Retrieved from: EHN
“Traces of 18 unregulated chemicals were found in drinking water from more than one-third of U.S. water utilities in a nationwide sampling, according to new, unpublished research by federal scientists.
Included are 11 perfluorinated compounds, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal and an antidepressant.
Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency analyzed single samples of untreated and treated water from 25 U.S. utilities that voluntarily participated in the project.
Twenty-one contaminants were detected – mostly in low concentrations of parts per trillion – in treated drinking water from at least nine of the utilities. Eighteen of the chemicals are not regulated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act so utilities do not have to meet any limit or even monitor for them.
“The good news is the concentrations are generally pretty low,” said Dana Kolpin, a research hydrologist with the USGS who participated in the study.
“But,” he added, “there’s still the unknown. Are there long-term consequences of low-level exposure to these chemicals?”
Read more: Environmental health news
Retrieved from: Global post
“Australian scientists say they have made a discovery that could have major implications for the looming global water shortage crisis.
Researchers claim they have discovered huge freshwater aquifers buried underneath the ocean on continental shelves around the world.
They claim to have found up to half a million cubic kilometers (120,000 cubic miles) of low-salinity water near Australia, China, parts of North America and South Africa.
“The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we’ve extracted from the Earth’s sub-surface in the past century since 1900,” said study author Vincent Post, a groundwater hydro geologist from Flinders University.
“Knowing about these reserves is great news because this volume of water could sustain some regions for decades.”
Read more: Global post
Retrieved from: Revolve magazine
“The world’s largest solar-powered seawater desalination plant will soon be established in Ras Al Khaimah to produce more than 22 million gallons of potable water per day and 20MW of solar power.
The announcement of the plans for the new plant was made by Utico Middle East, the GCC’s largest private full-service utility and solutions provider, at the second Global IWPP (independent water and power projects) Summit, being held in Ras Al Khaimah.
Richard Menezes, Executive Vice-Chairman of Utico Middle East, said that the project would set the new benchmark for the desalination business model and will be the world’s greenest desalination plant with the least CO2 emissions. Utico earlier this month released the prequalification tender inviting bids for the IWP project, which will be co-developed by Utico and the winning bidder.
The new project will implement the most advanced reverse osmosis and filtration technologies and when operational, will push unit production rates down drastically. The reverse osmosis process forces seawater through a polymer membrane using pressure to filter out salt. “The GCC has an abundance of sunshine throughout the year and our aim will be to harness this free energy and channel it to UAE residents at extremely low cost,” Menezes said.”
Read more: Albawaba
Retrieved from: Algemeiner
“Israelis will be the first to tell you that they look to create opportunity out of adversity. As a developed country with a relatively high standard of living, situated in an arid part of the world, Israel has focused on harnessing and conserving water for years. With water scarcity becoming an increasingly recurring theme in the United States, we would do well to learn to do the same. Here are a few innovative water management sustainability projects that are worth learning from:
Go anywhere in Tel Aviv and you will see drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is a system of valves and pipes that delivers water directly to the root of the plant, with almost no evaporation or surface runoff. The system uses 30 percent to 50 percent less water than conventional sprinkling. In Israel, drip irrigation makes up 95 percent of watering applications.
Drinking water is another challenge, which Israel has addressed by focusing on desalination. The Israeli Water Authority estimates that 80 percent of its water will be desalinated by 2014. Issues with desalination aside, the next challenge is getting Israelis to drink the desalinated water. While I thought the water tasted fine and better than in some states in the US, Israelis seem to prefer their water filtered.
Finally, education, as in anything, is key. The Israelis understand the importance of education in promoting a sustainable way of living. At the David Yellin College’s Education for Sustainability Development (ESD) Institute, they consider water “blue gold”. One project ESD has undertaken involves storing water from air conditioning condensation in a cistern. This is used in part to water plants, and the rest is sent to a pond downstream.
Kibbutz Lotan reuses water from the bathroom sinks and composting toilets, also known as black water, via constructed wetlands pools that process the water. The pools work like a septic system but instead of the water going from the leach field into the ground, it is cleaned from organic load then used to water the fig, date and olive trees.”
Read more: Huffington post
Retrieved from: All Africa
“South Darfur — The South Darfur camps for the displaced are allegedly suffering from a severe lack of drinking water. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the spokesperson for the Association of Displaced People and Refugees of Darfur, Hussein Abu Sharati, reported that the inhabitants of the South Darfur camps for the displaced are suffering from a water shortage, putting the health and the lives of the citizens at risk.
“They have severe difficulty to access even a small amount of drinking water.”
Sharati explained that the water problem is caused by both a lack of fuel for the water pumps and the arrival of newly displaced people at the camps, in addition to withdrawal of organizations working in the field of water. “They left the provision of water to the supervision and responsibility of the camp residents.”
