non-profit called Jr Ocean Guardians and is credited with starting the trend!

Check out Yahoo Finance which provides a watchlist of companies that rank high for sustainability.

MSCI ranks 6,400 companies and 400,000 equity and fixed income securities globally and says this trend is catching in Asia as it has in the western world.


Independence Day 2017: Irrigation Returns and Enjoying Local Lakes

This morning at 5 am Redlands Water and Power Company began pumping irrigation water after a 4-day shutdown. Crews worked really hard to drive and get repairs performed in Denver. In addition to fixing the 85-year old hydroelectric generator, it appears obvious that the company could provide much more education to water users on their website.

I saw on our Nextdoor neighborhood account people asking if they should turn off irrigation pumps at home during the outage. Yes, when there is no water turn off the electricity to prevent the pumps from burning up before they run dry. Here are some helpful hints from Rain Brothers.

Also, people often do not know when or how much water to apply to grass. As we drove around the community at 4 pm today, we saw many people watering during the heat of the day. The best time to water grass is after the sun goes down when it is cool so the grass does not get burned. Overwatering can also cause grass to die and we see much of the irrigation water going down the drain.

This morning our son caught his first fish, two small mouth bass, at Connected Lakes State Park.  Then in the late afternoon he got to play with a remote control power boat on a pond at Canyonview Park. 

Balancing competing water demands of irrigation and recreation requires better understanding of sustainability and education. 

Happy Independence Day 2017!