In 1987, when the East Bay area in the USA was hit by a serious drought, exhortation and threats by the authorities did not manage to persuade the public to conserve water, and the consumption fell only marginally. Consumption dropped by a third and the reservoirs filled up only after they put up the prices for industry and agriculture - and for watering gardens and filling swimming pools - but not for normal household use. And after sending families tens of thousands of low-flow shower heads and water bags for cisterns, for free. In Boston, concentration on repairing leaks, putting in new shower heads and reducing cistern capacity resulted into drop of demand by a quarter, bringing it back to the level of 20 years earlier.
Selective metering of water - for example for families who use garden sprinklers - would certainly be effective.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.