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This module has been developed for students in Business Administration and Engineering. Students learn to integrate ethics into environmental problem-solving by studying different approaches (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue) that take different perspectives (individualistic/holistic, anthropocentric/nonanthropocentric) on real world environmental problems. Three cases taken from Puerto Rico introduce these themes: Super Aqueduct, Windmills, and Gas Pipelines. The characterization of environmental problems as "wicked" comes from Rittel and Weber. Students are given tools for tackling these ill-structured situations that resist more traditional approaches. Ethical approaches in environmental are presented to help uncover the ethical, social, political, economic and ecological dimensions of interdisciplinary environmental problems. Real world cases provide a practical "laboratory" in which students can try out and test problem solving frameworks. Finally, reflective activities and reference materials are provided to help achieve module closure. This module has been developed as part a project funded by the National Science Foundation, "Collaborative Development of Ethics Across the Curriculum Resources and Sharing of Best Practices," NSF-SES-0551779.
This section provides a brief description of the links provided by this module. These sources are designed to suppliment the material provided in this module and to help you navigate the resources displayed on the internet to find materials of value in environmental ehtics. - The Zoe Colocotroni was an oil tanker that became grounded on a reef off the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. This led toa famous legal decision and a creative solution to the problem of determining damages to the environment.- Ethics Updates links to a wealth of online materials related to environmental ethics. Many of these can also be found at theNorth Texas University website.

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These cases touch on environmental problems in the Puerto Rican context. To respond, begin with a socio-technical analysis of Puerto Rico. To help, please look at http://cnx.org/content/m14025/latest/. You will find an STS table toward the end of the module in the form of a media file. Click on this file to open tables that describe Puerto Rico in the context of engineering and energy generation.

    Super aqueduct

  • In the 1990’s, the San Juan Metro Area suffered chronic water shortages during the summer months. High demand in the Metro Area (which covers about one third of Puerto Rico) coupled with less rain in the summer months was one cause. Decaying and neglected water infrastructure (leaky water lines, illegal taps into the water supply, and silt-filled reservoirs whose water storage capacity had been drastically reduced), high temperatures, and less rain provided the other causes.
  • During the late 1990’s, government and water officials debated different options for resolving the problem. First, they imposed a rationing system where water was turned off except for short periods in the morning and evening. This discouraged nonessential uses such as watering lawns and filling swimming pools, but rationing proved unpopular and failed to address the broader, underlying causes.
  • Another solution emerged based on moving water from other parts of the island where supply was plentiful and population sparse to the areas of scarcity. Called the Super Aqueduct, this pipeline would transport water from the Rio Grande south of Arcecibo to San Juan and surrounding communities. Objections to the super aqueduct focused around environmental and safety concerns.
  • First, taking water from the Rio Grande would reduce the amount of fresh water that flowed into the Arecibo estuary, an ecosystem that emerged where the fresh water of the Rio Grande flowed into the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean. Reducing the flow of fresh water into the estuary would harm the estuary. Moreover, it would accelerate the draining of Puerto Rico’s main aquifer located in the north under the limestone hills that form what is called the Karst region. Highway construction, individual wells and the general decline of the rivers that deliver fresh water to the Atlantic have all drained fresh water from this aquifer which has been replaced by salt water drawn in from the Atlantic.
  • Opposition to the Super Aqueduct also raised safety concerns. The aqueduct was designed to deliver up to 100 million gallons of water per day to the San Juan area. This made it essential to design and construct pipes that could contain water running through it at such high pressures. Moreover, it required careful planning in locating the pipeline to make sure that avoided densely populated areas. To dramatize this, a section of pipeline burst during a routine test causing considerable property damage. Fortunately, nobody was at home when a river of water inundated several houses sweeping away heavy appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, and stoves.
  • The Super Aqueduct was constructed and activated in 2002. It is now transporting water to the Metro Area and the chronic water shortages in the summer have stopped.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to business, management, and ethics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 14, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11959/1.4
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