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  CAPTURE FLOWS

 
 
The diagram below shows how energy, waste, and water flows might be captured.

The key is to create a dedicated office (the Efficiency and Equity "E2" Office) that would be mandated to promote more sustainable resource use. The E2 office would provide technical assistance, working capital, and possibly loans to help consumers use resources more efficiently. The E2 office would keep a share of the benefits its activities deliver, and use these to promote social development. This might be placed in a "social development fund", which would be used only for direct activities to reduce poverty, such as upgrading slums, delivering basic energy and water services, providing micro-credit, staffing HIV clinics, etc.

This creates a direct link between sustainable resource use and reducing poverty. Politically, such a link can become very attractive; consumers spend less while improving the environment, the economy, and the living conditions of the poor.

Using data from Cape Town, South Africa, an example of how this could work is shown below: