30 August 2013

This Week in Water

It's that time again. Even though there's a vigorous discussion going on with mistah charley and thunder in the previous post regarding Syria, I wanted to post up some of this week's water news:

Not all bacteria in our water supply are bad.

Not all drinking water has the same chemistry.

China's demand for potable water may soon become a world security issue due to unchecked environmental degradation.

China's demand for bottled water will soon surpass that of the U.S.

The U.S. High Plains aquifer could be 69% depleted in 50 years if current irrigation trends persist.

The so-called Rim Fire in California has moved into Yosemite National Park and is threatening the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir which supplies most of San Francisco's drinking water.

Los Angeles is learning to recycle its runoff water so it can be less dependent on the Colorado River for drinking water.

The U.S. State of Florida is planning to sue the State of Georgia because upstream consumption of water has damaged the former's ecosystem and ecology in and around the Apalachicola Bay.

Water quality in Georgia is under review.

Sewage from Orlando and Orange County, Florida is polluting the Wekiva River.

Pollution in the Indian River Lagoon of Florida is turning the wetlands into a dead zone, killing off inter alia endangered manatees.

Acid rain and acidic runoff in the U.S. has caused a rise in the alkalinity of Eastern rivers.

Marine biologists believe they have discovered what has been killing so many East Coast U.S. Bottlenose Dolphins: Measles—which result from climate change and pollution depressing their immune systems.

Methane pollution in groundwater may pressure politicians to end fracking in Pennsylvania.

In fact, due to scarcity of potable groundwater, in Texas some firms are learning to frack without the use of water.

Nestlé takes 265 million liters a year of Canadian fresh groundwater for free from British Columbia.

Is America drying up? And is the world's largest battery (hint: it's in Virginia) threatened by climate-fueled drought.

Water scarcity is not the same thing as drought, and public policy needs to be cognizant of the difference.

Because of the depletion of groundwater all across the world, effective water management going forward will require private, governmental (both local and federal), academic, and community buy-in, cooperation, and participation. Good luck with that.

The crystal clear waters of East Asia oceans are filthy.

Surface cooling in the waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean has provided a hiatus in global temperature rise. However, there is also a global counter-trend: the increasing acidity of the world's oceans is exacerbating global warming.

The trend of rising sea levels due to global warning was similarly halted in 2010 and 2011 by massive rains in the Australian interior.

[A couple of older stories that are new to me] Hydrogen sulfide—the toxic gas that smells like rotten eggs—in the Black Sea can be used as a renewable source of hydrogen gas to fuel a future carbon-free energy economy.

Likewise, algae, which use energy from the sun to split water molecules and release hydrogen, may be harnessed to the same effect.

Yet another way of freeing hydrogen energy from ordinary water involves the use of powder from high-grade charcoal and micro laser pulses.

Scientists at Berkeley Lab are bringing us ever closer to perfecting artificial photosynthesis which promises to be a clean, green, renewable, sustainable source of energy thanks to funding from the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

What's old is new again: In South America they are re-inventing water wheels to provide direct local hydropower.

Scientists discovered a mega-canyon, 460 miles long and as much as 2600 feet deep, under the ice sheet of Greenland. It has been hidden longer than human history.

Other scientists have detected 'magmatic water' in a crater on the moon.

The ice shell on Saturn's moon Titan extends deeper into its underlying ocean than previously suspected.

NASA scientists believe Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, might have a vast liquid ocean under its own ice shell which, in turn, would make it the likeliest place in our solar system to support life. They would like to land a rover there in the future.


Landru said...

I believe you overlooked the "Don't wash your raw chicken" story.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

This all sounds like a great opportunity for Goldman Sachs and the usual suspects to make a lot of money.

Who is willing to bet against them?

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

i used to wash my raw chicken - i have resolved never to do so again, for two reasons, each sufficient unto itself - (1) because i find the reasons against washing raw chicken persuasive (2) because spouse and self are now herbivorous

Randal Graves said...

Just assume the worst and, like Smooth Jimmy Apollo, you'll win 52% of the time.