The spokesperson noted that although the World Food Programme, the International Organization for Migration and organizations working in the field of water in South Darfur are aware of the problem, they did not help out with any solution for the camps residents’ lack of financial means the lack of financial to handle the water pumps.
Sharati appealed to the international community and the United Nations to intervene quickly in order to “avoid a humanitarian disaster”.
Read more: Silo breaker
Retrieved from: The Guardian
“Last year’s flooding could have cost the UK economy up to £600 million, according to research.
The Environment Agency said the estimated damage to all property totalled about £277 million while the impact on businesses in England was up to £200 million, including some £84 million in property damage.
Other indirect impacts – such as lost working days – hit companies and local economies by around £33 million, the EA found, and disruption to transport, communications and utility links cost up to £82 million.
While a quarter of days were officially in drought in 2012, with 20 million people affected by hosepipe bans, flooding occurred one in every five days, affecting more than 7,000 properties.
Every affected business suffered an average of £60,000 in setbacks, the latest figures showed, but flood defences protected 200,000 properties – worth up to £1.7 billion to the UK economy.
EA officials are now encouraging businesses to sign up to receive flood warnings and make a plan so they are well prepared as part of its annual Flood Awareness Campaign.”
Read more: The Guardian
“India and China have been engaged in a dispute over the diversion of the Brahmaputra river, which originates in Tibet. Even while India is still exploring a diplomatic option, it has initiated an action plan that would give it user rights. In the first of a three-part series,Mint chronicles the government efforts to accelerate hydroelectric projects in Arunachal Pradesh, a key element of the multi-pronged strategy.
Even as India seems to be playing down the potential problems associated with China’s plans to divert river waters that flow into the Brahmaputra, it is simultaneously working on a detailed strategy involving several key government departments—racing to pre-empt Chinese threats.
According to documents reviewed by Mint, a technical expert group (TEG) entrusted with devising India’s game plan has made a slew of recommendations, including expeditiously allotting at least one major hydropower project each in strategically located Subansiri, Lohit and Siang basins in Arunachal Pradesh as close to the international border as possible in order to establish ‘existing user rights’.”
Retrieved from: National geographic
“Ireland is surely one of the greenest countries in the world, but its management of freshwater in recent times has been anything but green.
Some 41 percent of the nation’s drinking water leaks out of delivery pipes – twice the UK average. That’s a costly loss given the expense of treating and pumping that water to the nation’s 4.6 million people.
Household water demand per person is estimated to average 102 gallons (386 liters) per day,double or triple that in other European countries and about the same as in the United States, where national usage is driven up by irrigation of large suburban lawns, especially in the drier west.
And with Dublin now running short of water, most of the talk about filling the gap focuses on capturing more supply from the Shannon River or other sources. There’s been relatively little mention of conservation or curbing demand.
Much of this excess and waste traces back to a simple and perhaps startling fact: In Ireland, households do not pay for water. It is free, no matter how much is used. And no one knows how much any particular household uses, because Ireland – alone among European countries – does not meter water usage.”
Read more: National geographic
Retrieved from: Choices mag
“A proposal presented Tuesday to state legislators would capture water from the Missouri River in northeast Kansas and transport it about 360 miles to the Ogallala Aquifer in western Kansas.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports the Ogallala is being depleted, and David Brenn, president of the Kansas Water Congress, called the aqueduct proposal the “best and last long-term hope for water supply in the state of Kansas.”
Officials are recalculating the cost of the project, which would have cost an estimated $3.6 billion when it was studied in 1982.”
Read more: Biz journals
Retrieved from: Washington post
“When American settlers moved westward in the 19th century, they went in search of precious gold, furs and land. But today, as the West booms, there’s another limited commodity that states need to carefully ration: Water.
John Wesley Powell saw this coming. The 19th century geologist and explorer, who navigated the Colorado River in 1869 and 1872, realized that the limited water in the arid West would eventually lead to conflict between the states. Therefore, he suggested the boundaries of Western states be determined by watersheds — the topographical basins that funnel surface water to a single exit point.
Why use watersheds to draw boundaries, instead of the sometimes-arbitrary, sometimes-geographical boundaries for states? Water usage, especially along the Colorado River, is the subject of innumerable state vs. state lawsuits, strict rationing and increasing conflict between urban areas and agricultural industries. Sorting states by watersheds would force the individual states to make their own decisions balancing water usage, rather than fighting among themselves. And those states would be able to use water within their own boundaries, rather than shipping water tens, even hundreds of miles away.
John Lavey thought that was a pretty good idea. So Lavey, a land use planner at the Sonoran Institute in Bozeman, Mont., set about to recreate Powell’s vision — but this time, instead of stopping in the West, he crossed the Rocky Mountains. Sticking with a maximum of 50 states, above are the boundaries Lavey drew, dictated by North American watersheds.”
Read more: Washington Post